Natan Sharansky, 2020 Genesis Prize Laureate

On December 10, 2019, The Genesis Prize Foundation announced Natan Sharansky, the legendary advocate for freedom, democracy, and human rights, as the 2020 Genesis Prize Laureate.

Mr. Sharansky was recognized for his extraordinary personal courage and lifelong advocacy for political and religious freedoms.

Mr. Sharansky asked The Genesis Prize Foundation to direct his $1 million award to organizations helping the most vulnerable impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Natan Sharansky, 2020 Genesis Prize Laureate

“I am humbled by this honor and thank the Genesis Prize Foundation for recognizing my work to promote democracy, rule of law, and human rights. As my personal hero President Ronald Reagan said, freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not passed to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like to live when men were free.”

Michael Bloomberg, Inaugural Genesis Prize Laureate

“Congratulations to Natan Sharansky on winning this year's Genesis Prize. After being imprisoned in a Soviet gulag for nearly a decade, he has devoted his life to advancing and protecting human rights around the world. His values and ethics, rooted deeply in his Jewish faith, have served as his moral compass -- and his life has been a beacon to so many who dream of freedom.”

Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

“Natan Sharansky is a hero, whose courage united people all over the globe in a quest for freedom. He is a distinguished leader who made a significant contribution to the State of Israel, to the people who lived in oppressed societies of the Soviet bloc nations, and to humanity as a whole. I congratulate Natan on this prestigious global award.”

Isaac Herzog, Chairman of the Executive, Jewish Agency for Israel

“Natan Sharansky is a true Jewish hero and an outstanding human being. A symbol of the Jewish quest for freedom, he has made a great contribution to strengthening the Jewish State, Jewish identity, and Israel’s bond with global Jewry. I congratulate my friend Natan on this prestigious global Jewish award. It rightfully complements the Israel Prize, the state’s highest honor awarded to Natan in 2018.”

Stan Polovets, Co-Founder and Chairman, The Genesis Prize Foundation

“Natan Sharansky is one of the great human rights advocates of our lifetime. At great personal sacrifice, he fought for the rights and dignity of all ethnicities, religions and nationalities. Today, as we witness democratic principles being challenged and human rights, along with freedoms of thought and expression, denied to so many, Natan’s example is an inspiration to all those struggling for democracy. While this is particularly true in parts of the world under authoritarian rule, even in democracies our freedoms cannot be taken for granted. Natan’s ideals and vision are as relevant today as they were in the 1980’s when he took on the totalitarian Soviet regime – and won.”