Sacha Baron Cohen, Lord Sacks and Barbra Streisand on 'Jewish Nobel' shortlist

Public are asked to vote to help judges decide winner of the $1m award


Emeritus Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks is in contention for next year’s $1 million Genesis Prize – along with satirist Sacha Baron Cohen, singer Barbra Streisand, “Wonderwoman” Gal Gadot and film director Steven Spielberg. 

Organisers of the so-called Jewish Nobel have for the first time since its launch in 2013 announced a shortlist which also includes United States Supreme Court justice Elena Kagan and the owner of Time magazine, Marc Benioff. 

Former recipients include the actor Michael Douglas and the sculptor Sir Anish Kapoor. 

The shortlist was chosen from over 4,000 nominations by 45,000 members of the public. 

Now people are being asked to cast an online vote to help the judges decide. 

Stan Polovets, co-founder and chairman of The Genesis Prize Foundation, said the prize was “evolving from an elite committee-driven process to a more inclusive approach that seeks to engage the entire Jewish world.  

“The voice of the Jewish people – from all walks of life, different demographic groups, and across generations – will now become an extremely important factor in the nomination and selection of our distinguished honourees.  

“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 as they start their deliberations regarding the 2021 Genesis Prize Laureate.” 

The 2018 laureate actress Natalie Portman caused controversy when she refused to attend a ceremony in Jerusalem because the prize would be presented by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  

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