Steven Spielberg Wins Genesis Prize

Jewish Funders Network wishes a hearty yasher koach to legendary filmmaker and philanthropist Steven Spielberg for winning the 2021 Genesis Prize.

The Genesis Prize, known as the Jewish Nobel, comes with a $1 million award, which Spielberg is reportedly planning to use to support Jewish social justice organizations. The Genesis Prize Foundation, a JFN member, announced on its website that it is honoring Spielberg for “outstanding achievement as one the most influential filmmakers in the history of cinema, his social activism, prolific philanthropy, and his principled stance against anti-Semitism and all forms of intolerance.”

Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation, which he founded in 1995, is a longtime JFN member and a founding partner of CANVAS, the Jewish arts and culture funding collaborative incubated at JFN. The foundation has made more than $100 million in grants, funding innovative approaches that inspire activism for social justice, help bring people together across lines of difference; unlock the power of art and storytelling; make Jewish history and tradition more accessible; and ensure that the moral lessons of the Holocaust are not forgotten.

In 2004, its executive director, Rachel Levin, received JFN’s inaugural J.J. Greenberg Memorial Award. That award is presented annually to a foundation professional engaged in grantmaking, age 40 or under, who has exemplified through words and deeds the highest of Jewish values and the relentless pursuit of excellence in all aspects of life. Righteous Persons Foundation’s senior program officer, Shayna Rose Triebwasser, received the award in 2020.

Photo credit (for Steven Spielberg image): Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons