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Robert Kraft, Nir Barkat address United Hatzalah video fundraiser

“We need more of that in the world,” Kraft said of the volunteer emergency medical service’s color- and religion-blind approach.

Robert Kraft
Philanthropist and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft speaks at a United Hatzalah briefing on Oct. 26, 2023. Source: Zoom screenshot.

No sooner had the investor and philanthropist Mark Gerson mentioned the fulfillment of the biblical prophecy in Zachariah—that the streets of Jerusalem be filled with boys and girls playing—that Robert Kraft, the billionaire philanthropist and owner of the New England Patriots cut in.

He told Gerson, who had been interviewing him on a ​​United Hatzalah session on Zoom on Thursday, that his bar mitzvah portion was Behaalotechah, whose Haftorah spans from Zachariah 2:14 to 4:7. “Sing and be happy daughter of Zion,” Kraft began chanting in Hebrew.

“I love Zachariah, and I love United Hatzalah,” Kraft said. “I love Israel. I love our people. The most important thing we have to remember is Am Yisrael chai,” the people of Israel live.

Earlier in the conversation, Kraft said: “All of us who feel committed to our faith and our people, we’re going through something now that we’ve never really seen in our lifetime.”

A supporter of United Hatzalah, Kraft noted that in the organization, Jews save Arabs, Arabs save Jews, and religious denomination, observance level and skin color don’t matter.

“We need more of that in the world,” he said.

Eli Beer, founder of United Hatzalah; Nir Barkat, Israeli minister of economy and industry and former Jerusalem mayor; and a United Hatzalah volunteer, who recently married another volunteer and who was out helping victims of a terror attack the day after her wedding, were among those who spoke during the video session.

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