American Jewish actor Michael Douglas gives a statement to the press next to his wife, Welsh actress Catherine Zeta Jones before receiving the Genesis Prize in Jerusalem, June 18, 2015. (Debbie Hill/AFP via Getty Images)

Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones to Host Genesis Prize Ceremony

The Genesis Prize Foundation (GPF) has announced Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones as the co-hosts of the 2020 Genesis Prize Ceremony. The gala ceremony honoring human rights activist and Jewish hero Natan Sharansky will take place at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem on June 18.

During the Jerusalem visit, The Genesis Prize Foundation is planning a special event honoring the cinematic legacy of Kirk Douglas and his connection to Jerusalem.

The late actor Kirk Douglas stands with his arms raised, July 14, 2000, in Jerusalem, Israel after a press conference at the city’s annual film festival. (Brian Hendler/Newsmakers via Getty Images)

The $1 million Genesis Prize, dubbed the “Jewish Nobel” by Time magazine, honors extraordinary individuals for their outstanding professional achievement, contribution to humanity, commitment to Jewish values and Israel. Sharansky was announced as the seventh Genesis Prize Laureate in December 2019 in recognition of his lifelong commitment to human rights, democracy and rule of law, and his struggle for the freedom and unity of the Jewish people.

Actor, producer and peace activist Michael Douglas was previously awarded the Genesis Prize in 2015 in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to cinema, his work as the United Nations Messenger of Peace, and his passion for his Jewish heritage and the Jewish State. The United Nations Messengers of Peace are the most highly recognized of the United Nations Goodwill Ambassadors. Appointed in 1998, Douglas actively worked to advocate for nuclear and conventional disarmament and is currently the longest-serving active United Nations Messenger of Peace.

“Michael Douglas has been one of the most engaged and committed Genesis Prize Laureates to date,” said Stan Polovets, co-founder and chairman of GPF. “His deeply personal story of connecting with Jewish identity and culture – and advocating for a more inclusive Jewish community – resonated across the world, touching the hearts of many and prompting them to start their own journeys of discovery. I am very glad to see this journey continue and look forward to welcoming Michael and Catherine in Jerusalem in June.”

World-renown actress Catherine Zeta-Jones accompanied her husband Michael Douglas to Israel in 2015, and was in the audience, along with their two children, Dylan and Carys, during the emotional award ceremony. This year, the Academy Award-winning actress will be on stage with her husband as the co-host of the Genesis Prize Ceremony.

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