Comedian Jay Leno to return to Israel
Genesis Prize Foundation made an announcement today regarding the annual Prize Award ceremony scheduled for June 18, 2015. Jay Leno will be returning to Israel to serve as the Master of Ceremony for the award. The $1 million award will be awarded to Michael Douglas for his “passion” for his Jewish heritage and Israel.
The comedian also hosted last year award ceremony when former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg who is also a philanthropist and entrepreneur received the award. Leno says he is thrilled to be invited back. "People seem to be genuinely happy to see you," he told The Associated Press. "There you kind of get swarmed. People run over, and the grandmas pinch your cheeks. So that was kind of fun."
Leno who is a big supporter of Israel says he does not agree with how the country is usually portrayed as an aggressor by critics. "It seems like they (Israel) have the worst PR in the world," he said. "I don't understand how Israel is the bad guy here. It doesn't make any sense to me."
The receiver of this year’s award Michael Douglas says he will donate the prize money to projects promoting inclusiveness in the Jewish community. “Michael Douglas has chosen to invest the prize award into initiatives which will resonate with Jews like himself — those who come from parents of mixed heritage who wish to be part of the Jewish community," said Stan Polovets, co-founder and chairman of the foundation.
Michael Douglas is also a winner of for Golden Globes, two academy awards and an Emmy.