New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is the winner of the $1 million Genesis Prize, the so-called Jewish Nobel, according to a JTA report.
Kraft, 77, will be giving the money “to initiatives combatting anti-Semitism and other forms of prejudice as well as attempts to de-legitimize the State of Israel,” according to a statement.
“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,” said Stan Polovets, co-Founder and Chairman of The Genesis Prize Foundation.
The award honors individuals who serve “as an inspiration to the next generation of Jews through their outstanding professional achievement along with their commitment to Jewish values and the Jewish people.”
JTA reported that “over decades, the Kraft family has given more than half a billion dollars to causes including health care, education, the Jewish community, Christian organizations and local needs.”
With a net worth of $6.6 billion, Kraft is the 79th richest American, according to Forbes.
Kraft, who grew up in an observant Jewish home in Brookline, Massachusetts, is the chairman and CEO of Kraft Group, a holding company with assets in sports, manufacturing and real estate development.
He has been an outspoken supporter of Israel and has arranged trips for NFL Hall of Famers to the Holy Land.
“I am honored to receive the Genesis Prize and thank the Genesis Prize Foundation for its recognition and willingness to direct my prize money to such worthy causes,” said Kraft. “It is important that we continue to support organizations that focus on combatting prejudices by building bridges and uniting people of different backgrounds.”
“This award amplifies my ability to raise both awareness and additional funds to fight anti-Semitism, attempts to de-legitimize Israel and other forms of prejudices,” he added.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to present Kraft the award in Jerusalem in June
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