In J’lem, Leno to present Genesis Prize
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In J’lem, Leno to present Genesis Prize

Former ‘Tonight Show’ host will make his first Israel visit for ceremony honoring ex-NY mayor Michael Bloomberg

US President Barack Obama, left, talks with Jay Leno during a commercial break at a taping of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” in Los Angeles, in August 2013. (photo credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin)
US President Barack Obama, left, talks with Jay Leno during a commercial break at a taping of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” in Los Angeles, in August 2013. (photo credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

JERUSALEM — Former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno will visit Israel to host the presentation of the inaugural Genesis Prize.

The May 22 ceremony in Jerusalem will honor former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg with the $1 million award.

“Jay Leno is a comedic icon who has entertained millions of people around the world for over 20 years,” said Stan Polovets, board chairman of the Genesis Prize Foundation. “What many don’t know, however, is that he is also a great friend to Israel.”

It will be Leno’s first visit to Israel, according to the Genesis Prize Foundation.

Major philanthropists, Nobel laureates and global business leaders are expected to attend the ceremony for Bloomberg, who said he will use the award to promote economic ties between Israelis and Palestinians.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg visits Sderot in January 2009 and sees a collection of debris from rockets fired at the town from Gaza. (Photo credit: Kobi Gideon/Flash90)
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg visits Sderot in January 2009 and sees a collection of debris from rockets fired at the town from Gaza. (Photo credit: Kobi Gideon/Flash90)

In his third and final term as mayor, Bloomberg was chosen from among more than 200 nominees worldwide because of his “track record of outstanding public service and his role as one of the world’s greatest philanthropists,” according to the prize committee.

The prize, which will be given out annually, is awarded to an accomplished, internationally renowned professional who is a role model in his or her community and can inspire the younger generation of Jews worldwide, according to the Genesis Prize Foundation website.

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