5 fun Jewish facts about the 53rd Super Bowl

From Robert Kradft to Adam Levine, this is your definiative top 5 list of Jewish fun facts for the 2019 Super Bowl.

Julian Edelman at NFL: Super Bowl LIII-New England Patriots Press Conference (photo credit: USA TODAY)
Julian Edelman at NFL: Super Bowl LIII-New England Patriots Press Conference
(photo credit: USA TODAY)
On Sunday, more than 100 million American football fans will tune in to the 53rd Super Bowl, when the Los Angeles Rams take on the New England Patriots. And while the Super Bowl is a celebration of the US’s favorite national pastime, this year’s game has plenty of Jewish fun facts.
1. Robert Kraft
For the 11th time, the New England Patriots will take to the field at the Super Bowl this Sunday – the most of any NFL team. And 10 of those have been since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. Kraft, a proud Jew, is also a vocal supporter of Israel. Earlier this year he was given the Genesis Prize Foundation award for his contributions to Israel and the Jewish people. He built Kraft Stadium in Jerusalem, has brought delegations of NFL players to Israel and has donated tens of millions of dollars to Jewish institutions and nonprofits across the United States.
2. Julian Edelman
Kraft isn’t the only prominent Jewish face associated with the Patriots. The team’s wide receiver, Julian Edelman, is also Jewish, and has spoken about his connection to the Jewish community a great deal over the past year. Edelman, whose father is Jewish and mother is Christian, has said in several interviews that he identifies as Jewish and celebrates Jewish holidays. He came to Israel in 2015, regularly talks about his faith on social media, and was particularly vocal in the aftermath of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre last year. He wore special cleats to a game after the shooting bearing the words “The Tree of Life” written in Hebrew, alongside an Israeli flag and the hashtag #strongerthanhate. He then sold the cleats for $10,000, which he donated to aid the families of the Pittsburgh victims.
The Patriots’s Nate Ebner is also Jewish.
3. Adam Levine
He might not be connected to the sport, but Adam Levine might just be the most Jewish thing about this year’s halftime show. Levine, whose father is Jewish, will be taking the stage during half time with his band Maroon 5, as well as rappers Travis Scott and Big Boi. Levine, who is believed to be the only Jewish man named People’s sexiest man alive. He has said he identifies more as spiritually Jewish than religious, and he chose not to have a bar mitzvah as a teen.
4. Rams’s Jewish history
Sure, neither the owner nor the wide receiver of the Los Angeles Rams are Jewish. But that doesn’t mean the team doesn’t have a long Jewish history. In 1940, Fred Levy became a co-owner of the team, and the first Jewish owner in the NFL in history. From 1972 to 1979, the team was owned by Caroll Rosenbloom, who was raised in a Jewish immigrant family in Baltimore. And the team has a long history of Jewish players, including Len “Butch” Levy who signed in 1942, Mel Bleeker who joined in 1947 and many more, through to Adam Goldberg in 2006.
Plus, what can Jews identify with more than a wandering team? The Rams started in Cleveland, moved to LA, then St. Louis, and back to LA in 2016.
5. Arthur Blank’s stadium
The Atlanta Falcons, the NFL team owned by Jewish Home Depot titan Arthur Blank, won’t be taking the field in this Super Bowl. But Blank will still be sitting pretty come Sunday evening, as the two teams face off in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium that he dreamed up many years ago. Blank first envisioned a new stadium for the team back in 2010, in part to be able to host a Super Bowl. Blank oversaw the stadium’s design and construction, and it opened in 2017 with a world record-sized video board. Blank is considered a major philanthropist to both Jewish and non-Jewish causes in Atlanta and nationally.