Robert Kraft's 2016 Yeshiva University Commencement Address
YeshivaUniversity Published on May 26, 2016
Robert Kraft, founder, chairman and CEO of The Kraft Group and owner of the New England Patriots, delivers the keynote address and received an honorary doctorate at Yeshiva University’s 85th Commencement Ceremony on May 25, 2016.
New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft delivered the commencement address for Yeshiva University tat Madison Square Garden:
After receiving a strong welcoming applause at the beginning of his speech, Kraft joked "that's not the reception I typically get when entering sports arenas in New York" (laughter).
"One of my father’s favorite teachings was from Pirkei Avot: Ben Zoma taught 'eizehu ashir? hasameach bechelko' -- who is rich? The person who is happy with their portion. What do people want in life? They want to feel connected; to something larger than themselves... That sense of being connected applies to great sports teams like the Patriots and the Minnesota Vikings [owners Zygi & Mark Wilf are on the YU board], it applies to great universities like Yeshiva [University], and it applies to the State of Israel, where so many sacrifice so much that the Jewish homeland can live and be a strong inspiration to the Diaspora."
“The best things we do, the businesses we build, the people we help, the championships we win, the tzedakah (charity) we give, and the communities we strengthen, are truly a gift from God. My father left me an ethical will. In that will he told me something that I think about, literally, every day of my life. He said: ‘At the end of every day, as we lay our head on our pillow, WE SHOULD ASK OURSELVES A SIMPLE QUESTION: ARE THE PEOPLE YOU TOUCHED TODAY RICHER AND BETTER FOR HAVING KNOWN YOU?’
Go forward from here, my friends, and make people’s lives richer and better because they have known all of you.