World and national briefs: Reform rabbi to be knighted by Pope Francis and more


Patriots owner funds NFL TV ad about standing up ‘against Jewish hate’
Robert Kraft, the New England Patriots owner who donates heavily to Jewish causes, funded an advertisement that ran during Oct. 30’s NFL matchup between the Patriots and the New York Jets urging NFL fans to “stand up against Jewish hate,” reported JTA.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft in October (Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)

The ad aired during a weekend in which NBA star Kyrie Irving shared a link to an antisemitic movie online and the message “Kanye is right about the jews” was projected at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fla., during a college football game between the University of Florida and the University of Georgia.

“There are less than 8 million Jewish people in this country. Fewer than are watching this game,” read Kraft’s 30-second ad, which featured simple white text on a black background, set to ambient music. “They need you to add your voice.” It was produced jointly by the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism and Kraft’s foundation.

“We must do more to make people aware that antisemitism is a growing threat against Jews on social media and in communities across the country,” Kraft said in a statement.

Reform rabbi to be knighted by Pope Francis
A. James Rudin, a leading Reform rabbi and educator and the longtime director of interreligious affairs at the American Jewish Committee, will be knighted under the Papal Order of St. Gregory for his work on Catholic-Jewish relations, reported JTA.
He will become the ninth Jewish person to receive the honor in the Order’s nearly 200-year history.

Other Jews so knighted include Walter Annenberg, the philanthropist and creator of TV Guide; the prominent Conservative rabbi Mordecai Waxman; Argentine interfaith advocate Rabbi León Klenicki; Rabbi David Rosen of the AJC; and various philanthropists, businesspeople and musicians with Jewish ancestry.

The honor recognizes people whose work has supported the Catholic Church, which can include Jews focused on interfaith projects.

Earlier this year, Rudin, 88, published a memoir, “The People in the Room: Rabbis, Nuns, Pastors, Popes and Presidents,” which recounts his many trips abroad during his time working at the AJC as part of his work to improve Jewish-Christian relations in the years after the Holocaust.

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