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Two Synagogues, One Sacred Tzedakah Wager for the Big Game

Two Synagogues, One Sacred Tzedakah Wager for the Big Game

NFL helmets with kippot atop them facing off on a football field

In advance of the Super Bowl, two Reform synagogues have made a "sacred #SuperBowlTzedakah wager."

It started when Rabbi Elaine Zecher of Boston challenged her friend, Rabbi Jill Maderer of Philadelphia, on Facebook:

As Rabbi Zecher notes, Philadelphia Eagles winner Jeff Lurie grew up atattending Temple Israel of Boston, where Zecher is the spiritual leader. 7 News Boston reports that Rabbi Matt Soffer, also a rabbi at Temple Israel of Boston, grew up in Philadelphia and is a diehard Eagles fan; he'll be giving a sermon this Friday on the meeaning of being a good fan. 

If the New England Patriots win, Congregation Rodeph Shalom in Philadelphia (incidentally, the congregation where Rabbi Soffer grew up) will donate 18x the difference in scores to The CTE Center at Boston University School of Medicine, which conducts high-impact, innovative research on chronic traumatic encephalopathy and other long-term consequences of repetitive brain trauma in athletes and military personnel.

If the Philadelphia Eagles win, Temple Israel of Boston will donate 18x the difference in scores to Philadelphia Youth Basketball, which empowers urban youth as students, athletes, & leaders.

Win or lose, both synagogues are encouraging their members to donate to the organizations they've chosen - and two rabbis out in California have made wagers for the big game, too.

Either way, a lot of Reform Jews will be happy with the outcome of the game - & a worthy charity will benefit!

Who are you rooting for on Super Bowl Sunday?

Kate (Bigam) Kaput is the digital communications manager for the Union for Reform Judaism, serving as a content manager and editor for She is a proud alumna of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism’s Eisendrath Legislative Assistant fellowship and also served as the RAC's press secretary. A native Ohioan, Kate grew up at Temple Beth Shalom in Hudson, OH, and holds a degree in magazine journalism from Kent State University. She lives in Cleveland with her husband, Mike. 

Kate Kaput
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