Patriots owner Robert Kraft visits Tree of Life ahead of game against Steelers


(JTA) — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft travelled to Pittsburgh ahead of his team’s game against the Steelers to visit the Tree of Life  synagogue building and attend Shabbat services.

On Saturday morning Kraft visited the building in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood where 11 worshippers were killed in a shooting attack, called the deadliest attack on Jews in the United States.

After Kraft paid his respects at the site, he attended services at the nearby Rodef Shalom synagogue, where he was invited to speak. He told the congregation that as big as the Steelers-Patriots game is, attending services with Jews in Pittsburgh was even bigger to him, Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network reported. She added that he spoke some Hebrew in his address.

Meanwhile. Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman on Sunday morning posted a photograph of the cleats he planned to wear during Sunday’s game against the Steelers. They feature a blue Star of David above the hashtag “strongerthanhate. And on the other side the words Etz Chaim, or Tree of Life, in Hebrew letters is featured alongside the logo of the Tree of Life Or L’Simcha Congregation.

His post also listed in alphabetical order the 11 victims of the Oct. 27 attack.

The cleats also were sponsored by the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston.

“My heart is broken for the families in Pittsburgh,” Edelman tweeted in October following the shooting. “It’s hard to even imagine such senselessness. As a Jew, an American and a human, I’m devastated. We are with you, Pittsburgh.”

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