(October 7, 2019 / JNS) Robert Kraft, chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group and owner of the New England Patriots football team, announced on Oct. 6 the hiring of Rachel Fish as the founding executive director of the Foundation to Combat Anti-Semitism.
Beginning her new position on Monday, she is tasked with catalyzing new solutions to prevent the age-old hatred of anti-Semitism, advanced by those who seek the elimination of the Jewish people and the world’s only Jewish state.
Kraft announced the new foundation as he was awarded the Genesis Prize in June 2019 in Jerusalem, supported by his own $20 million founding investment and the generous donations of others.
The foundation was initiated in response to the growing rise in anti-Semitism in America and abroad, “particularly in light of the spread of hateful rhetoric online and the initiation of hate crimes against the Jewish people through social media,” according to the organization.
Kraft expressed his excitement and confidence in Fish, who he said “is equipped to face the growing epidemic of anti-Semitism with tenacity and a proven track record of progress through a lifetime of work in this arena.”
In addition to her relevant academic degrees from George Washington University, Harvard University and Brandeis University, Fish was a professor at Brandeis, Harvard and UMass Amherst, teaching Israel studies and Jewish education.
As executive director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis, she initiated educational workshops about the modern nation-state of Israel for public school high school educators. Most recently, Fish was a senior adviser and resident scholar of Jewish/Israel Philanthropy at the Paul E. Singer Foundation in New York City.
She has twice been named to the “Forward Fifty,” a list of the 50 most influential American Jewish leaders, and is co-editor of the book Essential Israel: Essays for the Twenty-First Century.
“It is an honor to work with the Kraft family, and I am both humbled by and eager for this opportunity,” she said. “My entire life I’ve sought to educate against ignorance and fight hatred, and this role is the culmination of academic pursuits and advocacy efforts. We live in a time in which we imagined the horrors of anti-Semitism would no longer persist, yet it does. It is incumbent upon all of us to fight anti-Semitism and educate our communities so as to eradicate hatred towards Judaism, the Jewish people and the Jewish state.”
As executive director, Fish is responsible for strategic vision and planning, fundraising and leading the operations of the foundation. She will also be tasked with hiring and managing the foundation’s staff, which will specialize in social media, education and effective response to anti-Semitic incidents and rhetoric.
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