July 17, 2024
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Robert Kraft Establishes Blue Square Scholars Program at Yeshiva University

The philanthropist’s $1 million donation will help accommodate transferring Jewish students.

Robert Kraft, center, receives a YU jersey from YU President Ari Berman, right, at a YU Macs basketball game.

(Courtesy of Yeshiva University) Yeshiva University, the nation’s flagship Jewish university, announced the establishment of the Blue Square Scholars program by leading philanthropist Robert Kraft. This new program is timely as it will help the university accommodate transferring students who are switching to YU for its quality education and nurturing campus atmosphere. In the aftermath of Oct. 7, YU has been at the forefront of universities fighting the rise of antisemitism on college campuses across the country and has opened its doors to transfer students who feel unsafe on their current campuses.

In this environment, the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism founded by Robert Kraft has been a leader in the public battle to fight Jewish hate and all hate. The foundation’s blue square has served as a symbol for unity and its message has spread throughout the world, promoting positive connections of mutual respect among diverse communities.

The Blue Square Scholars program will help provide the necessary infrastructure to accommodate the best and the brightest students who are rooted in the university’s values of compassion and respect for all. These students will become the leaders and bridge-builders society so desperately needs.

“We express our deep gratitude to Robert Kraft and the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism for establishing the Blue Square Scholars program, and for all they have done to foster a more inclusive society throughout our country,” said Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman, president of Yeshiva University. “Robert sets the standard for impactful leadership in this country and this program will support top tier students who will follow his example to become the leaders of tomorrow.”

“I am honored to establish the Blue Square Scholars program at Yeshiva University in order to give students a welcoming place to further their education and grow into leaders who will serve as advocates for unity and respect and will push back on all hate,” said Kraft. “At a time where hate has been unleashed across our universities, Jewish students are feeling isolated and unsafe. Yeshiva is providing a safe haven for these students and I look forward to seeing them thrive in an academic environment where they could live and study free of fear for being who they are.”

Kraft directed the $1 million to fund the Blue Square Scholars program at YU to further the university’s efforts to support Jewish college students throughout the country during the most recent rise in antisemitism on college campuses. Following the Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel by Hamas, Berman convened a groundbreaking coalition of over 100 university presidents who united against the terrorism of Hamas, including public, private, faith based, and historically Black colleges and universities. In line with this effort, Berman recently led a diverse group of university presidents on the March of the Living for university leadership to commemorate life in Auschwitz on Holocaust Memorial Day.

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