Fighting the Coronavirus Pandemic
2020 Philanthropic Theme
Laureate: Natan Sharansky
The selection of Natan Sharansky as the 2020 Genesis Prize Laureate coincided with the onset of the worst global pandemic in a century. Moved to act in the face of such a crisis, Mr. Sharansky asked The Genesis Prize Foundation to direct his $1 million award to organizations combating coronavirus and helping the most vulnerable adversely affected by the pandemic.
The grants supported 15 organizations across 9 countries working in the humanitarian, social, scientific, and medical fields to help those impacted by the pandemic and advance recovery efforts.
The grant recipients included:
- 1221 Assistance for All (Israel)
- Association of Rape Crisis Centers of Israel (Israel)
- ALEH Negev (Israel)
- Columbia University Irving Medical Center (United States)
- Enosh Israeli Mental Health Organization (Israel)
- Hebrew Free Loan Society (United States)
- Hillel International (Ukraine and Belarus)
- Jewish Care (United Kingdom)
- Machon Shlichim (through the Jewish Agency) (Israel)
- Migdal Ohr (Israel)
- Moishe House (Italy, France, Russia, and Spain)
- New York University Tandon School of Engineering (United States)
- Ogen (through the Jewish Agency) (Israel)
- TEREM Public Clinic (Israel)
- The Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel)
When Mr. Sharansky announced the grants, he said:
“Many people of good will around the world have given generously to help organizations and individuals who have been devastated by COVID-19; I am grateful to have the opportunity to contribute to this humanitarian effort.
Throughout the long history of the Jewish people, our ability to come together as one during the times of crisis – to unite and help each other – gave us strength to persevere and face the future with hope and confidence. That’s why I cannot think of a better way to use the Genesis Prize money than to fund those who are fighting the coronavirus epidemic, both in Israel and around the world.”
In addition, Mr. Sharansky initiated a competition recognizing Israeli high-tech companies working to combat coronavirus and mitigate the potential damage of future pandemics. The Genesis Prize Foundation, assisted by Start-Up Nation Central and Matan-United Way, awarded prizes to 10 Israeli businesses, each of which donated their prize funds to an Israeli NGO of their choice.