Chair of ‘Jewish Nobel’ accused of drugging and sexually assaulting woman

The Genesis Prize Foundation told the Forward that its founder 'looks forward to clearing his name.'


JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - JUNE 29: American actress Sarah Rafferty (L) and Founder, Chairman and CEO of The Genesis Prize Foundation (GPF) Stan Polovets (R) pose before the Genesis Prize ceremony at The Jerusalem Theater on June 29, 2022 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images for The Genesis Prize Foundation)

The chair of the “Jewish Nobel Prize” has been accused of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman.

According to civil proceedings filed in New York last week, Stan Polovets, chair of the Genesis Prize, met a woman identified as Jane Doe 1 in the summer of 2021 through a matchmaker.

She claimed that on their second date, the philanthropist, 60, invited her to a cocktail bar called Skylark in midtown Manhattan after going to the theatre.

The woman said that following her second drink she "suddenly felt confused and began to lose control of her motor functions."

She alleged Polovets, an American Jewish businessman from Russia, stopped her from calling a taxi and took her to his bedroom.

She said he removed her clothes, touched, and kissed her while she was "still suffering from the effects of drugs."

The court document says: “She felt overwhelmed by distress, confusion and fear.”

The woman, who is a resident of New York, claims she took a drug test a day later which confirmed the claim that a drug was found in her body.

Results showed that benzodiazepines, which in high doses cause memory loss, were found in her body.

A transcript of a message that Polovets sent to the woman two days after the incident is included in the lawsuit submitted to the District Court in Manhattan.

In the message, he said that he took her to his apartment after she "drank too much on an empty stomach" during the date.

"You left as soon as you were able to, but not before you fell down on the way to the bathroom because you could not walk," Polovets wrote.

"If you don't want to see me again, that's fine. But maybe you can be more mature about it rather than to block [me] or leave without saying goodbye."

Documents say the woman is seeking "compensation in an amount to be determined at trial" for nine claims against Polovets.

She also filed claims of negligence and aiding and abetting against The Skylark, where she claims she was drugged.

Polovets' lawyer, Mark Bederow, denied the accusations on behalf of his client.

He said that before the lawsuit was filed and before the police were asked to investigate the incident, the woman's lawyers had sought a financial settlement.

Bederow told the Forward: “The NYPD declined to take action and after that, the lawsuit follows demanding money again.

“So, it is what it is in terms of what they’re doing here and he looks forward to clearing his name and is fully confident he’ll be exonerated.”

The Genesis Prize Foundation told the Forward that its founder “looks forward to clearing his name.”

Polovets founded the Genesis Foundation in 2012. The award gives an annual prize of $1 million dollars to "Jews who have achieved significant success in various fields."

In 2023 American icon Barbra Streisand was awarded the annual $ 1 million 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.

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