Natalie Portman Awarded Israel’s 2018 Genesis Prize, Proud of ‘Israeli Roots’

Natalie Portman at the Cannes film festival (Natalie Portman Cannes 2015 5.jpg by Georges Biard licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)

Oscar-winning Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman has been awarded Israel’s 2018 Genesis Prize for her commitment to social causes, the prize’s organizers announced Tuesday.

The $1 million award, referred to as the “Jewish Nobel Prize,” is given every year to outstanding individuals who inspire the next generation of Jewish youths through their work and activism.

Portman said she was “deeply touched and humbled” to receive the award.

“I am proud of my Israeli roots and Jewish heritage. They are crucial parts of who I am,” she said.

Portman stated that she intends to use the prize money to “make a difference in the lives of women in Israel and beyond.”

Among the various social causes and philanthropic endeavors that Portman is involved with, the actress in 2014 donated money and clothes to help Syrian refugees through an initiative called Operation Human Warmth, which works to “aid noncombatant women and children in Syria.”

In 2015, Portman added her name to a petition against child poverty in Israel. The petition called for Israeli children of low economic means to receive various benefits such as three meals a day in school as well as free tuition, and for the Israeli government to fund all medical medications and dental procedures for children until age 19.


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