The Genesis Prize Foundation (GPF) has announced the names of the 15 recipients of this year’s Genesis Prize grants. The majority of the funding for the grants came from the $1 million Genesis Prize, which was awarded to human rights activist Natan Sharansky last December. Sharansky chose to direct these funds to organizations fighting the coronavirus pandemic and supporting individuals most affected by it.

Israeli philanthropist and chairman of SpaceIL lunar mission Morris Kahn, contributed additional funds.

Most of the grants in Israel will be administered by Matan-United Way.

In Israel, grants will fund nine organizations working to help the vulnerable and advance medical and scientific innovation. These include:

  • 1221 Assistance for all, an emergency response service in Jerusalem helping both Jews and non-Jews affected by the coronavirus epidemic – an alliance of United Hatzalah, Lev Echad, and Israel Association of Community Centers;
  • Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, which will utilize the grant to hire additional staff as it works to mitigate a 40% increase in domestic violence during the lockdown;
  • ALEH Negev, supporting the most isolated and vulnerable populations on the country’s periphery, including children with severe disabilities; additional staff will be hired to replace volunteers unable to work due to coronavirus;
  • TEREM Public Clinic, providing medical services to the residents of South Tel Aviv, many of whom are not covered by government medical plans;
  • Enosh Israeli Mental Health Organization, to hire additional professionals speaking Russian, Amharit, English and Arabic to respond to the increased mental health caseload;
  • Migdal Ohr, supporting high-risk Israeli prisoners sent home to reduce crowding in Israeli prisons because of coronavirus;
  • Two projects in partnership with the Jewish Agency for Israel – through volunteer service by young adults at Machon Shlichim working with the elderly and at-risk youth hit by coronavirus, and by funding interest-free loans for struggling Israeli NGOs through Ogen;
  • The Weizmann Institute which will use the grant to fund research to develop the COVID-19 vaccine. Beyond Israel, Genesis Prize grants will support projects in eight countries, including:

Beyond Israel, Genesis Prize grants will support projects in eight countries, including:

United States: Funding research at Columbia University Irving Medical Center to mitigate medical complications of coronavirus and a competition for students at New York University Tandon School of Engineering to solve physical challenges presented by COVID-19; supporting the Hebrew Free Loan Fund of NY to help with the overwhelming increase in requests for loans due to coronavirus-related financial hardships, including lay-offs;

UK: Providing protective equipment to staff engaged in supporting the isolated and impoverished elderly with visitation and hospice care (grantee: Jewish Care).