The owner of the New England Patriots has formed a new partnership with Brandeis University to fight antisemitism.
The Robert Kraft Family-Brandeis Collaboration on Antisemitism will seek to address the recent rise of antisemitism, officials said in a statement Thursday.
”The rise of antisemitism and hate targeting Jews across the country is a threat to the Jewish community’s survival and needs strong leadership to combat,” Robert Kraft said in the statement. “Through our Foundation to Combat Antisemitism, we are working to find innovative ways to educate and empower Jews and non-Jews to stand up to Jewish hate. Brandeis is the right partner for this important work, as its founding values are based in a commitment to create a better world.”
Kraft founded the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism in 2019 after he received the Genesis Prize, a $1 million award given annually to Jewish people who have attained international renown in their professional field.
We are excited to announce a new partnership with @BrandeisU that will equip students, higher education leaders, and Jewish communal professionals with the knowledge, resources and tools to address hate against Jews and other communities! https://t.co/cL5w5Ho2rE— Foundation to Combat Antisemitism (@FCASorg) March 2, 2023
According to the Anti-Defamation League, antisemitism reached a high in the United States in 2021, with 2,717 incidents of assault, harassment, and vandalism reported to ADL. That was the highest number on record since the organization began tracking antisemitic incidents in 1979.
Brandeis President Ron Liebowitz said the university was grateful for the opportunity to establish the new partnership.
“Brandeis was founded by the American Jewish community nearly 75 years ago, in response to restrictive quotas placed on Jews in higher education,” Liebowitz said. “It has always been open to students of all backgrounds, and committed to the free exchange of ideas. For these reasons, the university has both an obligation and role to play in educating young people about the persistence of antisemitism and its impact on Jews and non-Jews alike.“
The initiative will include a student-focused fellowship program that will provide paid semester-based and yearlong fellowships to Brandeis undergraduates, graduate students, and recent alumni to work at the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism, “where they will develop skills in research, communications, community partnerships, and other strategies to combat antisemitism and engage diverse communities in addressing hate,” the statement said.
Brandeis will also host panel discussions, conferences, workshops, and a speaker series to address antisemitism at college campuses.
“The program will also engage K-12 administrators and provide them with resources to share with their teachers so they may teach more effectively about antisemitism and respond in a timely fashion to incidents in their classroom,” the statement said.