(JTA) — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft will receive an honorary doctorate from Yeshiva University.
Kraft, a noted philanthropist, also will deliver the keynote address at the New York Jewish school’s 85th commencement ceremony at Madison Square Garden in May, the university announced Thursday.
“Robert Kraft represents not only success in business, but is a true Jewish leader who embodies our values of kindness, goodness, generosity to the broader community and tremendous support for the State of Israel,” Richard Joel, president of the the flagship institution of modern Orthodoxy, said in a statement. “His success on and off the field, his profound humanity, his willingness to stand up for the Jewish people and Jewish causes make him an ideal role model for our students.”
The statement noted Kraft’s philanthropy of over $100 million to numerous institutions and organizations, many of them Jewish. He has donated to Boston’s Jewish federation, the Combined Jewish Philanthropies, as well as Brandeis University and Temple Emanuel in the Boston area, along with the World Jewish Congress, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces and many more Jewish entities. The Hillel chapter at Columbia University is named for Kraft and his late wife, Myra.
Kraft, 74, is the chairman and CEO of The Kraft Group, a holding company with assets in paper, packaging, real estate and sports teams.
Yeshiva’s statement notes that its past commencement speakers include Presidents Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Israeli President Shimon Peres, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.