New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft faced the camera during a video call, pointing to a small, sky-blue lapel pin on his blazer.
The pin symbolizes a $25 million “Stand Up to Jewish Hate” campaign launched Monday by the 81-year-old billionaire through his Foundation to Combat Antisemitism, aiming to raise awareness nationwide about soaring incidents of antisemitism online and in person.
The campaign will feature emotive ads to be introduced by stars of top television shows such as NBC’s “The Voice,” the “Kelly Clarkson Show,” and Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.”
According to Kraft, who was reared in an observant Orthodox family in Brookline, Massachusetts, “this little blue square depicts the Jewish population in the United States – 2.4%.”
But we account for 55% of all hate crimes committed in this nation.
According to Matthew Berger, the nonprofit’s executive director, the advertisements are meant to touch non-Jewish Americans’ emotions.
In one of the commercials, which will debut on Monday, a non-Jewish neighbor covers a garage door that has been defaced with the Nazi swastika and the phrase “No Jews,” closing with the phrase “Hate only wins if you let it.”
Another advertisement highlights internet prejudice: A Jewish teen is depicted dejectedly being harassed after posting a video of his bar mitzvah.
Soon after, he notices a Harlem choir tagging him with their rendition of his worship song. Once the phrase “Voices of support are louder than words of hate” appears on the screen, he joins in with the choir in singing.
The ads will be shown during the NFL draft, the NBA and NHL playoffs, as well as on social media, promoted by well-known influencers, according to Berger, who added that the foundation collaborated with its creative team to find scenarios “that would be specifically impactful and showcase what antisemitism looks like.”
Jews were the most frequently targeted religious group in the United States in 2022 in 21 major cities, making up 78% of all religious hate crimes, according to research released last week by the California State University, San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.
The center’s director, Brian Levin, expressed his alarm over outright antisemitism in public as well as the rise of antisemitic tropes and conspiracy theories online.
He claimed that a campaign against antisemitism that enlists the participation of non-Jews could benefit in raising awareness.
Showing that antisemitism is un-American is crucial, according to Levin. It might be effective if we could portray non-Jews as allies.
To encourage people to speak out against antisemitism, Kraft’s foundation broadcast a 30-second commercial during a Patriots-Jets game in October.
After the music tycoon formerly known as Kanye West made antisemitic remarks and basketball player Kyrie Irving appeared to support an antisemitic movie, that advertisement was released.
According to Kraft, “the growth of antisemitism is the actual disintegration of what this civilization is built on.” “I have never witnessed how things are now with this hostility for Jews in my lifetime.”
After receiving the $1 million Genesis Award, which is given to Jews who have achieved considerable professional success and are dedicated to Jewish ideals, Kraft started the foundation the following year.
The Jewish Agency for Israel and the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office collaborate with the Genesis Foundation to present the yearly prize.
Kraft has seen much turmoil in his personal and business lives during the last ten years.
“You can make friends of your enemies by dialogue, education”: @Patriots CEO Robert Kraft is embracing teamwork in a new way — by investing $25 million in his foundation @FCASorg’s #StandUpToJewishHate campaign, asking all Americans to say “no” to antisemitism. pic.twitter.com/A8lXyq7KcN
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) March 27, 2023