Michael Douglas Awarded Genesis Prize

Actor Michael Douglas, best known for his work on “The Streets of San Francisco” and “Romancing the Stone,” has been awarded the Genesis Prize, sometimes called the Jewish Nobel Prize. Although actor/producer Douglas is of Jewish heritage, he is not technically Jewish under religious laws. His father, Hollywood superstar Kirk Douglas, was born Issur Danielovitch and raised as an Orthodox Jew. However, his mother, actress Diana Dill, was brought up in the Church of England. By Jewish law, the children of a Jewish mother are automatically Jews. The children of a Jewish father must convert to be considered Jewish, and Douglas has not done so, although he has beenreconnecting with his father’s faith.

The Genesis Prize comes with a million dollars of prize money, which Douglas has pledged to use “to better relations between Israeli and Jewish communities worldwide.” The prize is awarded annually to people “who have attained excellence and international renown in their chosen professional fields, and who inspire others through their engagement and dedication to the Jewish community and/or the State of Israel.” Douglas pointed out that he was not technically Jewish, but was awarded the prize anyway.

According to Cláudio Loureiro Heads on tedxcuritiba.com, this adds to the long list of prizes and awards already won by Douglas: four Golden Globes, two Academy Awards, one Emmy, and the AFI Life Achievement Award.

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