For Immediate Release: March 25, 2021
Contact: Amanda Lindner, [email protected]
Avodah Selected by 2021 Genesis Prize Laureate Steven Spielberg as Grant Recipient
Avodah is among 10 organizations recognized for their racial and economic justice work
NEW YORK, NY – Avodah has been selected by award-winning director, producer, and philanthropist Steven Spielberg to receive a significant grant in his honor from The Genesis Prize Foundation. Spielberg chose to forgo his $1 million Genesis Prize, which is awarded annually to individuals for extraordinary professional achievement, contributions to humanity, and demonstrated commitment to Jewish values. Avodah is one of 10 organizations that will split the prize money, with Spielberg and Kate Capshaw contributing an additional $1 million in matching funds.
Avodah and the nine other organizations that will be awarded the funding were selected on the basis of their strong racial and economic justice work. Since 1998, Avodah has trained and supported Jewish leaders so they can contribute their skills and passion to create a more equitable country and world. Avodah participants provide both direct service and work to address the systemic racial and economic injustices faced within areas of immigration, healthcare access, housing, food insecurity, domestic violence, criminal justice reform, and more.
“I am honored and moved that Avodah was chosen by Mr. Spielberg and The Genesis Prize Foundation to be a recipient of this gift,” said Cheryl Cook, Chief Executive Officer of Avodah. “And we are thrilled to be part of such an incredible group of organizations who exemplify justice in the work they do. These funds will have a tremendous impact on the communities we support, including our expansion to San Diego this summer and our work there to support immigrants and refugees.”
The Genesis Prize, dubbed the “Jewish Nobel” by TIME magazine, recognizes Spielberg’s extraordinary contributions to cinema, his extensive social justice and philanthropic work, and his firm stance against anti-Semitism, as well as his tireless efforts to preserve the memory of the Holocaust and prevent future genocides. The 9th Genesis Prize honoree, Spielberg follows in the footsteps of his predecessors by donating the million-dollar prize to causes about which they are passionate.
In addition to Avodah, the other organizations selected by Spielberg are: 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.
With this award, Avodah is proud to add another incredible leader to its list of supporters. Previous supporters of the organization include 2018 Genesis Lifetime Achievement Honoree Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who made multiple contributions to Avodah.
Justice is a Jewish value — and at Avodah, we believe that Jewish leaders have the power and responsibility to change our country for the better. Avodah trains and supports Jewish leaders so they can contribute their skills and passion to create a more equitable country and world. Founded in 1998 as the first-ever Jewish Service Corps, Avodah’s national network of justice leaders strengthens the Jewish community’s commitment to racial and economic justice by addressing issues of immigration, healthcare access, housing, food insecurity, domestic violence, criminal justice reform, and more.