Two reform rabbis have started their own Super Bowl rivalry in the name of tzedakah, complete with amped-up videos and friendly taunting like calling the Panthers the Kitty Cats.
Rabbi Judith Schindler of Temple Beth El in Charlotte, North Carolina and Rabbi Joe Black at Temple Emanuel in Denver, Colorado have set up a joint online fundraiser for their Super Mitzvah 50 that so far has racked up more than $3,600.
The rabbis each picked a charity that will receive two thirds of the money if their team wins.
If the Charlotte Panthers beat the Denver Broncos, the money will go toward the Shalom Park Freedom School, which provides a literacy-building summer program for students in the surrounding Charlotte area.
If the Broncos win, the money will go to Jewish Family Service, which gives Colorado residents a number of services, including mental health counseling, job placement for those with disabilities and food and finance.
Despite the seriousness of their causes, the rabbis are having a little fun. In the video, Rabbi Schindler gives a faux coach’s speech sprinkled with puns, telling the empty congregation before her that, “These are the days we commit to lifting up those who have dropped the ball.”
She argues that God is a Panther’s fan — for various inventive reasons — and Rabbi Black fires back with a Game of Thrones-like video and photo of the Orange Crush drink logo.
Come Sunday, one team will lose, but one organization will win a big donation.