A Super Bowl win, solicitation-of-prostitution case, and the so-called “Jewish Nobel Prize”? 2019 is shaping up to be quite the year for Robert Kraft. The New England Patriots owner is expected to receive VIP treatment when he arrives in Israel next week to be awarded the Genesis Prize, a $1-million annual honor given to individuals who have made a positive impact while adhering to Jewish values.
Kraft, who has pleaded not-guilty in a case alleging his solicitation of a prostitute, will have lunch with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and deliver the keynote address at the Genesis award ceremony, the Associated Press reports. He is also expected to be accompanied by nearly 60 former and current NFL players during the visit and will attend a welcome reception at the U.S. Ambassador to Israel's seaside residence.
Committee members chose the football team owner as the awardee one month before Florida authorities announced they were charging Kraft in the prostitution case. Kraft’s visit comes one year after last year’s winner Natalie Portman refused to attend the ceremony, with a representative saying the actress “does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel.”