(JTA) — Itzhak Perlman, the Israeli-born violin virtuoso, was named the third winner of the Genesis Prize.
Perlman joins former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the actor Michael Douglas as recipients of the annual $1 million prize that has been dubbed the “Jewish Nobel.”
“I was totally dumbfounded,” Perlman told JTA about learning he had been selected as this year’s winner. “I’m a musician. I play the fiddle. So I was so totally taken aback and I was obviously so incredibly honored they would even consider me. It was very exciting.”
Perlman, 70, who was named the winner on Monday, said he was mostly unfamiliar with the prize when he first learned he was being considered. Established in 2012 by a consortium of Russian Jewish philanthropists, the prize is presented annually to someone who has achieved international renown in their professional field and serves as a role model through their commitment to Jewish values.
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