Robert Kraft receives international 'Jewish Nobel Prize' honor

Alex Reimer
January 09, 2019 - 11:22 am
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Robert Kraft can add an international honor to his mantle of Super Bowl trophies and other accomplishments. The Patriots’ owner was awarded Israel’s 2019 Genesis Prize Wednesday, otherwise known as the “Jewish Nobel Prize,” for his work combatting anti-Semitism and other forms of prejudice. The award is worth $1 million.

‘‘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,” Kraft said in a statement, per the Boston Globe. “It is important that we continue to support organizations that focus on combatting prejudices by building bridges and uniting people of different backgrounds.’”

Kraft, a longtime supporter of Israel, is one of the country’s most ardent philanthropic donors. The Kraft Sports Complex in Jerusalem includes Israel’s first full-sized football field and is spread over 25 acres of land. Kraft has also sponsored American football in Israel since it was launched in 1999, and there are now more than 2,000 players playing at various levels across the country.

Famously, Kraft regularly leads an NFL ambassador trip to Israel, bringing a brigade of Hall of Famers with him in 2017. 

There have been six recipients of the Genesis Prize. Last year’s winner, actress Natalie Portman, did not attend the ceremony, because she didn’t want to be seen appearing to endorse hard right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Prime Minister is expected to present Kraft with the award in June. The two are close. 

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