Israel awards Bloomberg $1M 'Jewish Nobel'

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photoMichael Bloomberg, New York City mayor

JERUSALEM — Israel on Monday recognized New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as the first recipient of the $1 million Genesis Prize, an award popularly dubbed the "Jewish Nobel Prize."

The Genesis Prize Foundation said Bloomberg was honored for his long record of public service and philanthropy.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will present the prize to Bloomberg early next year in Israel. Bloomberg, a billionaire, will then announce to which philanthropic cause he will donate the money.

Bloomberg, in his third and final term as New York mayor, said he's honored to be chosen.

"I got a call from Netanyahu this morning to congratulate me, and we'll work out a date when I can be in Israel to accept it," he said at a New York news conference.

Bloomberg said he has not decided what to do with the money, though he said he bounced around some ideas with the Israeli leader. "I want to use it to do something that will foster relationships in a very difficult part of the world," he said.