FEBRUARY 8, 2018 – It was called the Tzedakah Super Bowl bet, and New England Patriots fans came up on the short end this year.
As part of a friendly Super Bowl bet, Congregation Rodeph Shalom of Philadelphia and Temple Israel of Boston agreed that the city of the losing team would donate 18 times the point difference of the final score to the charity of the temple’s choice.
Rodeph Shalom chose Philly Youth Basketball, and Temple Israel of Boston selected the CTE Center at Boston University Medical Center, which conducts research on the long-term consequences of repetitive brain trauma in athletes and military personnel. Both synagogues also urged their congregants to donate to the charities ahead of last Sunday’s Super Bowl.
There are several ties between the two temples. Temple Israel’s Associate Rabbi Matt Soffer, a Philadelphia native, attended Congregation Rodeph Shalom as a youth. And Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeff Lurie, who grew up in Newton, attended Temple Israel of Boston.
Lurie had lost out to Robert Kraft on a bid to buy the Patriots in 1994, instead purchasing the Eagles from Norman Braman a few months later.