Why does this NFL player have an in-home synagogue?

Steelers' Antonio Brown: It's where we 'bless up'

May 9, 2018 16:05
1 minute read.
Why does this NFL player have an in-home synagogue?

An image from a youtube video showing the synagogue in the home of NFL player Antonio Brown . (photo credit: YOUTUBE)


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Antonio Brown, the six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers, has a synagogue inside his Miami-area home. A fully-formed, Magen David-adorned and Hebrew-etched glass-decorated synagogue.

Now, it’s true that Brown bought the home in 2016 – for a cool $6.6 million – with the synagogue already installed. But in an interview published this week with Complex magazine, the NFL player said he's kept the room intact.

“I got a lot of Jewish friends, and a synagogue is where you bless up,” he told the interviewer when asked about the room. Brown was appearing on Complex’s online video series Complex Closets, which explores the fashion – particularly the sneakers – of famous individuals.

The video, which was released on Monday, features extensive interior shots of the 18,000-square-foot, 12-bedroom, 14-bathroom mansion, including the synagogue.

Brown purchased the house in Fort Lauderdale in March 2016, just a month after it hit the market. It also features an in-home theater and an outdoor pool.

A real-estate listing for the home shows off framed photos of rabbis on the wall, and a special station for netilat yadayim, or ritual hand-washing, with the blessing etched in glass behind the sink. According to the Florida Sun-Sentinel, the home was built in 2009 by Yizhak and Liat Toledano. Indeed, one of the chairs in the synagogue seen during Brown’s interview is embroidered with “Yizhak” on the back. Brown appears to have retained most of the furniture – but not the artwork – that the family left behind.

Toledano, an Israeli native, is a real estate developer and CEO of his own company, Sky Development. At age 24, after his army service, he moved to Florida to pursue business opportunities. He and his wife have seven children, according to a biography on his company page.

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