Jerusalem hosts New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and top players

“We are living in a word that is so divisive at times and sport is one of the few things that brings people together,” said Kraft.

By World Israel News Staff 

The Federation of American Football in Israel (AFI) hosted New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and 15 current and former Patriots top players on Friday at the Kraft Family Sports Campus in Jerusalem.

On display were all six of the Patriots’ Super Bowl trophies, which represents “the first time more than one trophy has ever been taken out of the United States,” said the AFI.

Among those attending the event were David Baker – president of the U.S. Pro Football Hall of Fame, Arik Kaplan – president of the Ayelet Federation of Non-Olympic Competitive Sports in Israel, and Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion.

Julian Edelman with Daniel Gerbitz, son of UWI founder Michael Gerbitz at Kraft Stadium event

Patriots Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman greets young fan Daniel Gerbitz at Kraft Stadium (WIN)

The visiting Patriots included Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman, Hall of Fame member Andre Tippett, and recent player Ty Law, who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August.

“Twenty years ago, Robert and Myra Kraft came to Jerusalem for the dedication of the Kraft Family Stadium in Jerusalem. That moment changed our lives forever. It became the home of the American Football community in Jerusalem, that has now spread throughout the country,” AFI President Steve Leibowitz told the gathering, which was also attended by some 500 football players from teams all over Israel.

The event took place at the new Kraft campus, which was dedicated two years ago, and included a scrimmage between two Israeli teams, coached symbolically by Patriot players.

“We are living in a world that is so divisive at times and sport is one of the few things that brings people together,” said Kraft. “If you want to succeed at anything and sustain success, you need people of good character and the guys here from the Patriots are so special in what they have accomplished,” he added.

Michael Gerbitz at Kraft Stadium event

United with Israel founder Michael Gerbitz on the sidelines at Kraft Stadium event (WIN)

Michael Gerbitz, founder of United With Israel, told Kraft that he admires all that he has done for professional football, but “more importantly, what you have done and continue to do for the State of Israel and the Jewish people.”

Patriots’ star wide receiver Julian Edelman, whose father is Jewish, says that he identifies as a Jew.

Gerbitz told Edelman, “It is so important that you are here. In the eyes of the world, Israel often gets a bad rap. BDS is rampant. Your visit is a huge statement of support for the people and State of Israel.”