Statements & Press Releases

Statements & Press Releases

Statements Press Release

Red Sox Hall of Famer Kevin Youkilis Honored for Standing Up Amid Rising Wave of Antisemitism

May 22, 2024

The Ruderman Family Foundation recognizes the Red Sox legend for his vocal advocacy defending the Jewish people and combating antisemitism around the world.


Boston, MA, May 20, 2024 — The Red Sox Foundation and Ruderman Family Foundation, a leading organization in cultivating Israel-American Jewish relations, have honored former MLB star Kevin Youkilis for his advocacy for standing up against antisemitism at a time when it is surging across the U.S.


“I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Ruderman Family Foundation for being a leader in the fight against antisemitism, which has skyrocketed in the US in the past few months. I am humbled by this recognition and am honored to stand before you and share my thoughts, especially during this time,” Youkilis said.


The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reported that it recorded 2,031 incidents between October 7 and December 7 – the highest ever two-month number since the organization began tracking antisemitism in the country in 1979. These numbers represent a 337 percent increase compared to the same period in 2022. Moreover, the American Jewish Committee released a recent survey revealing 63 percent of American Jews said their status in the U.S. is “less secure than a year ago” marking a more than 20 percent increase in one year alone and a 30 percent increase over two years.


A long-time advocate for the Jewish people, Youkilis became more vocal in the wake of the October 7 terrorist attacks in Israel. “Antisemitism is on display for the world to see. Some turn a blind eye, but we cannot. We must confront it head-on. As athletes, we have a unique platform. My voice, unexpectedly, became bigger within the Jewish baseball community. Let’s be a fraternity that stands up for one another. Let’s use our voices to combat hate. Together, we can make a difference,” he said.


In addition to being an outspoken critic against those who traffic in antisemitism on Twitter, other examples of Youkilis’ advocacy included taking part in a viral social media campaign with 19 other Jewish former major league baseball players and coaches where they called on fans to support Israel and speak out against hatred toward the Jewish people.


The former first and third baseman who played for the Boston Red Sox for much of his career (2004-2012) was also a hitting coach for Team Israel during the 2023 World Baseball Classic. He is considered one of the greatest Jewish baseball players in MLB history. Youkilis is a Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame inductee and currently serves as an analyst on Red Sox programming for the New England Sports Network.


“The Ruderman Foundation is honored to present Kevin Youkilis with this award,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “With antisemitism on the rise in the United States and across the world, Kevin has been a source for moral clarity at a time when it’s

needed the most. With so much hate circulating across social media, Kevin has shown how athletes and public figures with large followings have the power to instead wield it for the greater good, using their influence in a positive way.”


Youkilis is also a dedicated philanthropist, with his Hits for Kids charity rallying local and corporate support for charities and organizations focused on the health and wellbeing of children in New England and in Kevin’s hometown of Cincinnati, to help them raise money and awareness.

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