Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft pays shiva call to family of Ezra Schwartz

(JTA) — Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, paid a shiva visit to the family of slain American yeshiva student Ezra Schwartz.

Kraft visited the family on Tuesday, a day after his National Football League team held a moment of silence for the teen prior to its “Monday Night Football” victory over the Buffalo Bills. Barry Shrage, president of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, joined Kraft on the visit to the Sharon, Massachusetts, home.

A photo of the visit was posted on Facebook.

Schwartz was killed last week in a Palestinian terror attack in the West Bank while coming home from doing volunteer work. He was on a gap year at a yeshiva in Israel.

At his funeral on Sunday, family members and his Maimonides School baseball coach recalled him as a loyal Patriots fan who proudly wore the team’s jerseys and caps. Schwartz was buried in Sharon, which borders Foxborough, site of the Patriots’ Gillette Stadium.

Also Tuesday, a local imam visited the Schwartz family. The same imam, Abdul Rachman Ahmad, had sent a letter to the teen’s family a day after the shooting in which he condemned the attack and said he hoped “that this terrible incident will be a catalyst for bringing our communities together rather than pulling us apart.”

“The Islamic community at Sharon has always categorically condemned such violent acts based on our firm belief that Islam enjoins us to be a people who bring peace and harmony to the world,” the imam wrote. “While the victims of such a horrific event would evoke my sympathy wherever it occurred, knowing that they are members of our own local community makes the loss all the more poignant.”

Meanwhile, Stacey James of the Patriots’ public relations office told the JewishInsider website that the omission of the word Israel during the tribute to Schwartz on Monday night was “not intentional.”

“The moment of silence was to recognize the hundreds who have lost their lives due to senseless acts of terrorism around the world, including one that hit particularly close to home when a Sharon, Massachusetts, native was gunned down nearly 5,500 miles away,” James told JewishInsider. “It was Ezra Schwartz who helped humanize and localize a story that has been happening far too often abroad.

“That was the intention of the moment of silence, to reflect on all who have lost their lives in recent months, including the one who hit closest to home.”

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