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May 1, 2023 1:19 pm

Barbra Streisand to Receive $1 Million ‘Jewish Nobel’, Donates Award Money to Non-Profit Groups Helping ‘Tikkun Olam’


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Barbra Streisand. Photo: Lifescript via Wikimedia Commons

Acclaimed Jewish singer, director and actress Barbra Streisand will be awarded the 10th annual Genesis Prize at a ceremony held in Los Angeles in October 2023, The Genesis Prize Foundation announced on Monday.

The foundation said that since the launch of the Genesis Prize in 2013, it has received “tens of thousands of nominations and votes” for Streisand to be given the prestigious award. In recognition of the support she has received from the global Jewish community over the past decade, the judges of the foundation’s selection and prize committees unanimously chose Streisand as the 10th anniversary Genesis Prize laureate.

Streisand has asked The Genesis Prize Foundation to direct her $1 million prize money to non-profit organizations that focus on protecting the environment, promoting women’s health, combating misinformation in the media and helping the citizens of Ukraine during the country’s ongoing war with Russia.

The annual $1 million prize, nicknamed the “Jewish Nobel” by TIME magazine, recognizes individuals for their achievements and commitment to Jewish values. Past winners include director Steven Spielberg, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, actress Natalie Portman, late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and violinist Itzhak Perlman.

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“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,” Streisand said in a released statement. “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.”

Using the prize money to help non-profit organizations was a tradition started 10 years ago by the first Genesis Prize winner, former New York City Michael Bloomberg. He 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,” Bloomberg added. “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.”

Last year’s Genesis Prize winner Dr. Albert Bourla, chairman and CEO of Pfizer, said he was “happy to pass the torch” of the Genesis Prize to the “incomparable Barbra Streisand – the embodiment of Jewish talent who has touched the hearts of millions, and whose passionate activism and philanthropy has made the world a better place.”

The Streisand Foundation has provided funding to more than 2,000 non-profit organizations and causes over the past 37 years. In September 2022, Streisand took on the role of ambassador for United 24, an organization that provides humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

Earlier this year, Streisand was awarded the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Woman of Leadership Award — named after the trailblazing Jewish Supreme Court justice.

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