New England Patriots’ Julian Edelman flown to Israel for his “Birthright in Israel”
On June 22nd New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman spent ten days of the Patriots’ offseason on a trip to Israel with fifteen others, sponsored by Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston (CJP).
In addition to bookmarking his travels on Twitter using hashtags like #IsraelTyme, highlights from Edelman’s trip were conveniently compiled in a two-minute, high-quality hype video. The video features everything from working out on beaches in Tel Aviv, to rubbing Dead Sea mud on his body, to praying at the Western Wall. CJP also noted that Edelman’s trip consisted of visits to nightclubs, playing football with the Israeli national team, sailing in the Sea of Galilee, and many more all-expense-paid experiences which, during a press release, CJP described as “quintessentially Israeli.”
Prior to this trip Edelman has responded to questions about his Jewish heritage. “Well,” he said. “I’m not completely Jewish, if you know what I mean. I know people want me to be. My father is Jewish. My mother isn’t. I’ve been asked this before. I guess you could say I’m kind of Jewish, but not really.” Despite this public description of his identity, Edelman was still sponsored to participate in a trip that CJP states was his “birthright in Israel.”
Superdigital, Edelman’s marketing company, helped him create his montage video, titled “Israel Tyme (Yalla!)” It is actually only one facet of his strong social media presence around this trip, in conjunction with Tweets by El Al Airlines, as well as Alex Goldstein, one of the fifteen other members of Edelman’s Taglit-esque trip. Alex Goldstein is also the Vice President of PR firm Northwind Strategies, which specializes in competitive communications in order to “compete with an entity with an opposing viewpoint to win the public argument.”
The trip–which passed through Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem, and the Negev, without a trip to the Occupied Palestinian Territories–has managed to stay relatively under-the-radar, compared to the similar and very recent trip to Israel for NBA players, sponsored by Sheldon Adelson.