Darchei Noam, a modern orthodox synagogue in St. Louis Park is welcoming fans of New England and – yes – Philadelphia, to their shul this weekend for Shabbat ahead of Super Bowl LII.
“We’ve had a lot of interest,” said Darchei Noam Rabbi Max Davis. “This was a concerted effort to spread the word around the communities where thought there might be interest, and people who need hospitality for Shabbat and need to be within walking distance.”
Davis said this is the first time he’s heard of a synagogue being so outwardly public in welcoming the fans of the two Super Bowl teams.
“It doesn’t mean it hasn’t – there are a lot of hospitable communities out there,” he said.
Davis is a Bostonian and grew up in the shadow of Fenway Park, although his enduring, childhood memories of the New England Patriots were ones of a pretty awful team.
“I’m a Bob Kraft fan,” said Davis, referring to the Patriots’ owner, whose philanthropy reaches the Jewish communities of Boston, his alma mater of Columbia University, and several initiatives in Israel. “He’s done a lot of good for a lot of communities. My earlier and more lasting memories were of the horrible Patriots. I’m still in disbelief. If they’ve been any good, it feels like a dream.”
Davis said that there has been no pushback in the congregation to welcoming the Eagles fans, who have a reputation for being tough on visiting fans and players. After all, they’ve cheered serious injuries to opposing players, booed Santa Claus, and punched police horses in the parking lot. But Davis was undeterred.
“We do have Eagles fans, we have Patriots fans, and we have a whole lot of Vikings fans. Everyone has been gracious,” said Davis. “I will admit, as a social experiment, I would like to house them together to see what happens.”