Violinist Itzhak Perlman talks during an interview at Jerusalem’s King David Hotel on June 21, 2016, ahead of the Genesis Prize ceremony (Photo credit: AP/Dan Balilty)
Itzhak Perlman announces recipients of his Genesis prize money: Maestro violinist giving cash to young musicians, organizations connecting the disabled with the arts; donors triple $1m award
The Times of Israel
By Jessica Steinberg
September 12, 2016
Nearly three months after being awarded the Genesis Prize, maestro Itzhak Perlman announced the major recipients of his prize money, which has been tripled from $1 million to $3 million by donations from other bodies.
Perlman, 70, is the third recipient of the Genesis Prize, an award created by a trio of Russian Jewish philanthropists. The previous two winners of the “Jewish Nobel” were former New York mayor and business mogul Michael Bloomberg and actor-director Michael Douglas.
For the second year in a row, the proceeds of the Genesis Prize award were doubled to $2 million by a $1 million contribution from tycoon and philanthropist Roman Abramovich.
An additional $1 million will be raised through a matching funds program administered by the Jewish Funders Network, bringing the total amount to $3 million.
Prizewinners are expected to donate the funds to projects and organizations they support.
The violinist announced Monday that he would donate NIS 3.2 million (approx. $850,000) to organizations in Israel that connect people with disabilities with the classical arts. The biggest donation — NIS 940,000 (approx. $250,000) — will go to the Tel Aviv Conservatory for a new Perlman-Genesis String Project. Perlman and his wife Toby, who is also a violinist, are the founders of the program, which offers musical training and access to Perlman himself for talented string players aged 12-18.
Another NIS 188,000 (approx. $50,000) will go to House of Wheels in Herzliya, a rehabilitation center for children and adults with impaired mobility. Perlman has used crutches or a wheelchair since he contracted polio at the age of four.
A final NIS 94,00 (approx. $25,000) will go to Chicago Center in the city of Lod, a community center for Jews and Arabs in a disadvantaged neighborhood.
The money donated by Perlman in Israel will be managed by Matan Effective Community Investment, a local Israeli nonprofit. Another $1 million of funds will be handled by the Jewish Funders Network and disseminated to similar organizations in North America.
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