Rookie NFL kicker scores goal with new ‘mezuzah’

Prior to playing in college, he was a member of a number of teams, including the football and soccer teams, at Donna Klein Jewish Academy in Boca Raton, Fla., from 2000 to 2009.

Rookie NFL kicker scores goal with new ‘mezuzah’

Greg Joseph has just arrived in Cleveland, and already things have gotten off on the right foot.






Greg Joseph has just arrived in Cleveland, and already things have gotten off on the right foot. The new placekicker for the NFL’s Cleveland Browns scored his a first career game-winning field goal last week with just two seconds left in overtime against the Baltimore Ravens.

Earlier that day, he had made plans to put up a mezuzah at his new home with Chabad Rabbi Yossi Freedman after the game, and the two posed for a picture after it was affixed. Freedman later shared it on Facebook with the caption “A win is a win is a … mezuzah! Congrats to the #Browns and Greg on their win—welcome to Cleveland!”

The mezuzah isn’t Joseph’s first Jewish deed since signing with the Browns on Sept. 18. He was sure to join Rabbi Yossi and Chaya Freedman at Chabad of Downtown Cleveland for Kol Nidre on Yom Kippur. Chabad of Downtown Cleveland was started in 2011 to serve the needs of Cleveland’s growing community of young professionals.

Joseph’s faith has “absolutely” guided him during his life and career, and he can’t wait to get out into the Cleveland community and give back as much as he can, he told the Cleveland Jewish News. “It’s a virtue close to my heart, since my mom kind of instilled that in me from a young age,” he said.

Joseph got in contact with the Freedmans soon after moving to Cleveland, after Rabbi Yossi Denburg of Chabad of Boca Raton, Fla., put them in touch. The rookie player isn’t the only member of his family to enjoy a warm relationship with Chabad emissaries. His parents, Glen and Ilana Joseph, attended the Sydenham Shul, led by Rabbi Yossy Goldman in Johannesburg, South Africa, and connected with the Denburgs in Boca when they moved to Florida 17 years ago. Joseph’s two other brothers attend Chabad at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

In the meantime, Joseph’s mitzvah has already inspired other young Jews in the area. Freedman has received a spate of requests for mezuzahs since posting the picture on Facebook.

As Freedman puts it: “You never know how many people you can impact by helping someone else do a single mitzvah.”

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