Education Minister Naftali Bennett announced on Sunday that the 2018 Israel Prize for immigration absorption and ingathering of the diaspora will be awarded to head of the Jewish Agency Natan Sheransky.
“Natan symbolizes the fulfillment of the Zionist dream,” wrote the minister, “from the darkness of the Soviet prison he was held in as a prisoner of Zion to the light of freedom as head of the Jewish Agency.”Sheransky was imprisoned by the USSR in 1978 for his struggle for Jewish life in the Soviet Union and the right of Jewish immigration to Israel. He was released in 1986.
His wife, Avital, immigrated to Israel prior to his arrest and fought during his time in prison for his release. Minister Bennet noted that Avital is a symbol “for Jewish sacrifice and heroism.”