Tel Aviv University plans to inaugurate a "Jewish People's Nobel prize", its president, Itamar Rabinovich, says.
The university will award three $1 million prizes each year through a specially created foundation, in subjects related to the past, the present and the future. The "past" prize will be awarded for contributions in fields such as history or archaeology; the "present" prize will be for contributions to public welfare or the environment; and the "future" prize for contributions in the broad field of science, including mathematics and social sciences.
Professor Rabinovich says the prize will be awarded to candidates whose work is of the highest standard, and who meet the criteria of the Nobel prize.
Henry Kissinger has agreed to be involved in setting up the foundation. It is expected that the first prizes will be awarded in 2002.
A number of other important academic prizes are awarded in Israel, such as the Harvey and Wolf prizes. The Harvey Prize consists of two awards of $35,000 annually in the fields of science and technology and human health. The Wolf Prize, set at $100,000, is granted annually to outstanding scientists and artists.