Rabbi Lord Sacks in running for ‘Jewish Nobel’ as voting opens
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Rabbi Lord Sacks in running for ‘Jewish Nobel’ as voting opens

Former chief rabbi up against Barbra Streisand, world-renowned director Steven Spielberg and Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot, for the prestigious 2021 Genesis Prize

Lord Sacks speaking at Jewish News' Night of Heroes event in February 2018

Credit: Blake Ezra Photography
Lord Sacks speaking at Jewish News' Night of Heroes event in February 2018 Credit: Blake Ezra Photography

Voting has opened for the winner of the 2021 Genesis Prize, aka the ‘Jewish Nobel,’ with former chief rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks in the running.

The winner gets $1 million (£770,000) to distribute to good causes as they see fit, but Sacks has some A-list competition in the form of singer Barbra Streisand, director Steven Spielberg, and Israeli ‘Wonder Woman’ actress Gal Gadot.

Another candidate from across the Atlantic is US Supreme Court judge Elena Kagan, while Sacks’ British competition is supplied by actor and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen.

In recent years, winners have included Hollywood actresses and billionaires, including ‘Black Swan’ star Natalie Portman and 2020 presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg.

The prize, begun in 2013, goes to those who have excelled in their chosen professional fields, made a lasting contribution to humanity and shown a demonstrable commitment to Jewish values.

Sacks, a prolific author and world-renowned public speaker on religion and ethics, would be the second Brit to scoop the prize, with artist Sir Anish Kapoor

The seven individuals on the list were selected from more than 4,000 names nominated by more than 45,000 people worldwide and include the owner of TIME Magazine Marc Benioff.

Last year it was won by human rights activist Natan Sharansky, who distributed the money to several charities, including Jewish Care in the UK.

Genesis Prize Foundation chair Stan Polovets said: “While members of the Selection Committee and the Prize Committee will make the ultimate decision, our foundation has asked them to give considerable weight to the popular vote.”

 

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