US businessman Robert Kraft wins 2019 Genesis Prize and vows to use prize money to tackle antisemitism
American businessman Robert Kraft has been announced as the winner of the Genesis Prize, and will use the $1m winnings to help to tackle the rise of anti-Semitism across the US and Europe.
The prize, dubbed the “Jewish Nobel Prize” by Time magazine, is awarded to individuals for outstanding professional achievement, contribution to humanity and commitment to Jewish values and Israel.
Kraft, the chief executive and founder of Kraft Group, will be awarded the seventh Genesis Prize by the Prime Minister of Israel at a ceremony in June.
Isaac Herzog, head of the Genesis Prize selection committee and 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 anti-Semitism, the de-legitimisation of Israel, and racially-motivated hate crimes.
“The rising tide of anti-Semitism is a threat not only to Jews, but to the very fabric of any democratic society where it is allowed to take place. We cannot be blind to history’s lessons. The time to act is now.”
“I am honoured to receive the Genesis Prize and thank The Genesis Prize Foundation for its recognition and willingness to direct my prize monies to such worthy causes,” Kraft added.
“This award amplifies my ability to raise both awareness and additional funds to fight anti-Semitism, attempts to de-legitimise Israel and other forms of prejudices. It is important that we continue to support organisations that focus on combating prejudices by building bridges and uniting people of different backgrounds.”
Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots American football team, will host a charity football game between Chelsea Football Club and the New England Revolution in May with all proceeds from the match donated to anti-prejudice initiatives. Kraft will also make a $1m personal donation.
Previous winners include US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, actor Michael Douglas, musician Itzhak Perlman, sculptor Anish Kapoor and actress Natalie Portman.