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Six-time NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire receives MLK Jr. Award in Jerusalem

Community activist, former NBA All-Star and current star forward for ‘Hapoel Jerusalem’ was honored by the Consulate General of Israel in New York, JNF-USA and JCRC-NY

in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and Black History Month.

 JERUSALEM — Former NBA all-star, activist and star forward for ‘Hapoel Jerusalem’, Amar’e Stoudemire, was awarded Sunday with the Martin Luther King Jr. Award by the State of Israel, Jewish National Fund (JNF-USA) and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. The honor is bestowed annually in celebration of Black History Month to individuals who embody the spirit and ideals of Dr. King through their efforts to promote diversity and tolerance.

Consul General of Israel in New York Ambassador Dani Dayan and JNF-USA CEO Russell Robinson presented Stoudemire with the award Sunday night during a reception at the Mount Zion Hotel in Jerusalem.

“I am truly honored to be receiving this amazing award,” said Amar’e Stoudemire. “It is very gratifying to know that all the work that the Alexis and Amar’e Foundation has done over the years is not overlooked. I am blessed to be able to give back to the community, that’s what it’s all about.”

For more than two decades, the Consulate General of Israel in New York, JNF-USA and JCRC-NY, have annually paid tribute to the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., honoring those who act upon his dreams of peaceful co-existence among people of diverse religious, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds. JNF-USA, JCRC-NY and the State of Israel have embraced the legacy of Dr. King, as it reflects the values of peace and hope that are shared by Jewish communities worldwide. Dr. King was known as a great friend to Israel and the Jewish people, and was active in the battle against anti-Semitism.

“On behalf of JNF-USA, I am honored to present the Martin Luther King Jr. Award to Amar’e Stoudemire,” remarked Jewish National Fund-USA CEO Russell F. Robinson. Amar’e’s work in providing education to at-risk youth through his ‘Each One, Teach One’ foundation, to his passion for providing safe drinking water in impoverished countries, are emblematic of the values and virtues promoted by Dr. King. By deciding to move to Israel to join the Israeli Hapoel Jerusalem team, Stoudemire has again set an example that sportsmanship supersedes nationality, ethnicity, or religious affiliation, and that all are welcome in Israel, a beacon of democracy in an otherwise turbulent part of the world.”

“Aside from his outstanding basketball career, which he now proudly continues with Hapoel Jerusalem after 14 seasons and six all-star appearances in the NBA, Amar’e Stoudemire has spearheaded many initiatives that empower the less fortunate and advance important principles like tolerance, peace, creativity and healthy living,” said Consul General of Israel in New York Ambassador Dani Dayan. His life commitments are in step with the values of the State of Israel and those preached by Dr. King himself. The fact that Amar’e starred for years with the Knicks makes this extra special for us in New York, and we are very glad to join our friends from JNF-USA and JCRC-NY to again present this annual award to such a deserving and admirable recipient. Israel is proud to be the only nation outside of the United States to officially commemorate Martin Luther King Day. We treasure Dr. King’s belief in the significance of the relationship between the African-American and Jewish communities, as we continue to fight together against hatred and xenophobia.”

Stoudemire was honored Sunday for his philanthropic endeavors and leadership in building bridges among different communities. In Israel, he recently held a basketball peace camp, which brought together children from Israel’s Jewish, Arab and Ethiopian communities, and hosted his annual “In the Paint” series, which inspires young people to explore their creative talents through art and basketball. Stoudemire’s foundation, which he runs with his wife, Alexis, actively supports at-risk youth around the world, aiming to eliminate poverty through education.  

Past recipients of the Martin Luther King Jr. Award have included: U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel; U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries; Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins; jazz artist Lionel Hampton; acclaimed author Toni Morrison; opera singer Jessye Norman; entrepreneur and philanthropist Russell Simmons; musician and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte; co-author of Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech Dr. Clarence B. Jones; Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and human rights advocate Martin Luther King III. 

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JEWISH NATIONAL FUND (JNF) began in 1901 as a dream and vision to reestablish a homeland in Israel for Jewish people everywhere. Jews the world over collected coins in iconic JNF Blue Boxes, purchasing land and planting trees until ultimately, their dream of a Jewish homeland was a reality. JNF gives all generations of Jews a unique voice in building a prosperous future for the land of Israel and its people.

JNF embodies both heart and action; our work is varied in scope but singular in benefit. We strive to bring an enhanced quality of life to all of Israel’s residents, and translate these advancements to the world beyond. JNF is greening the desert with millions of trees, building thousands of parks, creating new communities and cities for generations of Israelis to call home, bolstering Israel’s water supply, helping develop innovative arid-agriculture techniques, and educating both young and old about the founding and importance of Israel and Zionism.

JNF is a registered 501(c)(3) organization and United Nations NGO, which continuously earns top ratings from charity overseers.


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