A video released Monday showed Super Bowl champion Julian Edelman traveling through Israel, where he spent nine days exploring his Jewish heritage in June.
In the video released by trip organizer Combined Jewish Philanthropies Edelman can be seen calling out “Yalla,” a Hebrew expression meaning “Let’s go,” as he travels through Israel, including the Old City of Jerusalem, the Negev and the Dead Sea.
“This was an amazing, memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experience for me, made possible by CJP and this amazing work they do,” Edelman said. “I was so lucky to be able to share it with an incredible group of people who made this experience even more memorable.”
“Exploring my heritage is something I started in the past few years and seeing Israel for the first time, really getting a sense of its history and culture – I now truly understand why it’s so special,” he added.
Edelman, a wide receiver for the New England Patriots, rose to stardom last season with all star-level stats and heroics in the team’s Super Bowl victory. He has been known to proudly display his Jewish heritage, including attending Shabbat dinners, wishing supporters a Happy Passover and wearing a US-Israel flag pin during a 2014 game.
Edelman’s father is Jewish, while his mother is not, although the NFL player considers himself Jewish.
The Patriots star was one of the first passengers traveling to Israel on a new direct El Al flight from Boston to Tel Aviv.
Gabe Friedman contributed to this report.