Jewish 100, 2014: Mikhail Fridman – Philanthropy
Co-founder of the Russian Jewish Congress and co-creator of the Genesis Philanthropy Group
Mikhail Fridman, the head of the conglomerate Alfa Group, helped to found the Russian Jewish Congress. More recently, he was one of the creators of the Genesis Philanthropy Group, whose purpose is to develop and enhance Jewish identity among Russian-speaking Jews worldwide. The Genesis Group also endows a $1 million Nobel-style prize for Jewish contributions to humanity; past winners include former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and actor Michael Douglas. The group also has backed the Nativ program that prepares non-Jewish Russian immigrants to Israel for conversion as well as cooperated with Birthright Israel and Yad Vashem. Fridman recently told a Genesis conference that his organization focuses on the values and principles of the Jews.