Barbra Streisand awarded 'Jewish nobel' prize

The prize recognises 'achievements, contributions to humanity, and commitment to Jewish values'


American icon Barbra Streisand will be awarded the annual $ 1 million Genesis Prize, dubbed the “Jewish Nobel” by Time Magazine.

The prize “honours extraordinary individuals for their outstanding professional achievements, contributions to humanity, and commitment to Jewish values,” according to its website.

In a Monday post announcing this year’s winner, the Genesis Prize wrote: “Since the launch of the Prize in 2013, Ms. Streisand has received tens of thousands of nominations and votes for the Genesis Prize. Recognizing the overwhelming display of support and admiration by global Jewry over the past decade, the judges of the Selection and Prize Committees unanimously endorsed Ms. Streisand as the 10th Anniversary Genesis Prize Laureate.”

It further claimed Streisand has donated and raised “millions of dollars to address some of the most pressing issues of our time in the US and around the world. Ms. Streisand and her eponymous Foundation have provided extensive funding to more than 2,000 non-profit organizations and causes over the past 37 years.”

The prize will be given to Streisand during a special ceremony in Los Angeles in October, exactly ten years after the prize was first awarded to former New York mayor and media tycoon Michael Bloomberg.

In keeping with a 10-year tradition established by Bloomberg, Streisand has asked that her prize funds be sent to non-profit organisations in four areas: protecting the environment, promoting women’s health, combating disinformation in the media, and aiding the people of Ukraine.

Founder and Chairman of The Genesis Prize Foundation Stan Polovets said it was a “great honour” for the foundation to celebrate Streisand, “one of the world’s most beloved and admired performers.”

In addition to "delighting audiences all over the world" for six decades, Polovets added that Streisand has “dedicated her time, resources, and passion to numerous important causes, speaking out whenever and wherever she saw injustice.

“Her sense of responsibility to heal the world grows out of her Jewish values and her Jewish identity, which Barbra has displayed proudly since the very beginning of her extraordinary career. Barbra’s innovative philanthropy has had significant impact in so many areas, including health, environment, and gender equality. We look forward to working closely with Barbra and her foundation to expand that impact going forward.”

Michael Bloomberg said Streisand’s “passionate commitment to tikkun olam makes her an incredibly deserving recipient of the Genesis Prize.

“From her groundbreaking leadership on women’s health to her longstanding support for stronger gun safety laws, to her invaluable partnership revitalizing Lower Manhattan through the soon-to-open Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center, Barbra has made an enormous impact on her native New York and far beyond. She has used her voice – on and off the stage and screen – to inspire generations, and I’m glad to join her fans worldwide in congratulating her.”

The First Lady of Israel, Michal Herzog, wife to President Isaac Herzog, said Streisand was “not only my idol, a wonderful singer and actress but also a trailblazer woman in the show business and film industry – an inspiration for women around the world. She is a true friend of Israel, an exemplary leader in the Jewish and human rights spheres – the definition of a woman of valor!”

Of her win Streisand said: “I am delighted to be honored by the special 10th Anniversary Genesis Prize and to work with The Genesis Prize Foundation to support organizations that seek to better society and our shared humanity. I am very proud of my Jewish heritage and have always been moved by the Jewish tradition of tikkun olam, to repair the world. I hope to join and inspire others in their own commitment to build a better world.”

In a career spanning six decades, Streisand has been recognised internationally as an icon in numerous entertainment fields, including as a recording artist, actor, director, producer, screenwriter, author, and songwriter.

She is one of only 23 people – including eight women – to have been awarded EGOT status (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony). Additionally, she was the recipient of the National Medal of Arts from President Bill Clinton and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, and France’s Légion d’Honneur.

Most recently, Streisand assumed the role of Ambassador for United 24, an organisation that provides humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

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