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Jewish NFL star posts Pesach photo

Patriots receiver Julian Edelman sends greeting over image of himself diving for matzah

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman wearing an Israel-America flag pin, November 2014, (screen capture: CBS)
Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman wearing an Israel-America flag pin, November 2014, (screen capture: CBS)

Super-bowl winning wide receiver Julian Edelman wished Jewish fans a Happy Passover in an original way Friday, posting to his Facebook page a photoshopped picture of himself diving for a piece of matzah.

The Patriots star, who played an integral role in his team’s Super Bowl victory in February, is not shy about embracing his Jewish heritage.

Given his name, there has always been speculation that Edelman was Jewish, but there were conflicting reports. In 2009, blogger Jeremy Fine spoke to Edelman’s college roommate and teammate, Kent State defensive tackle Sam Frist (who is Jewish himself), and learned that Edelman’s father is Jewish but his mother is not. Edelman considers himself Jewish, Fine discovered.

In recent years, there have been additional indications that Edelman embraces his Jewish heritage. In an interview last season with NFL Total Access, Edelman was giving cagey answers, and one of the hosts asked for “some good Christmas answers. Give us some presents, okay?”

“Yeah, I’m Jewish, so I’ll try to keep it to Hanukkah presents, even though it’s over, but we’ll see what we can do,” Edelman responded.

#happypassover

Posted by Julian Edelman on Friday, April 3, 2015

During Hanukkah 2012, Edelman is reported to have tweeted a picture of a lit menorah to Jewish ESPN sportscaster Linda Cohn, with the message, “Happy 6th night. #hanukkah2012 #boom.”

This season, in a blowout win over the Denver Broncos, Edelman was spotted on the sidelines donning a red stocking cap with an Israeli and American flag pin firmly affixed to it. According to a Boston Jewish leader, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor was at the game that day, and gave the pin to Edelman before kickoff.

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