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Legendary advocate for Freedom, Democracy and also Human legal rights Natan Sharansky awarded 2020 Genesis Prize

JERUSALEM, Dec. 9, 2019 / -- Today The Genesis Prize structure (GPF) announced Natan Sharansky, the legendary support for freedom, democracy and human rights, together the 2020 Genesis compensation Laureate. In selecting Sharansky native a list of 250 nominees, the choice Committee listed his particularly lifelong struggle for politics and spiritual freedoms, emphasizing the relevance of his work in today"s world.


"Natan Sharansky is among the great human rights supporters of our lifetime," claimed Stan Polovets, Co-founder and Chairman that The Genesis prize Foundation. "At great personal sacrifice, he battled for the rights and also dignity of all ethnicities, religions and nationalities. Today, together we witness autonomous principles being challenged and also human rights, in addition to freedoms the thought and expression, refuse to therefore many, Natan"s example is motivation to every those struggling for democracy. If this is specifically true in parts of the human being under authoritarian rule, even in democracies our freedoms cannot be taken for granted. Natan"s ideals and vision space as relevant today as they were in the 1980"s when he took on the totalitarian Soviet routine – and also won."

Sharansky is the single living non-US citizens to get both the Congressional yellow Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Mommy Teresa, Nelson Mandela, and also Pope john Paul II were the only other non-Americans to receive both honors.

The annual Genesis prize honors extraordinary individuals for your outstanding skilled achievement, contribution to humanity, and also commitment come Jewish values. In line v the tradition developed by previous recipients of the Prize, Sharansky has chosen to forgo the $1 million award, and also GPF will certainly donate the accumulation in his respect to nonprofit organizations to be selected at a future date.

Sharansky becomes the 8 hours Genesis prize honoree. Previous Genesis honorees include new York City Mayor and current us presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg (2014), and U.S. Can be fried Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (2018).

Michael Bloomberg said: "Congratulations come Natan Sharansky on winning this year"s Genesis Prize. After gift imprisoned in a Soviet gulag for practically a decade, the has committed his life come advancing and protecting person rights about the world. His values and also ethics, rooted deep in his Jewish faith, have actually served together his moral compass -- and his life has been a beacon to so plenty of who dream that freedom."

Tony Blair, former Prime Minister the the joined Kingdom, said: "Natan Sharansky is a hero, whose courage united people all end the globe in a search for freedom. That is a identified leader that made a significant contribution come the State that Israel, come the civilization who stayed in oppressed societies of the Soviet bloc nations, and to humankind as a whole. I congratulate Natan top top this prestigious global award."

Natan Sharansky first gained an international renown in the 1970s as a leader the the Soviet dissident movement, wherein he functioned alongside Nobel compensation Laureate Andrei Sakharov, demanding the the USSR live approximately its international human being rights obligations. Arrested for his challenge to the Soviet regime, he spent nine years incarcerated as a sinner of Conscience – much of the in solitary confinement –refusing come disavow his needs for respect of person rights for every oppressed human being of the Soviet Union.

Unbroken, Sharansky was released in 1986 adhering to an intense worldwide pressure campaign, spearheaded by his wife Avital. His release came to be the symbolic prelude come the unraveling that the communist regimes throughout the Soviet bloc in the late 1980"s.

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Since relocating to Israel, Sharansky continued his activist work and also emerged together an influential political thinker. The authored 3 best-selling books, make the instance for freedom, democracy and also human rights. Throughout his time in government –including as Deputy prime Minister – and as the head of the Jewish agency for Israel, Sharansky dealt with tirelessly for the legal rights of new immigrants, spiritual minorities, and also women. In ~ the helm that the Jewish Agency, he focused on repatriation that Jews come Israel, strengthening the links between Israel and worldwide Jewry, and also made an initiative to develop separate, egalitarian prayer an are near the west Wall.

Natan Sharansky said: "I to be humbled by this honor and thank the Genesis Prize structure for recognizing my job-related to promote democracy, preeminence of law, and human rights. Together my personal hero president Ronald Reagan said, flexibility is never an ext than one generation away from extinction. The is not passed to our children in the bloodstream. It should be combated for, protected, and also handed on for them to perform the same, or at some point we will spend our sunset years telling our children and also our children"s kids what it was once like to live when males were free."

Natan Sharansky will be honored at the Genesis compensation Ceremony in Jerusalem top top June 18, 2020.


The Genesis Prize is a an international award the celebrates Jewish accomplishment and donation to humanity. Released in 2013, the compensation is financed with a long-term endowment of $100 million created by The Genesis compensation Foundation.

Genesis prize laureates are favored through a comprehensive worldwide nominations process. The selection Committee, chaired by the head of the Jewish firm for Israel Isaac Herzog, selects a short list of potential laureates and makes a recommendation to the compensation Committee. The compensation Committee, chaired by justice Tova Strasberg-Cohen, decides on the last Laureate. 

Previous Genesis prize laureates space former brand-new York City mayor Michael Bloomberg; actor, producer and also peace activist Michael Douglas; virtuoso violinist and also advocate for people with impairment Itzhak Perlman; sculptor and also advocate because that the civil liberties of refugees sir Anish Kapoor; Oscar-winning actress and social activist Natalie Portman; and also owner of brand-new England Patriots and founder of the leading structure to combat anti-Semitism Robert Kraft. In 2018, the Genesis Prize foundation honored U.S. Can be fried Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg through its inaugural Lifetime accomplishment Award because that her donation to society justice and also equal rights.

All laureates have actually selected reasons that are crucial to them, and award funds in their honor have actually been donated to this causes. These campaigns have had support of society entrepreneurship based on Jewish values, inclusiveness the intermarried families in Jewish life, boosting the stays of individuals with one-of-a-kind needs, helping to alleviate the global refugee crisis, progressing women"s equality, and also combatting anti-Semitism and also efforts come delegitimize the State the Israel.