Jay Leno to Host June 2015 Genesis Prize Ceremony in Israel


Jay Leno with a friend

Jay Leno will return to Israel and serve as Master of Ceremonies for the second annual Genesis Prize Award Ceremony on June 18, 2015. The $1 million Prize will be awarded to Michael Douglas.

Leno hosted last year’s ceremony as well, when philanthropist, entrepreneur and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg received the inaugural award.

The Genesis Prize is an annual award honoring individuals who have attained excellence and international renown in their chosen professional fields, and who inspire others through their engagement and dedication to the Jewish community and/or the State of Israel.

Jay Leno’s career in show business has spanned over 45 years; 22 of which he spent hosting NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, a post he left in February 2014.

“I’m thrilled to host the Genesis Prize Award Ceremony for the second year in a row, and to return to Israel, a country and a people that welcomed me with such warmth last summer, ” remarked Leno. “It will be an honor to serve as host when Michael Douglas receives this prestigious award.”

The upcoming 2015 Ceremony will be composed of three elements: a tribute to the Laureate, a celebration of the contribution of Jews to Hollywood and Broadway, and a segment on inclusion, diversity and tolerance – the main theme of the Genesis Prize Foundation’s activities this year. Michael Douglas has announced earlier that he plans to contribute his $1 M prize to projects that promote and encourage inclusiveness in the Jewish community.

Michael Douglas is the winner of two Academy Awards, four Golden Globes and an Emmy, and has created an unforgettable body of work that challenges and educates as well as entertains. He is also known for his passionate advocacy as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, focusing on human rights, gun violence prevention, and nuclear anti-proliferation work.

“After 22 years of hearing Jay poke fun of my movies on The Tonight Show, it’ll be a nice change to be there when he does it in person, ” said Michael Douglas.

“The city of Jerusalem is pleased to welcome Jay Leno back for the second annual Genesis Prize Award Ceremony in June, ” commented Nir Barkat, Mayor of Jerusalem. “It was our great pleasure to share the wonder and beauty of our city with this great friend of Jerusalem and Israel last year, and we look forward to welcoming him back this summer.”


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