Pittsburgh Steelers’ Antonio Brown has revealed how he built an in-home synagogue into his Fort Lauderdale mansion so his Jewish friends could be “blessed up”.
While not being Jewish, he showed off the house (more accurately, one of his multiple houses) and impressive sneaker collection in an interview with Complex magazine and when asked about the shul, said: “I got a lot of Jewish friends, and a synagogue is where you bless up.”
He may have Jewish friends who frequent the synagogue, but the house was originally built by Yizhak and Liat Toledano. Brown bought the property from Yizhak, an Israeli-born real estate developer, in 2016.
The house also contains a station for ritual hand washing, or netilat yadaim, connected to a dining room, and three kitchens, which according to The Times of Israel were kept kosher under the Toledanos’ ownership.
Brown, who has been one of the league’s best receivers over the past half decade, might not have been improvising when he said he has many Jewish friends. He has shown affinity for Jews before, notably wishing Jews a happy Rosh Hashanah on Twitter in 2012.
He was a contestant on “Dancing With the Stars” in 2016 right after he bought the house, and was asked about the synagogue. His interviewer said that he should dance the horah with his partner on TV.
“That’d be dope!” he laughed. “I like that, you got good vision!”