Robert Kraft
Robert Kraft Eran Lamm

Today The Genesis Prize Foundation (GPF) announced the recipients of grants in honor of Robert Kraft, 2019 Genesis Prize Laureate. Twenty-six Israeli and international non-profit organizations will receive funding as part of Speak Out for Israel, a global campaign to promote a true narrative of Israel and counteract efforts to delegitimize the Jewish State.

Funding for the grants comes from the $1 million Genesis Prize, awarded to American philanthropist and owner of the New England Patriots football team Robert Kraft. The annual Genesis Prize, dubbed the “Jewish Nobel” by TIME Magazine, honors extraordinary individuals for their outstanding professional achievement, contribution to humanity, and commitment to Jewish values and the State of Israel.

Upon receiving the Genesis Prize, Robert Kraft committed to forgoing the monetary award and directing it towards projects combating anti-Semitism and delegitimization of Israel. During his acceptance speech in June 2019, Kraft also announced a $20 million personal donation to seed the creation of the new Foundation to Combat Anti-Semitism.

Kraft and GPF were joined by Concert-Together for Israel Ltd., a funding platform supporting the pro-Israel community of non-profit organizations who are dedicated to promoting a positive perception of Israel. Concert, which made a major donation to the grant pool, is a partnership between the State of Israel and pro-Israel groups around the world. It is funded by a group of various independent philanthropists from around the world and matched by the Government of Israel.

Robert Kraft said: “When I received the Genesis Prize in Jerusalem last year I made a public commitment to double my efforts against harmful worldwide attempts to delegitimize Israel. The coronavirus crisis of 2020 dictated new priorities and refocused much of the current philanthropy on urgent aid, and I was happy to be able to do my part,” noted Kraft, who flew his Boeing-767 Patriots team plane to China to retrieve 1.2 million respirator masks, which were delivered to Boston and New York in April. “But we must also honor our commitments and stay true to our long-term aspirations. Anti-Semitism and anti-Israel discourse are not going away, and in many cases, are on the rise. I am confident that the organizations receiving Genesis Prize grants will be highly effective in this battle against hatred.”

“Speak Out for Israel is a multi-pronged campaign to inject additional intellectual, financial and creative resources in the ongoing efforts to deliver a truthful narrative of Israel to the world at this crucial time,” said Co-founder and Chairman of The Genesis Prize Foundation Stan Polovets. “Grants announced today will support and strengthen the vast ecosystem of pro-Israel organizations that engage, educate and influence audiences around the world. Their messages focus on democracy and tolerance as key attributes of modern Israel, as well as countless advances in science, technology, arts and culture. There are many outstanding organizations working in this field and we are pleased to invest in further enhancing their capacity.”

As part of the Speak Out for Israel initiative, NGOs will execute advocacy and awareness campaigns to engage international audiences, including officials and diplomats, legislators, reporters, activists, students, members of the academia and the arts community. Grantee organizations will expand their work with Jews in the Diaspora, volunteers in developing countries, and engagement with communities prone to anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish bias.

Many of the grantee organizations have adapted their strategies to respond to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and the spike in anti-Semitic sentiment that accompanies it.

Projects and organizations set to receive funding include:

  • Stand with Us, a popular fellowship program training highly capable brand ambassadors for Israel;
  • Jerusalem Press Club and the Honest Reporting project by Media Central, which work with foreign reporters and media outlets in Israel and beyond to promote better-informed coverage;
  • Initiatives such as Heroes for Life and Innovation Africa, which recruit Israelis who volunteer to travel and work around the world, including underdeveloped communities in Africa, Central and South America to promote education, health and infrastructure in the context of Jewish values;
  • ADL Israel, American Jewish Committee, ELNET, United with Israel, which will engage diplomats, policymakers, legislators and high-level influencers in conversations about multiculturalism and democracy in Israel, as well as anti-Semitism and delegitimization of the Jewish State;
  • Creative Community for Peace and Music Port, which work to promote understanding of Israeli culture and its links with the global creative community – as members of the entertainment industry are being targeted by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement;
  • Startup Nation Central Innovation Discovery Platform and Taglit’s Center for Israeli Innovation, which provide information to global Jewish and non-Jewish audiences highlighting the many contributions of Israel’s high tech sector.

Organizations will operate in Israel and other parts of the world, including Europe, Africa, North and South America.

Organizations were selected following a competition launched in November 2019 and administered by Matan-United Way Israel.

“We are happy to join forces with The Genesis Prize Foundation and Robert Kraft in supporting the network which works to dispel disinformation, stereotypes and prejudice about Israel and the Jewish people, and to better inform the world about the true story of Israel,” said Micah Avni, Chairman of the Board of Concert.

“Israel’s story is as multifaceted as the mosaic of our people,” said Isaac Herzog, Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel. “Speak Out for Israel is helping give voice to the rich variety of these stories and building Israel awareness among important sectors around the world. I’m delighted to continue our partnership with The Genesis Prize and this timely initiative.”

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