Genesis Prize launches 'Speak Out For Israel' campaign

Genesis Prize Foundation to offer $1 million in grants to groups fighting anti-Semitism and working to tell the true story of Israel.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Robert Kraft
Robert Kraft
Eran Lam

Today The Genesis Prize Foundation (GPF) and the 2019 Genesis Prize Laureate Robert Kraft announced the launch of “Speak Out for Israel” – an international campaign designed to help combat the global rise of anti-Semitism and attempts to de-legitimize the Jewish State. Through this campaign, GPF and Kraft plan to award $1 million in grants to Israeli non-profit organizations capable of delivering an innovative response to this grave challenge.

“The 2019 Genesis Prize theme focuses on combatting global anti-Semitism and increasingly aggressive efforts to challenge the legitimacy of the State of Israel,” said Stan Polovets, Co-founder and Chairman of The Genesis Prize Foundation. “These grants are designed to help Israel’s non-profit sector stand up to this scourge by promoting a truthful, inspiring narrative of Israel to audiences around the world, countering Israel’s detractors with factual, positive messages of what the Jewish State truly represents. We invite other donors to join Robert Kraft and our Foundation in this effort.”

Recent surveys conducted by CNN and a number of respected polling agencies point to a strong resurgence in global anti-Semitism. They also indicate that a majority of respondents believe the steep rise in anti-Semitism to be a response to the actions of the State of Israel. About 20% of respondents believe it is a reaction to the daily activities of Jews (surveys by Eurobarometer, CNN and Fundamental Rights Agency – see additional information below).

“Speak out for Israel” grants will be awarded on a competitive basis to non-profit organizations that propose programs designed to tell the story of Israel by emphasizing such democratic values as tolerance and respect for the rights of minorities, as well as scientific, technological and cultural achievements. The programs shall aim to build cross-community bridges, dismantle stereotypes and educate both Jews and non-Jews alike about Israel.

“Israel is so special to me and my family,” said 2019 Genesis Prize laureate Robert Kraft. “It’s where I took the love of my life on our honeymoon in 1963. Since then, I have sponsored dozens of missions and countless other trips for people to experience Israel for the first time. Spiritually, there is no place like it on earth. The more people learn about its history, its diverse culture and its innovation, the more we can do to change stereotypes and end antisemitism. That’s why Speak Out for Israel is so timely and important to Israel’s future.”

Upon receiving the $1 million Genesis Prize in June in Jerusalem, Kraft not only committed to forgoing the monetary award and directing it towards projects combatting global anti-Semitism and efforts to de-legitimize Israel, but he also announced a $20 million personal donation to seed the creation of the Foundation to Combat Anti-Semitism (FCAS). Philanthropist Roman Abramovich added $5 million, and an anonymous donor committed an additional $5 million. In October 2019, noted Jewish scholar and communal leader Dr. Rachel Fish joined FCAS as its inaugural executive director.

Isaac (Bougie) Herzog, Chairman of the Genesis Prize Selection Committee and Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, said: “Over the past six years, The Genesis Prize Foundation has become a key channel for shining a light on important social problems and fostering positive change in Israel and abroad. This year, it is important that we combat hostility toward the Jewish State by showcasing what Israel has to offer the world. I thank GPF and Robert Kraft for jointly taking an active role in this effort. ”

Since 2014, grants in honor of Genesis Prize laureates have supported more than 130 NGOs in 16 countries including Israel, the US, and the UK. These organizations work in various fields, including social entrepreneurship based on Jewish values, engaging intermarried families in Jewish life, improving the lives of individuals with special needs, helping to alleviate the global refugee crisis, and promoting gender equality.

In 2018, more than 250 non-profit organizations in the United States and Israel applied for Genesis Prize women’s empowerment grants in honor of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 2018 Genesis Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree. Fifty-one organizations received – including matching funds – a total of $3.5 million.