As anti-Israel movements and anti-Semitic increase on US college campuses, Hollywood actor, Michael Douglas, alongside Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky, is beginning a speaking tour of US campuses to combat anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.
The tour begins today at Brown University in Rhode Island and will move to Stanford University and the University of California at Santa Barbara next week, where the two plan to discuss the challenges of anti-Semitism in university settings.
Douglas joins Sharansky as the second laureate of the Genesis Prize, a coveted award of $1 million granted with the aim to inspire unaffiliated young Jews worldwide to remain active in the community.
“This is the first time, in this current period of heightened anti-Israel activity on campus, that a Hollywood celebrity has offered to join with a world Jewish leader to visit US college campuses and speak with students about Israel and the Jewish people,” said Genesis Prize Foundation Co-Founder and Chairman Stan Polovets.
“At a time when the academic community and other forces are making sustained efforts to delegitimize Israel, these visits are particularly important and timely,” he added.
Hillel International President and CEO Eric Fingerhunt agreed, saying, “Michael Douglas and Natan Sharansky will help students recognize that no matter where they came from, they are part of the Jewish community and have a role to play to ensure its future.”
Sharansky stressed that “at a time when the new and old forms of anti-Semitism are coming together to undermine Israel’s legitimacy and drive Jews apart from their Jewish identities and from one another, it is crucial that we emphasize the connection between our devotion to human rights, our commitment to peace, and our dedication to strengthening the unity of the Jewish people.”
“Having had many opportunities to speak to students about these fundamental issues, I am pleased to be sharing the stage with such an outstanding individual as Michael Douglas and I look forward to our conversations with young people on campuses across America.”
A gracious Douglas said he was happy at the opportunity for him and Sharansky to “speak directly with young people about the challenges they encounter, and share insight about how we have dealt with these situations throughout our life.”