Falcons owner Arthur Blank and and Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Super Bowl LI will not only match arguably the NFL’s two best quarterbacks in Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons, but also two Jewish owners with close ties to Israel.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft will be eyeing his fifth championship since taking over the franchise in 1994, while Arthur Blank is hoping to celebrate a first-ever title with the Falcons, who he purchased in 2002.
The last time two teams owned by Jews met in the Super Bowl was in 2012 when the New York Giants, co-owned by Steve Tisch, defeated Kraft’s Patriots 21-17.
Kraft has made considerable contributions to Jewish and Israeli causes throughout the years, donating $6 million for the development of the Kraft Family Sports Campus, a multi-purpose sports center located in Emek Ha’Arazim in Jerusalem, just last November.
Over decades, the Kraft family has given away more than $100 million to a variety of causes, including health care, education, the Jewish community, Christian organizations and local needs.
And as of 2013, the Kraft family philanthropic foundation had nearly $88 million in assets.
In 2016 alone, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation donated $75,000 to the Jewish Agency for Israel, North American Council, $250,000 to the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Phoenix in Scottsdale, $150,000 to the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and continued its contribution of $7 million over seven years to National Jewish Health in Denver for the Pediatric Charity Care Program.
Kraft, who is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Kraft Group, a diversified holding company with assets in paper and packaging, sports and entertainment, real estate development and a private equity portfolio, has made considerable contributions to Jewish and Israeli causes throughout the years, donating $6 million for the development of the Kraft Family Sports Campus, a multi-purpose sports center located in Emek Ha’Arazim in Jerusalem, just last November.
Blank co-founded Home Depot in 1978, becoming a billionaire as a result.
There are currently at least 10 NFL teams with Jewish owners – the Patriots (Kraft), the Falcons (Blank), the Giants (Tisch), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Glazer family), the Minnesota Vikings (Wilf family), the Washington Redskins (Daniel Snyder), the Oakland Raiders (Davis family), the Philadelphia Eagles (Jeffrey Lurie), the Los Angeles Rams (Stan Kroenke) and the Miami Dolphins (Stephen Ross), while the father of Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay had Hungarian- Jewish heritage, although Irsay was raised as a Catholic.