Israeli Philanthropist Morris Kahn Contributes $1m to Genesis Prize Natalie Portman Initiative to Empower Women

The Genesis Prize Foundation announced today that Israeli philanthropist and humanitarian Morris Kahn has made a $1 million gift to the Genesis Prize Foundation in honor of 2018 Laureate Natalie Portman.

The gift doubles the 2018 Genesis Prize Award Fund to $2 million.

World renowned actress, director and social activist Natalie Portman became the 5th Genesis Prize Laureate in November 2017. In keeping with tradition established by the previous Laureates who have “re-gifted” their awards, Natalie Portman announced that award funds would be granted to programs focusing on advancing women’s equality in all aspects of human endeavor. A significant portion of the funds will go to support NGOs working in the field of women’s rights in Israel.

Morris Kahn is a South African-born businessman and philanthropist who moved to Israel in 1956. He is the founder of companies such as Amdocs, the Coral World Underwater Observatory in Eilat and others. An active humanitarian, in recent years he has increasingly focused his attention on philanthropy and venture philanthropy.

Mr. Kahn supports a wide range of initiatives that are close to his heart, including the promotion of successful, ethical and challenge-seeking youth leadership; making cataract and trachoma surgery accessible to Ethiopian villagers; running a summer camp for children with terminal diseases; operating a therapeutic riding center for the disabled. He also funds Save a Child’s Heart, a nonprofit that provides life-saving cardiac surgery for children from developing countries. To date it has saved more than 4,000 lives.

Earlier this year, Kahn made a gift in support of the 2017 Genesis Prize Laureate Anish Kapoor, whose Genesis Prize theme focused on alleviating the plight of refugees, and raising awareness in the Jewish community of the urgent need to support refugees. Morris Kahn’s gift financed treatment of hearing loss among Syrian children from conflict areas that were brought to the Ziv Medical Center in Israel for diagnostic examination, clinical treatment, surgery and rehabilitation.

“I am pleased to have this opportunity to support the 2018 Genesis Prize Laureate Natalie Portman in her noble undertaking, ” said Morris Kahn. “The Genesis Prize is known for focusing its philanthropy on issues that are both relevant and timely; the issue of women’s equality and empowerment is, without a doubt, one of them. I believe that the outstanding Jewish role model Ms. Portman and the Genesis Prize Foundation together are well positioned to make a difference and drive meaningful change. It is an honor to be a part of this effort.”

Ms. Portman’s award money will be used for grants to organizations involved in promoting women’s educational opportunities, economic advancement, health and safety, and full participation in policy formulation and political activity. Details of how organizations may apply for funding will be announced in early 2018.

Natalie Portman will be honored at the Genesis Prize Ceremony in Jerusalem on June 28, 2018.