A Historic Evening with Natan Sharansky


Natan Sharansky was born in Donetsk, Ukraine. He was a spokesman for the human rights movement, a Prisoner of Zion and leader in the struggle for the right of Soviet Jews to immigrate to Israel. Subsequent to his request to make aliya, Mr. Sharansky  was  arrested  on  trumped  up  charges  of  treason  and espionage. He was  convicted in a  Soviet court  and served  nine years in the Gulag with  many  stretches  in  a  punishing  cell.    

Following  massive  public campaigns by the State of Israel, World Jewry and leaders of the free world, Mr. Sharansky was released in 1986, making aliya on the very day of his release.  In his first few years in Israel, Mr. Sharansky established the Zionist Forum to assist Soviet olim in their absorption in Israel. In the 1990's, he established the Yisrael B'Aliyah party in order to accelerate the integration of Russian Jews. He served in  four successive Israeli governments, as Minister  and Deputy  Prime Minister.  In 2018 he received the highest Israeli award - the Israel Prize for promoting Aliyah and the ingathering of the exiles. 

Mr. Sharansky is the recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1986 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006. He is the only living non-American citizen who is the recipient of these two highest American awards. 2009-2018 Natan Sharansky served as Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for  Israel. After  retirement  from  the  Jewish  Agency, he  continues  to serve as Chairman of the Shlihut Institute, which he founded. In July 2019 Mr. Natan Sharansky became Chair of ISGAP (The Institute for the  Study  of  Global  Antisemitism  and  Policy).  From  2022  Natan  chairs  the Advisory Board of CAM – Combat Antisemitism Movement. Mr. Sharansky is also the author of four books:  -  Fear No Evil -  The Case for Democracy -  Defending Identity  -  Never Alone: Prison, Politics and My People.