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Genesis Prize 2024 Awards $1 Million To Israeli Groups Aiding Hostage Release And Recovery

The 2024 Genesis Prize honors Israeli NGOs working to release hostages and support their families.

Author:James Pierce
Reviewer:Dexter Cooke
Apr 19, 2024
The 2024 Genesis Prize honors Israeli NGOs working to release hostages and support their families.
In February 2024, The Genesis Prize Foundation made a significant announcement, allocating its $1 million award to Israeli organizationsdedicated to the critical missions of securing the release of hostages in Gaza and providing comprehensive support for those who have been released and their families. This decision marks a pivotal moment for the foundation, known for its global philanthropic efforts and commitment to Jewish values, as it shines a spotlight on a pressing humanitarian issue. The Genesis Prize Foundation, established in 2013, honors individuals who have attained excellence and international renown in their fields, inspiring the next generation of Jews worldwide through commitment to Jewish values, the Jewish community, and Israel.
This year, the award — hailed as the "Jewish Nobel" by Time magazine — honors organizations that advocate for the release of hostages and offer essential services like treatment, counseling, and support to the hostages and their families post-release. The significance of this support directly impacts the well-being and recovery of individuals who have endured unimaginable hardship.
Stan Polovets, CEO and co-founder of The Genesis Prize Foundation, stated, “This award is not a political statement, and it is not our mission to influence government policy or advocate for any specific type of deal or a compromise. It is a humanitarian award, and this year, it seeks to achieve three things: Ensure the world does not forget the plight of the captives by keeping the issue of hostages front and center until the very last abductee is freed; provide additional aid to organizations focused on assisting the hostages and their families; and, last but not least, honor the selfless work of organizations that spontaneously emerged after Oct. 7.”

Genesis Prize Recipients

Five Israeli nongovernment organizations, which play a crucial role in addressing the multifaceted needs of hostages and their families, will receive the initial round of financial support.
These organizations include the Hostages and Missing Families Forum, the Jewish Agency for Israel's Fund for Victims of Terror, Lev Echad, NATAL — the Israel Trauma and Resiliency Center, and OneFamily. Their collective efforts span a broad spectrum of support, from medical and emotional assistance to securing government benefits and providing holistic therapies.
“These volunteers are an inspiring example of Jewish strength and unity who have already earned a place in the history of the Jewish people and Israel. The Genesis Prize is a small token of recognition of their indomitable spirit and the inspiration they have provided to all people of conscience around the world,” stated Polovets.
The urgency and importance of this cause were echoed in the words of Yaakov Argamani, who's been living every parent's nightmare. His daughter, Noa, 26, is among the more than 100 individuals abducted and held by Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza. Every day, he's fighting for her release and the release of others in the same situation.
“Every hour of every day, I am worrying, speaking, and advocating for the release of my dear daughter Noa and the more than 100 other hostages held by Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza,” Argamani said. “I am grateful that the most prestigious prize in the Jewish worldwill remind everyone of their plight and support the work of the organizations tirelessly working to bring the hostages home. I urge all decent people of the world to join our efforts and help bring our loved ones home now.”
Argamani’s plea for global solidarity and action underscores the dire situation of captives and the relentless efforts of their families and supporting organizations to secure their release.

Promoting Harmony and Advancement

This year's award stands as a symbol of humanitarianism, emphasizing the foundation's stance on nonpolitical involvement and its dedication to supporting causes that bring to light the plight of victims while honoring the selfless work of organizations and volunteers. These volunteers, who spontaneously came together following the crises on Oct. 7, exemplify the Jewish spirit of strength and unity, offering hope and assistance to those in dire need.
As the situation unfolds, the prize’s impact is expected to grow, furthering the cause of freedom and rehabilitation for hostages and their families. This initiative highlights the critical work being done on the ground. Also, it serves as a call to action for individuals and communities worldwide to join in the efforts to bring about change and relief to those affected by such harrowing circumstances.
“The world was shocked by the brutality of Hamas’ terror attacks and the murder of Jewish civilians on a scale unseen since the Holocaust. As Israel defends its citizens, it is imperative that we unite and make sure our government officials, media, and civil society continue to support Israel in its existential struggle,” stated Stan Polovets. “Sustained support of the United States government and public is crucial if Israel is to succeed; we are committed to doing our part and are calling on all people of goodwill to join this effort through volunteering, donating, and political advocacy.”
The Genesis Prize Foundation, dedicated to fostering unity and progress within the global Jewish community, is a beacon of hope and philanthropy. This year's prize reaffirms the foundation's dedication to addressing some of the most urgent humanitarian issues facing the Jewish community and the world.
Immediately following the Oct. 7 attack, The Genesis Prize Foundation initiated a specific grant program aimed at meeting the urgent needs of Israelis. Through this initiative, the foundation awarded a grant to the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles Emergency Israel Fund, matching the contribution made by Barbra Streisand, the 10th Anniversary Genesis Prize Laureate.
A notable portion of this matching grant was allocated to Shalva, an Israeli organization that assists individuals with severe disabilities. Thanks to the grant, Shalva has been able to accommodate over 1,000 refugees from southern Israel, areas heavily impacted by the attack.
Rabbi Kalman Samuels, founder and president of Shalva, shared, “Jewish unity and solidarity of Jews of Israel and the diaspora are of the utmost importance today. I am very pleased that the Genesis Prize, a globally known philanthropic organization, is working with us to expand humanitarian assistance at this difficult time.”
As the foundation and its supported organizations move forward, their efforts will continue to inspire and make a tangible differencein the lives of many, reflecting the enduring spirit and resilience of the Jewish community and humanity.
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James Pierce

James Pierce

James Pierce, a Finance and Crypto expert, brings over 15 years of experience to his writing. With a Master's degree in Finance from Harvard University, James's insightful articles and research papers have earned him recognition in the industry. His expertise spans financial markets and digital currencies, making him a trusted source for analysis and commentary. James seamlessly integrates his passion for travel into his work, providing readers with a unique perspective on global finance and the digital economy. Outside of writing, James enjoys photography, hiking, and exploring local cuisines during his travels.
Dexter Cooke

Dexter Cooke

Dexter Cooke is an economist, marketing strategist, and orthopedic surgeon with over 20 years of experience crafting compelling narratives that resonate worldwide. He holds a Journalism degree from Columbia University, an Economics background from Yale University, and a medical degree with a postdoctoral fellowship in orthopedic medicine from the Medical University of South Carolina. Dexter’s insights into media, economics, and marketing shine through his prolific contributions to respected publications and advisory roles for influential organizations. As an orthopedic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive knee replacement surgery and laparoscopic procedures, Dexter prioritizes patient care above all. Outside his professional pursuits, Dexter enjoys collecting vintage watches, studying ancient civilizations, learning about astronomy, and participating in charity runs.
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