Actor Michael Douglas was in Israel last week to receive the Genesis Prize for achievement and Jewish commitment.
Before the ceremony, he spoke to a large audience in Jerusalem and reminisced about his 50-year film career, starting with his first on-screen role as an Israeli army jeep driver in Cast a Giant Shadow, which starred his father Kirk Douglas.
The prize, in the amount of $1 million – endowed by the Genesis Philanthropy Group and awarded annually by the Prime Minister of Israel to a single individual - is administered by a unique partnership, which includes the Office of the Prime Minister of the State of Israel, the Genesis Philanthropy Group, and the Office of the Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel. Through this partnership and a worldwide nomination process, the goal of the Genesis Prize is to inspire unity throughout the global Jewish community.
As Jessica Steinberg wrote in The Times of Israel,
In a gray suit and open-necked pale pink shirt, the 70-year-old Douglas charmed a packed auditorium at the Jerusalem Cinematheque on Thursday afternoon. On Thursday evening, he was being presented with the $1 million Genesis Prize for his professional achievements and passion for his Jewish heritage and the Jewish state.
Enjoy!His Jewish heritage has gotten Douglas a lot of attention in the last couple of years, as Douglas and his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones celebrated their son Dylan’s bar mitzvah at home in Los Angeles and in Jerusalem last year. He’s also spoken publicly about his own feelings about his Jewishness, having both a non-Jewish mother and non-Jewish wife. And he has repeatedly thanked his son for bringing him back to Israel.
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