MLB star Kevin Youkilis, honored for his advocacy in standing up against antisemitism, with the Ruderman Family Foundation’s Shira Ruderman, Jay Ruderman and Sharon Shapiro./BOSTON RED SOX

Former Red Sox star honored by Ruderman Family Foundation

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Former Red Sox star honored by Ruderman Family Foundation

MLB star Kevin Youkilis, honored for his advocacy in standing up against antisemitism, with the Ruderman Family Foundation’s Shira Ruderman, Jay Ruderman and Sharon Shapiro./BOSTON RED SOX

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 U.S. 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 Oct. 7 and Dec. 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.

A long-time advocate for the Jewish people, Youkilis became more vocal in the wake of the Oct. 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, another example of Youkilis’ advocacy includes 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 well-being of children in New England and in Kevin’s hometown of Cincinnati. Θ

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