World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder met with the famous Hollywood actor Michael Douglas in Jerusalem on Tuesday morning, as the latter is in Israel to receive the Genesis Prize on Thursday for $1 million.
The two met at the King David Hotel in the capital and discussed the recent skyrocketing in global incidents of violent anti-Semitism, as well as the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement targeting the Jewish state in an economic assault.
Lauder expressed his admiration for Douglas's efforts against anti-Semitism and BDS, as well as his fight against the delegitimization attempts against Israel.
He added that he has been a longtime fan of the Hollywood star, who has won two Academy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, and an Emmy Award, also serves as a United Nations Messenger for Peace.
Douglas will receive the Genesis Award on Thursday at the Jerusalem Theater; the prize will be presented by comedian Jay Leno, along with supermodel and actress Bar Refaeli.
The Genesis Prize is awarded annually by the Genesis Prize Foundation, in partnership with the Office of the Prime Minister of the State of Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel, to individuals who have accomplished major life achievements, and are advocates for the Jewish community and Israel.
Douglas has said he plans to use the prize money “toward promoting activities designed to raise awareness of inclusiveness and diversity in Judaism. I share this award with my family, who encouraged me in my exploration of the Jewish faith. I hope these teachings and values will be part of the legacy in the world that I leave for my children and those who follow.”
The choice of Douglas for the award may be viewed as controversial as he is the son of a Jewish father – famous actor Kirk Douglas (born Issur Danielovitch) – and a non-Jewish mother. He was also not raised in the Jewish faith, but rather embraced it later in life.