(April 8, 2020 / JNS) Human-rights activist Natan Sharansky, the winner of this year’s $1 million Genesis Prize award, has asked the Genesis Prize Foundation to donate the money to help organizations and individuals impacted by the coronavirus, the foundation announced on Monday.
Sharansky was named the recipient of the 2020 Genesis Prize in December in recognition of his “extraordinary lifelong struggle for human rights, political freedom and his service to the Jewish people and the State of Israel.”
The former Soviet prisoner and chairman of Israel’s Jewish Agency for Israel said in a video message released by the Genesis Prize Foundation on Monday that this Passover, as many families celebrate without their loved ones due to coronavirus-related lockdown orders, gives Jewish people “a great opportunity to feel connected.”
He discussed once having his Passover seder in a “punishing cell,” where he was served nothing but three pieces of dry bread and three cups of hot water per day.
He recalled, “I decided my three cups of water would be my wine, and my three pieces of dry bread would be my matzah. And my salt would be my maror.”
“And I found out that this is the great place to feel the unique struggle of the Jewish people—to be connected with every Jew in the world,” he added, “and to enjoy thinking that this year we are slaves and next year we are free people in Jerusalem.”
Sharansky urged people to “think about our great journey together and about new challenges which we face together, and that we will win together.”
Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision
One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.
JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.
During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.
Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.