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Violinist Itzhak Perlman shares Genesis Prize with Yiddish Book Center in Amherst
Posted Jan 18, 2017 by itzhakperlman
 (Dan Balilty / Associated Press)

(Dan Balilty / Associated Press)

Itzhak Perlman has shared some of the bounty of winning a $1 million Genesis Prize with the Yiddish Book Center, donating $50,000 to the center.

The Genesis Prize Foundation awards the prize to an individual who has “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,” according to a press release.

Perlman is using the award to support programs in the fields of music and culture and to projects that promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of society, according to the release.

A portion of the gift to the center will be used for the Steiner Summer Yiddish Center, an intensive Yiddish language and culture program for college and graduate students.

The remainder will go to the Wexler Oral History Project, a growing collection of in-depth interviews with people of all ages and backgrounds whose stories offer a rich and complex chronicle of Jewish identity, according the book center’s press release.

“Mr. Perlman has been a friend of the Yiddish Book Center for many years,” said Aaron Lansky, the organization’s founder and president.

“He served as honorary campaign chairperson when we built our first building in 1997. Now, through this latest gift, he is helping to bring Yiddish learning to students at the Center and beyond our walls,” Lanky said in the statement.

This article was written by Diane Lederman. Reprinted from

Itzhak Perlman profiled in Ability Magazine
Posted Aug 25, 2016 by itzhakperlman


Tune in to your local classical radio station anywhere in North America, and it won’t take long for someone to mention the name Itzhak Perlman. It is rare for a musician in the classical genre to become the rock star that Perlman has become. Known for the tremendous emotion he exudes through each string he caresses, he has taken lead in dominating the title ‘virtuoso of the violin’. He has shared his journey on stage with such transparency, whether you watch him live or through his plethora of performances available online, Perlman lets you in.

As long as Perlman has been performing, he has also been educating and fighting for inclusivity for those with disabilities. Contracting polio as a young boy, he has discovered first hand the obstacles that come with navigating the world with a limited mobility, as well as the “hostility” he feels when requesting basic necessities.

From humble beginnings, Perlman knows the impact of giving. He recently was presented with the Genesis Prize, which honors individuals who excel within their professional fields, and who make significant contributions to humanity, as well as inspire through their dedication to Jewish values. With this accolade comes a one million dollar reward that, which Perlman has decided to use towards greater integration of people with disabilities into society. During his acceptance speech, Perlman highlighteds being able to give back:, “The physical prize is wonderful, but what I will cherish even more is the opportunity you have given me to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others.”

During our interview we laughed a bit, and, he shared some personal tips and tricks of travel; then, we bid Perlman adieu as he sped off to mold the skills of young talented musicians. READ MORE
Excerpts from the Itzhak Perlman Aug/Sep 2016 Issue: