Patriots owner Robert Kraft has been named the winner of the 2019 Genesis Prize, The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.
Kraft has said that he will forgo the $1 million in money that accompanies the prize. He asked that the money be donated in his honor to programs that fight anti-Semitism and efforts to delegitimize Israel.
The prize, which has been called the “Jewish Nobel” by Time magazine, is to be awarded to Kraft in June by Israel’s prime minister at a gala ceremony.
Isaac Herzog, who heads the Genesis Prize Selection Committee and is also Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, said, “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. 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.”
“I am honored to receive the Genesis Prize and thank the Foundation for its willingness to direct my prize monies to such worthy causes,” Kraft said. “This award amplifies my ability to raise both awareness and additional funds to fight antisemitism, attempts to de-legitimize Israel and other forms of prejudices.”
Kraft is the seventh winner of the award, following United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award; former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg; actor Michael Douglas; violinist Itzhak Perlman; sculptor Anish Kapoor; and actress Natalie Portman.
Over the years, Kraft has supported many initiatives in Israel and worked to promote the Jewish State.
In June 2017, he brought a delegation of football Hall of Famers to Israel.
“It is so special to bring the best of the best to ever play my favorite sport to my favorite country in the world,” Kraft told the Post at the time. “In almost 100 years of the NFL, I don’t believe a group of this caliber has ever come together outside of the US, and I am very proud to be able to put this trip together.”
Earlier that year, Kraft donated $6 million to build the first regulation-sized American football stadium in Israel.
In two notable instances, Kraft paid tribute to victims of terror.
In November 2015, the New England Patriots honored American terror victim Ezra Schwartz with a moment of silence before their Monday Night Football game against the Buffalo Bills yesterday. Schwartz was an 18-year-old student and lifelong Patriots fan from the Boston area, who was killed by a Palestinian terrorist a week earlier.
In 2014, after American IDF soldier Max Steinberg was killed fighting against Hamas, Kraft sent a letter to Steinberg’s parents, writing, “I have taken the liberty of reaching out to you since I noticed him wearing a New England Patriots cap in one of the broadcasted photos. He represents the consummate patriot and I am forever grateful for the sacrifices he made to keep our beloved Israel safe.”
[Photo: Goldman Sachs / YouTube ]