The Genesis Prize Selection Committee departed from the usual custom of awarding the prize to a single Jewish individual and instead announced a collective award — given the extraordinary circumstances of the war in Ukraine and the humanitarian response of the global Jewish community.
“The past eleven months have been unlike any previous period in the 10-year history of the Genesis Prize, with war, destruction, and human suffering on a scale unseen since World War II. But there has also been human kindness, compassion, and activism on an unprecedented scale,” said Stan Polovets, Chairman/Founder of the Genesis Prize Foundation, and Trustee Natan Sharansky in a January 11 statement. “Across the world, thousands of individuals and organizations were moved to action – making a moral choice to volunteer, donate money, shelter refugees, and engage in political advocacy.”
When the bombs first dropped on Ukraine, Hadassah, the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) and Hadassah International joined forces to get the first hospital shipment of humanitarian supplies to refugees. Over the next few months, Hadassah sent 15 medical delegations to help Ukrainians, bringing HMO expertise on mass casualties and trauma response where it was desperately needed. We set up and ran medical clinics on the Ukraine/Poland border, and collaborated with the World Health Organization, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières, and others to treat over 35,000 Ukrainian refugees. In Israel, over 50 young refugees were given a new home at our Youth Aliyah villages.
“As an organization committed to healing, we are so grateful to everyone who made this work possible, including the generous donors who together raised nearly $1.7 million to make Hadassah’s humanitarian efforts possible and the volunteers, medical professionals and staff who helped bring these efforts to life,” said Hadassah National President Rhoda Smolow, CEO Naomi Adler, and Hadassah International Executive Director Jorge Diener. “Our Jewish values tell us that when there is a crisis and we can make an impact we need to act — and act we did. We thank the Genesis Prize for taking this opportunity to recognize the humanitarian efforts of the Jewish community.”