While the New England Patriots are currently preparing for their quest to recapture the Super Bowl, their owner has been awarded another prestigious trophy: as first reported by the Associated Press, Robert Kraft will be given the 2019 Genesis Prize. The state of Israel hands out the award that is donated at $1.0 million once a year to recognize a person’s philanthropy and commitment to fighting anti-Semitism.
“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, who will donate it to causes combatting anti-Semitism, according to the AP. “It is important that we continue to support organizations that focus on combatting prejudices by building bridges and uniting people of different backgrounds.”
Seeing Kraft receive the so-called “Jewish Nobel Prize” is no surprise: the 77-year old has been an active supporter of Israel and in the past has arranged trips for NFL players to the country. He also invested considerable money in the country to further the growth of football: not only has he supported the sport since it was first launched in the country in the late 1990s, he also dedicated the Kraft Sports Complex in Jerusalem in 2017.
“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 of the Genesis Prize Foundation. “Our foundation looks forward to working with Robert and leveraging the power of sports to combat anti-Semitism and other forms of hate and prejudice.”
The Genesis Prize itself was inaugurated in 2014, which makes Kraft just its sixth recipient. The previous winners are actress Natalie Portman, former mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg, actor Michael Douglas, violinist Itzhak Perlman and sculptor Anish Kapoor. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, meanwhile, has been handed the foundation’s lifetime achievement award.
Kraft is scheduled to receive the prize itself in June.