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.”

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