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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Israel's football team v. New York's

Tomorrow night's Super Bowl - which is being attended by my childhood friend Moshe from West Orange, New Jersey (as a business expense no less!) will pit Israel's football team against New York's. Here are some of the many reasons why Israelis ought to be rooting for the Patriots - even if those Israelis are originally from New York. In two words, it's Bob Kraft (pictured, top left).
The son of an Orthodox Jew, Kraft has a longstanding love of Israel and its people. He personally sponsored the Kraft Family Stadium in Jerusalem and visits the country at least once a year to attend board meetings of Carmel Container Systems, a company he owns based in Caesarea.

He also loves to bring groups of people with him to Israel, to showcase what he sees as the positive aspects of the country which are not given enough coverage.

In recent years he has brought Patriots players to the country, including Brady himself who visited in 2006. This year he plans to bring two more players to Israel although he would not name them.

"There are a lot of players on our team who believe in spirituality and understand how special the Holy Land is," Kraft says.

"In March hopefully we will have a couple of players who will come with their wives. Every year my wife and I bring a group of Christian and Jews to enjoy the country."

Kraft is not ashamed of showing how he endeavors to do PR for Israel.

"It is hard for people in America who have never been there, even people who are Jewish, but especially non-Jews, to understand what Israel is about," he says.

"The way its represented in the media is sometimes so far from what the truth is. It is such a rich place in terms of history. It's the cradle of all the western religions. So much history has happened."

As an example of the effect he has had on people, he adds that "when Tom Brady speaks about [Israel] he speaks with great affection."

Football in Israel is constantly expanding and late last year the country's first tackle football league - the Israel Football League - launched.

Although he admits he isn't overly familiar with its workings, Kraft is eager to find out more about the IFL, even more so when he hears about the high number of Israelis playing.

"I think it's great. I would only enjoy supporting it if Israeli players continue to be involved," he says.
I just want to add something I wrote the last time I talked about Bob Kraft: Whenever the Krafts come to Israel, they sponsor a get-together for all the Bostonians who are here on youth programs. That's what the kids tell me. I envy them. No one did that for us when I was in yeshiva here.

I plan to be up all night tomorrow night watching the Super Bowl at a friend's house (the son of a former Bostonian). Go Pats!!!!!


At 5:53 AM, Blogger debbie said...

Maybe the best reason to call the Patriots Israel's football team is the lack of honesty in both. C'mon. They caught the Pats cheating when they were video taping the Jets signals. And where there any consequences? Fines. Big deal. Sounds just like the Isareli government to me.

At 5:06 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I should be happy that someone is the son of an Orthodox Jew, but is not the real article himself?


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