Robert Kraft earned quite the prestigious recognition Wednesday.
The New England Patriots owner was awarded Israel's 2019 Genesis Prize for his philanthropy and commitment to combating anti-Semitism, the Genesis Prize Foundation announced Wednesday.
Referred to as the Jewish equivalent of the Nobel Prize, the Genesis Prize "honors extraordinary individuals for their outstanding professional achievement, contribution to humanity, and commitment to Jewish values and Israel."
Past honorees include former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and last year's winner, actress Natalie Portman.
Kraft received a $1 million award but will have the money donated to "initiatives combating anti-Semitism and other forms of prejudice as well as attempts to de-legitimize the State of Israel," according to the Genesis Prize's press release. He will accept the award during a ceremony in Jerusalem in June.
Kraft, a Brookline, Mass., native, long has supported Israel, frequently leading Patriots players and Football Hall of Famers on trips to the Middle Eastern nation. More recently, he has focused philanthropic efforts on fighting anti-Semitism in the United States, which came to a head in October when 11 Jewish congregants were killed at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
Shortly after that attack, Kraft revealed plans for an exhibition soccer match between the New England Revolution (which his family also owns) and Chelsea FC at Gillette Stadium in May, with all proceeds and an additional $1 million donation from Kraft going to initiatives that work to combat 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," Kraft said in a statement. "It is important that we continue to support organizations that focus on combating prejudices by building bridges and uniting people of different backgrounds."
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