During an emotional ceremony in which he came close to tears Michael Douglas accepted a special prize in Israel. With his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones looking on proudly, the Wall Street star picked up the Genesis award, equivalent to a Nobel prize in the Jewish world.
Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones with their children Dylan and Carys
Having weathered many storms in 15 years of marriage, the power couple seem stronger than ever, making the occasion was as much a celebration of family unity. In attendance too were their two beautiful young children: Dylan, 14, who has inherited the distinctive Douglas cleft chin and Carys, 13, who takes after her mother for elegance.
In an interview with the AP Michael touched on their renewed happiness following a separation in 2013. "Catherine is wonderful," the actor said, during the trip in which they visited the Wailing Wall and were received by Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu. "Our kids are here, and we're having a fantastic time. Life is good."
Dylan's decision to have a bar mitzvah was an inspiration to his father
The Oscar-winning actor's speech was full of references to the way in which his family have inspired him. He pointed out that Dylan's decision to have a bar mitzvah had been particularly important. "It made me think and it made me strong. And for that I will always be grateful," he said to applause, while his teenage son appeared to choke up.
He said he was "touched" by the spirituality of his father Kirk Douglas who had recorded a video message for the event.The veteran star chose to have his own bar mitzvah aged 83 after surviving a serious plane crash and a life-threatening stroke.
Michael added that Carys will soon have her bat mitzvah, the female version of the coming of age ceremony.
The youngster becomes emotional as Michael talks about his son's courage
The high point of the speech came when he declared: "I am a Jew. Those are four words of pride. My Jewishness is as deep as my genes.”
The prize was set up in 2014 to honour individuals who have attained excellence in their field and can be role models for a new generation of Jews.