(Genesis Foundation) (Genesis Foundation)
Michael Douglas

Pat Riley, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Pat Riley

Michael Douglas, his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones, and their children arrive in Israel on Sunday. Also joining Douglas in Israel is legendary basketball coach and executive Pat Riley. (Genesis Foundation)

Award-winning American actor Michael Douglas will be awarded the prestigious Genesis Prize for 2015 in Jerusalem this week.

Actor Michael Douglas will be awarded the Genesis Prize for 2015 in a special ceremony hosted by Jay Leno on Thursday.

The Genesis Prize Foundation announced in January that Douglas is the recipient of the second annual Genesis Prize, which has been dubbed “the Jewish Nobel Prize.” Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was honored with the first Genesis award.

Natan Sharansky, chairman of the executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel, lauded Douglas’s “lifetime work and journey,” which “proves how Jewish roots and heritage can be important drivers for personal and professional success.”

Sharansky, who heads the Genesis Prize selection committee, said that “there is always a way to support and strengthen the Jewish People and the Jewish State by identifying, expressing and working for Jewish solidarity. Michael Douglas did this in his own inimitable and very impressive way. I salute him upon receipt of this great honor.”

Mike Bloomberg congratulates 2015 Genesis Prize Recipient Michael Douglas:

Douglas plans to direct his prize money at the sum of $1 M toward promoting activities designed to raise awareness of “inclusiveness and diversity in Judaism,” the Genesis Prize Foundation stated.

“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,” Douglas stated.

The Genesis Prize honors “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.”

Douglas has identified with the Jewish people primarily through his Jewish father, actor Kirk Douglas.

Douglas revealed in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times earlier this year that his 14-year-old son Dylan had experienced an anti-Semitic attack in Europe.

“If we confront anti-Semitism whenever we see it, if we combat it individually and as a society, and use whatever platform we have to denounce it, we can stop the spread of this madness,” Douglas wrote.

The Academy Award winner also shared that he began to reconnect with Judaism after Dylan had acquired a serious interest through Jewish friends and chose to study at Hebrew school and to have a Bar Mitzvah.