Jewish Philanthropists Face Off In Super Bowl

February 1, 2012 10:29 am 1 comment

The New York Giants, who are owned by the Jewish Tisch family, pose with the Vince Lombardi trophy to celebrate their 2008 Super Bowl victory. Credit: Paul Morse.

When the New York Giants and New England Patriots take the field for Sunday’s Super Bowl, most of the country will focus on the athletes wearing the jerseys. However, from a Jewish perspective, the story behind these football franchises comes from those wearing suits in the owner’s box.

The Giants are co-owned by the Tisch family, with film and television producer Steve Tisch, son of Bob, as the team’s chairman and executive vice president. Bob’s brother, Larry, was the father of Jim—former president of the UJA Federation of New York and former board chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Jim’s wife, Merryl, chairs the board of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty.

On the New England side, owner Robert Kraft’s wife Myra—who passed away last July—served as chair of the Boston-based Combined Jewish Philanthropies’ (CJP) board of directors and was twice co-chair of CJP’s annual fundraising campaign.

“[Myra Kraft’s] work with us was extraordinary and she meant the world to us, she still means the world to us,” Zamira Korff, CJP’s senior vice president of development, told JointMedia News Service. “Her legacy is with us everyday. There are countless meetings and conversations during which we say ‘Can you imagine what Myra would have thought about this,’ or ‘What would Myra have done about this’? We feel that she’s still a partner, that’s how strong her presence was and that’s how strong her guidance was.”

Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents, told JointMedia News Service that members of the Giants’ owning family are all “identified [religiously] and active philanthropically.”

“I think that the Tisch family is a model for the Jewish community and for others in terms of their broad range of commitments in the Jewish community, their involvement personally, not just financially,” Hoenlein said.

Outside of CJP, the Kraft family’s philanthropy extends to Brandeis University, The United Way, The Boys and Girls Club, and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), among other causes. The family donated millions to Kraft Stadium in Jerusalem, which promotes American football in the Jewish homeland.

Korff recalls a CJP trip to that stadium, where Myra sought to be a pioneer for women’s football in Israel. When Myra arrived at the venue, Korff said women who were in a team practice at the time ran over to her “like she was their best friend.”

“This was a woman who shared herself with them,” Korff said. “She was really their partner, not just in helping to create the sport, but in helping them to live up to their potential.”

Israel “has always been very important both to Myra and to Robert,” Korff explained.

“She was very proud of leading trips of both Jewish and non-Jewish members of our community to Israel, because she knew that it was equally as vital to both of them, and to participate in that together,” Korff said.

Korff said she has “never seen a better team” than the Kraft couple.

“It’s about integrity, and justice, and teamwork, and cooperation, and shared values,” she said, “and I think that’s what they bring to everything that they do, and that includes their philanthropy.”

1 Comment

  • Always good to read about Yids that show themselves using their bracha to the fullest! All I can say to both of them is: “GO TEAM!!!”

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Music Personalities Recycling His Roots

    Recycling His Roots

    JNS.org – Having started his career playing on his family’s pots and pans, Jewish musician Billy Jonas has maintained this homemade performance ethic while spreading his messages of simple living and environmentalism to a shared home throughout the world. After beginning in the kitchen, Jonas soon moved to the music room, where he picked up the piano, guitar, and trombone. These days, the multi-talented multi-instrumentalist plays on with pretty much anything he can find, including cans, bottles buckets, and other recycled-object [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities Jewish Renewal Movement Founder’s Insights Form a New Guide for Senior Living

    Jewish Renewal Movement Founder’s Insights Form a New Guide for Senior Living

    JNS.org – Sara Davidson’s The December Project is a new book that should be read by all senior citizens, and by those who hope to live a long life, for it raises a question that most of us have not been taught how to answer: What should we do in that final stage of our lives? Many of us continue working past the traditional retirement age of 65, not because we need the money and not because we find the [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish History Why the Holocaust Occurred in Germany, and Why So Few Resisted (REVIEW)

    Why the Holocaust Occurred in Germany, and Why So Few Resisted (REVIEW)

    It’s hard to make a new contribution to the field of Holocaust studies,  but German historian Götz Aly accomplishes just that in Why the Germans, Why the Jews? His premise is that the origins of the Holocaust were rooted in the specific anti-Semitism found in Germany in the decades and centuries before World War II. Aly (who is not Jewish) seeks to prove his theory by studying only pre-Holocaust history, and tracing how the German people’s envy and hatred of [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Looking at Anti-Israel Celebrities and Their Brands

    Looking at Anti-Israel Celebrities and Their Brands

    JNS.org – During the current conflict in Gaza a number of celebrities have voiced their opinions in support of either the Israeli or Palestinian positions. But others—be it during Operation Protective Edge or at other times—have gone further than simply supporting the Palestinians by actively supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, making false accusations about the Jewish state, ignoring Israel’s position on the conflict, or justifying the actions of the terrorist group Hamas. Many of these [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Israeli UFC Fighter Returns to Jewish State to Rejoin IDF

    Israeli UFC Fighter Returns to Jewish State to Rejoin IDF

    JNS.org – Days after winning his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight bout against Steven Siler on July 26, Israeli-born mixed martial arts competitor Noad Lahat boarded a plane for his native country, choosing to temporarily exit UFC’s octagonal cage to rejoin the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as a paratrooper for its operation against Hamas in Gaza. Except he didn’t actually consider it a choice. “When [our] home is in danger, there is no other way for us [but to serve [...]

    Read more →
  • Education Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    JNS.org – My wife Suzy and I will never forget our wedding day. It was not just the uplifting ceremony and beautiful party that left an indelible mark. Some life-altering advice that we received from one of our guests informed and shaped our lives from that day forward. My high school teacher, Rabbi Moshe Yagid, pulled us aside just before the chuppah and challenged us to choose one mitzvah that would be the foundation of our marriage and our lives. He explained [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    JNS.org – Influenced by his Jewish upbringing and a summer on a kibbutz, basketball coach David Blatt is embarking on his highest-profile challenge yet: coaching LeBron James, the four-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Most Valuable Player who has made waves for returning to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. After guiding Israel’s storied Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball franchise to its 51st Israeli league championship and 6th Euroleague title this past season, Blatt landed the Cavaliers head-coaching job in June. Just weeks later, [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Jewish Identity Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    JNS.org – At the turn of the century, a young Jewish immigrant arrived in New York. So begins the history of many American Jewish families. It is 27-year-old Albert Allaham’s story, too, with a few unusual twists. Albert’s “century” is the 21st—he arrived almost 100 years after the massive waves of European Jewish immigration. Rather than coming from a small town along the Danube river, his shtetl was Damascus. His first American business was not a pushcart on the Lower East [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.