FOXBORO (CBS) – On Wednesday night, there’s a soccer game in Foxboro with a unique goal: fighting hatred. The New England Revolution will play the Chelsea Football Club from London, and proceeds will go toward fighting anti-Semitism.
The fundraiser kicked off earlier Wednesday with a $4-million boost. “You think about these innocent, wonderful people being slaughtered for no other reason than they’re in a house of worship,” said Robert Kraft the owner of the Revs and the Patriots.
At a special luncheon, he talked about the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in American history. That happened at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last October. Eleven people were killed. Kraft visited the temple soon after. “And I promised the people there that we would try to find a way to turn something positive from that,” he told the crowd.
The “Final Whistle on Hate” campaign was born in cooperation with the Chelsea Football Club from England. Owners of both teams contributed $2-million. Another $2-million came from other sources.
The money is going to 15 organizations fighting anti-Semitism. One of them is the Tree of Life. “It’s so fantastic. It’s so helpful. It’s very difficult to try and rebuild after this, and it’s going to be extremely helpful for us,” said Harold Lessure, a member of the synagogue.
Proceeds from the game between the Revs and Chelsea will also go to the campaign. “That’s what we’re trying to do with the New England Revolution, is do a series of events over a long period of time, and hopefully move the needle just a little bit,” said Bruce Buck of the Chelsea team.
The need is great. In a new study, the Anti-Defamation League reports that last year the Jewish community in the US endured a near record number of anti-Semitic incidents, nearly 2,000 attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions. “Anti-Semitism is an attitude. It’s a world view. It’s hatred entertained in people’s hearts,” Elan Carr, the US State Department’s Special Envoy told the people at the luncheon.
The charity soccer game is at 8pm Wednesday at Gillette Stadium.