Robert Kraft donates $1 million for college programs to strengthen Black-Jewish ties

Grant to United Negro College Fund will support programs for students, communal leaders

Robert Kraft donated $1 million to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) to support a variety of Black-Jewish partnership programs at historically Black colleges and universities, the organization announced on Thursday.

The donation comes as Kraft, through his Foundation to Combat Antisemitism and in his capacity as owner of the New England Patriots, has stepped up his efforts to bring together the country’s Black and Jewish communities. In February, he spent an estimated $7 million for a Super Bowl commercial featuring civil rights activist Clarence Jones to raise awareness of both rising antisemitism and racism in the United States.

“I am honored to support UNCF in their mission to combat hate and promote unity,” Kraft said in a statement. “It is crucial that we come together as a society to address the root causes of hate and prejudice. By investing in education and awareness programs, we can empower individuals to stand up against hate and create a more inclusive future for all.”

The $1 million grant will go toward a UNCF-led initiative that will promote “fellowship and social justice leadership” among Black and Jewish students, as well as strengthen the partnership between the leaders of the Black and Jewish communities, the college fund said. 

This will include organizing “unity dinners” for Black and Jewish students where they can learn about “their shared history of struggle for social justice in America,” UNCF said.

The donation was announced at the recent meeting of UNCF’s board of directors.  

“This donation will enable us to develop innovative programs and resources that will empower our students to be agents of change in their communities,” Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF, said in a statement. “Together, we can work toward a future where mutual respect, understanding and love eliminate all hate.”

UNCF Board Chair Milton H. Jones, Jr. said Kraft’s donation “also inspires others to join the fight.”