Robert Kraft, New England Patriots owner, wins 2019 Genesis Prize

Kraft has chosen to forgo the $1 million award so that funds can be granted, in his honor, to initiatives combating antisemitism.

By ALAN ROSENBAUM
January 9, 2019 10:15
1 minute read.
Robert Kraft, New England Patriots owner, wins 2019 Genesis Prize

. (photo credit: DAVID SILVERMAN)

 
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The Genesis Prize Foundation has announced prominent American philanthropist and owner of the New England Patriots football team, Robert Kraft, as the 2019 Genesis Prize Laureate.

In a statement released Tuesday, the foundation said that Kraft has chosen to contribute the $1m. award to initiatives combating antisemitism and other forms of prejudice, as well as attempts to delegitimize Israel.

“I am honored to receive the Genesis Prize, and thank the foundation for its willingness to direct my prize monies to such worthy causes,” said Kraft.

Kraft has long been a supporter of Israel and has been instrumental in establishing an American football presence in the country by funding the Kraft Stadium in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to present the award to Kraft at a gala ceremony in Jerusalem in June.

“I applaud Robert Kraft’s decision to focus his energies and the Genesis Prize award funds on combating antisemitism, the de-legitimization of Israel and racially motivated hate crimes,” said Isaac Herzog, head of the Genesis Prize Selection Committee and chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel. “The rising tide of antisemitism is a threat not only to Jews, but to the very fabric of any democratic society where it is allowed to take place.”

Stan Polovets, co-founder and chairman of the Genesis Prize Foundation, said Kraft was a worthy successor to last year’s Genesis laureate US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

“I cannot think of a more worthy laureate to follow US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whom we honored last July. Like Ginsburg, Kraft has spent most of his life advocating for a more just society, tolerance and inclusiveness. He is one of the world’s most generous philanthropists whose charitable giving reflects the Jewish value of tikkun olam – repairing the world.”

Polovets added: “Our foundation looks forward to working with Robert and leveraging the power of sports to combat antisemitism and other forms of hate and prejudice.”

The Genesis Prize, dubbed the “Jewish Nobel” by Time Magazine, honors extraordinary individuals for their outstanding professional achievement, contribution to humanity, and commitment to Jewish values and Israel.

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