Sunday, December 14, 2014

Former New England Patriots' Star Andre Tippett Loves Latkes on Hanukkah

SHOULD ADAM SANDLER EVER DECIDE to write a new version of his famous Hanukkah Song, he should definitely include that NFL Hall of Famer Andre Tippett enjoys eating his potato latkes on Hanukkah with apple sauce. That's right, the former New England Patriots' star Andre Tippett is Jewish after converting several years ago.

While he didn't play in the NFL while he was an official member of the Jewish tribe, Tippett, along with former NFL greats Ron Mix and Sid Luckman, are the only three Jews in the NFL's Professional Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

The Boston Globe's Steven A. Rosenberg recently interviewed Tippett, who spoke fondly of his Baptist upbringing and his beautiful Jewish family. When he began to discuss his family's Hanukkah holiday rituals, "his voice grows even softer" than it normally is.

“Hanukkah means dedication and is about miracles. I’m probably more excited than most of the family because I look forward to any type of celebration when it comes to holidays,” the 55-year-old Tippett told the Boston Globe reporter.

Married to the Jewish Rhonda Kenney, the couple has a daughter Madison and a son Coby. They were married by a rabbi in 1993 and Tippett began taking Judaism classes that led to his conversion in 1997.

Andre Tippett at the New England Patriots vs St Louis Rams game in 2008. (Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)

Tippett was clear in his commitment to raising Jewish children and having a Jewish home, saying, “What was important to her was that we raise our kids in the Jewish faith and have a Jewish home.” said Tippett, who still works for the Patriots, serving as the executive director of community affairs.

Since becoming a member of the Jewish people, Andre Tippett has spoken at numerous Jewish events, traveled to Israel with his family and watched Madison recite her bat mitzvah prayers in Jerusalem, and was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Regarding his Rhonda's father's potato latkes, Tippett says, "I love them. I put some applesauce on them and I can probably eat a plate by myself."

Rabbi Jason Miller is an entrepreneur, educator and blogger. He co-founded the PopJewish.com blog with Rabbi Joshua Hess. Follow him on Twitter at @RabbiJason and read his personal blog at http://blog.rabbijason.com