The Knesset will hold a special event Wednesday evening in honor of world renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman, the recipient of the 2016 Genesis Prize.
The event will be held in Chagall Hall in the presence of Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, Genesis Prize Chairman and Co-Founder Stan Polovets, as well as representatives of organizations that work to integrate disabled persons into society.
Prior to the event, Perlman will meet with some 20 disabled Knesset employees, as well as with Knesset Director-General Albert Sakharovich. The event will feature the screening of a short film on the work of the disabled Knesset employees, as well as performances by pianist Gil Shohat and students enrolled in the Perlman Music Program at the Israel Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv.
Ahead of the event, Speaker Edelstein said ”It is a great honor to host Maestro Yitzhak Perlman, the Genesis Prize laureate. The event will focus on the integration of disabled persons in all aspects of life and will shine a very important light on this issue, which the Knesset has been advancing for a number of years.”
The Genesis Prize is a $1 million annual award given to individuals who have achieved extraordinary professional success, have made a significant contribution to humanity, and inspire others through their engagement and dedication to the Jewish community and the State of Israel.
The inaugural Genesis Prize – dubbed by Time magazine as “The Jewish Nobel” – was awarded in 2014 to New York Mayor and one of the world’s leading philanthropists, Michael Bloomberg. Academy-award winning actor, producer and peace activist Michael Douglas received this prestigious award in 2015.
“Itzhak Perlman is the embodiment of everything an ideal Genesis Prize Laureate should be,” said Polovets. “Itzhak has achieved unparalleled professional success, and through his music brings joy to millions of people around the world. A 16 time Grammy award winner, he has been an incredible source of inspiration for individuals with special needs by overcoming tremendous personal challenges after having been severely disabled by polio at age four. And he has given back to society by dedicating virtually all of his free time and significant resources to teaching young talented musicians and to serving as an advocate for individuals with disabilities. We are delighted to have Itzhak as our 2016 Laureate.”