Tag Archives: Jewish News

Bloomberg First To Receive $1 Million ‘Jewish Nobel Prize’

 New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be the first recipient of the $1 million Genesis Prize, which is being called the “Jewish Nobel Prize.”

The award is set to be announced Monday, The New York Times reported Sunday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will present the prize to Bloomberg at a ceremony in Jerusalem in May.

The Genesis Prize Foundation was established in 2012 by the Genesis Philanthropy Group, a consortium of mega-wealthy philanthropist-businessmen from the former Soviet Union including Mikhail Fridman, Pyotr Aven and German Khan; the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel; and the Jewish Agency for Israel.

The prize, which will be given out annually, is awarded to an accomplished, internationally renowned professional who is a role model in his or her community and can inspire the younger generation of Jews worldwide, according to the foundation’s website.

Bloomberg, a billionaire businessman who is in his third term as New York mayor, was chosen from among more than 200 nominees worldwide because of his “track record of outstanding public service and his role as one of the world’s greatest philanthropists,” according to the prize committee, The New York Times reported.

“Many years ago, my parents instilled in me Jewish values and ethics that I have carried with me throughout my life, and which have guided every aspect of my work in business, government, and philanthropy,” Bloomberg said in a statement issued Sunday, in which he said he was honored to receive the prize, according to the newspaper.

The prize committee, chaired by Israeli Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, also includes Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel; Meir Shamgar, justice and president emeritus of Israel’s Supreme Court; and Tova Strasberg-Cohen, a retired justice of the Israeli high court.

 

Hillel Taps Eric Fingerhut, Former Congressman, As CEO And President

Eric Fingerhut, a former U.S. congressman and leader of Ohio’s system of public universities and colleges, has been tapped to serve as the next president and CEO of Hillel.

Fingerhut’s hiring was approved Sunday in a unanimous vote by Hillel’s board of directors during a meeting in New York. He comes to the international campus organization after serving most recently as a corporate vice president at Battelle, a Columbus-based independent research and development organization.

Fingerhut was an Ohio congressman in 1993-94.

“I am honored to be joining such an esteemed and important organization,” said Fingerhut, 54, in a statement released by Hillel. “Everything in my life has led to this moment — my public service, my work on campuses and research centers across Ohio, and my lifelong devotion to Israel and the Jewish people. And so I could not be more thrilled.”

Hillel boasts a network of 550 branches at colleges, universities and communities in North America, Israel, the former Soviet Union, Europe and Latin America. While most of the branches operate independently, the central Hillel organization, based in Washington, plays a lead role in setting strategy for the movement and raising money to create and help implement new strategies at the campus level.

Under the guidance of Fingerhut’s predecessor, Wayne Firestone, the organization adopted a new strategic plan focused on reaching Jewish students who rarely, if ever, frequent Hillel houses. When Firestone announced his decision last year to step down as leader of the organization, Hillel board members said the next president and CEO would need to focus on securing new funding sources to fund the strategic direction.

Sidney Pertnoy, chairman of Hillel’s board of directors, issued a statement saying that “we are confident Eric will be an excellent leader so we can better engage the Jewish world’s most precious resource — over 400,000 Jewish students on college campuses in North America and the hundreds of thousands of Jewish students and young adults in communities around the globe.”

Fingerhut, who is set to start in August, also issued a video statement in which he pledged to follow the lead of Hillel the Elder, for whom the organization is named, noting his reputation as Judaism’s most inclusive rabbinic sage.