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Spielberg donates money from Israel’s prestigious Genesis Prize to nonprofits

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Steven Spielberg on Thursday announced that he would donate the $1 million award from Israel’s prestigious Genesis Prize to 10 nonprofits working to combat racial and economic injustice.

The Hollywood legend and his wife, actress Kate Capshaw, will also match those donations with $1 million of their own.

“America is facing a crisis and our responsibility is to act now — so that America can be ‘America again, The Land that has never been yet, And yet must be,’” Spielberg said in a statement, adding that Judaism and Jewish history provide “the ethical precepts commanding us to work for a more just and equitable world.”

The director will donate the money to the following organizations: Avodah, Black Voters Matter, Collaborative for Jewish Organizing, Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action, Jews of Color Initiative, Justice for Migrant Women, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Native American Rights Fund, One Fair Wage and Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.

“We admire these organizations for their honesty and moral imagination and urge all those who share this vision to join us, so that the work of these non-profits may continue and grow,” the Academy Award winner said in a statement.

Stan Polovets, co-founder and chairman of the Genesis Prize Foundation, applauded Spielberg’s decision.

“For years, America’s commitment to freedom, justice and equality set an example for the world; today, we can no longer take these ideals for granted. Our democratic foundations are being challenged, and the COVID crisis has further increased social and economic disparities,” Polovets said. “Steven Spielberg’s decision to focus his Genesis Prize on the pursuit of racial and economic justice reflects the urgent need for us to act.”

Spielberg received Israel’s prestigious award  — called the “Jewish Nobel” by Time magazine —  in February for his contributions to the history of cinema, his social activism and philanthropy and his “principled stance against anti-Semitism and all forms of intolerance.”

The prize also recognizes The “Schindler’s List” director for his efforts to preserve the memory of the Holocaust.

President Biden congratulated Spielberg on the honor, writing in a letter, “Steven, I am inspired by the ways in which your Judaism has compelled you to confront the ugly forces of hate and intolerance with the healing power of truth and love. This is a timeless struggle and is a worthy cause to which I proudly join you in pledging my devotion.”

Other finalists for this year’s award included actor Sacha Baron Cohen, “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan and singer Barbra Streisand.

Tags Barbra Streisand Elena Kagan Gal Gadot Joe Biden racial injustice Sacha Baron Cohen Schindler's List Steven Spielberg

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