Roman Abramovich, the billionaire owner of Chelsea Football Club, has pledged $5 million for a new foundation set up by U.S. businessman Robert Kraft to combat anti-Semitism. Kraft announced the launch of the organization as he accepted the prestigious Genesis Prize in Jerusalem on Thursday.
Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, has assigned $20 million toward the foundation and Abramovich is one of two other individuals each donating $5million, bringing the foundation’s total budget to $30 million to combat anti-Jewish hate online.
The Russian billionaire oligarch has poured half a billion dollars into Jewish communities in Russia, Israel, and other countries around the world over the past 20 years. Abramovich recently gifted $5 million to the Jewish Agency for Israel to support efforts in combating anti-Semitism on a global scale.
In January, the Genesis Prize Foundation announced that Kraft would be this year’s recipient of the $1 million award, known as the “Jewish Nobel,” for his outstanding contribution to humanity, and commitment to Jewish values and Israel.
Previous winners of the prize include artist Anish Kapoor, violinist Itzhak Perlman, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and actor-director Michael Douglas. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award last year.
Kraft said at the ceremony in Jerusalem that his goal was to raise $50 million for the Foundation for Social Media Messaging Against Antisemitism, which will target those aged 18 to 35 who are “most impacted by what they see on social media.”
He said: “In combating the scourge of antisemitism, my solemn ambition is to counter all forms of intolerance in the spirit of the ancient Jewish value of tikkun olam – to heal and repair the world.”