Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach was honored “for his work as a strong supporter of Israel and other Zionist causes.”
The Bnai Zion Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in the United States that identifies and funds capital projects in Israel, presented the Dallas Cowboys great with its 2019 American-Israel Friendship Award at an event in Dallas on Monday.
Staubach wrote in a commentary published in the Dallas Morning News ahead of the awards ceremony that “(M)y Catholic roots have always helped me see the importance of an Israeli homeland.”
The Heisman Trophy winner called the purchase of Israel Bonds while a student at the U.S. Naval Academy, because they were affordable, “my first link to Israel.”
He also wrote: “Israel is a very special place that represents so many faiths. It covers everyone and everything, and you don’t have to be Jewish to understand its singular status and to support it as a nation and an idea.”
Proceeds from the event will support the Bnai Zion Medical Center in northern Israel. Dr. Zeck Lieberman, an oncology surgeon at the Baylor University Medical Center for 55 years, will receive the L’Dor v’Dor Award.
Since its founding in 1908, Bnai Zion has completed hundreds of life-changing projects in Israel in the areas of social inclusion, health and culture, the organization said in a statement.
Staubach joined the Cowboys in 1969 and played with the club for his 11 NFL seasons, leading them to the Super Bowl five times, including two victories.