New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has penned a heartfelt letter of condolence to the family of Max Steinberg, the American-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza on July 20. Steinberg, who was from Los Angeles, made aliyah after visiting Israel on a Birthright trip in 2012, the New York Times reports. He was serving in the IDF’s elite Golani Brigade in Gaza and died when his unit’s armored vehicle was attacked by a roadside bomb. Kraft sent the letter after he spotted a photo of Steinberg wearing a New England Patriots cap in a news broadcast about the tragic events in Gaza.
Here’s the full text of the letter, which was photographed and tweeted by the Jewish Journal‘s Jared Sichel, and appears to have been framed by the family:
It is with a heavy heart that I write to you after having learned about your dear son and distinguished member of the Israel Defense Forces, Max. Although I didn’t have the privilege of knowing your son Max personally, I have taken the liberty of reaching out to you since I noticed him wearing a New England Patriots cap in one of the broadcasted photos. He represents the consummate patriot and I am forever grateful for the sacrifices he made to keep our beloved Israel safe. His dedication and loyalty to Israel have not gone unnoticed and I am sure he has left behind a legacy of which you and your family can be proud.
On behalf of the entire New England Patriots team, please accept our most sincere condolences as we are all profoundly saddened by his untimely passing.
Beneath the printed text, there was a handwritten note: In Hebrew lettering, the words “b’ahava raba”—with great love—followed by the lines “‘We are all Patriots’ / With love of our tradition and the people of Eretz Israel.”
Stuart Steinberg told the Associated Press that his son Max “was completely dedicated and committed to serving the country of Israel. He was focused, he was clear in what the mission was, and he was dedicated to the work he needed to be doing.”
The funeral—attended by 30,000 people—took place on July 23 on Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl, the burial place of Israel’s fallen soldiers and several prime ministers. A memorial service is scheduled to take place in Los Angeles on August 6.
(Image: Jared Sichel / Twitter)