Outgoing New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced he will use his sizable grant from an Israeli award known as the “Jewish Nobel prize” to promote Israeli-Palestinian relations.
Bloomberg received the inaugural Genesis Prize in October, along with the accompanying $1 million prize.
The Jewish politician, worth an estimated $40 billion and one of the nation’s richest men, said at a Hanukkah party for the Jewish Heritage Museum Monday that he would use his Genesis winnings to “promote commerce between the people in Palestine and the people in Israel.”
“For some reason that nobody can figure out–at least I can’t–I will be honored to receive the first Genesis Prize,” Bloomberg said, revealing he will travel to Israel next spring to personally pick up his honor.
“We have to find some way that everybody can get along in that space or it won’t end nicely for anybody,” he added.
There is no word yet on what groups might receive support from the grant.
The Genesis Prize Foundation was established last year by the Genesis Philanthropy Group, a consortium of mega-wealthy philanthropist-businessmen from the former Soviet Union including Mikhail Fridman, Pyotr Aven and German Khan; the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel; and the Jewish Agency for Israel.