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The Jewish Sport Report: 18 Jewish players in the MLB is a likely — and fitting — record

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Good afternoon, Jewish sports fans! 

Few families had as exciting a week as the Gelofs did. On Sunday, Jake Gelof, a power-hitting third baseman from the University of Virginia, was drafted 60th overall by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the MLB Draft. (More on him and the other Jewish draftees below).

Then on Wednesday, older brother Zack Gelof, another UVA alum who was drafted (also 60th overall!) by the Oakland Athletics in 2021, received the news every young ballplayer dreams of: he’s being promoted to the big league club.

Zack, who played for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic earlier this year, will become the 18th Jewish player to appear in the MLB this year — a likely record.

What a way to start the second half of the season! Mazel tov to the Gelof fam.

Meet Daniel Edelman, rising MLS superstar

At just 20, Jewish player Daniel Edelman is a rising star for the New York Red Bulls. (Courtesy New York Red Bulls)

New York Red Bulls midfielder Daniel Edelman is only 20 years old, but his star has already risen considerably in the past year.

Edelman won the Red Bulls’ Newcomer of the Year award last season. Then, as captain of the under-20 U.S. Men’s National Team, he led the team to the quarterfinals at the under-20 World Cup in Argentina in May. He was also selected as one of the New York Jewish Week’s “36 to Watch” for 2023.

This past weekend, Edelman received an honor befit for a hero: the team held a Marvel Night at Red Bull Arena and gave away an Edelman bobblehead inspired by a “Guardians of the Galaxy” character.

“It’s really exciting,” Edelman told my colleague Lisa Keys. “It’s my second season with the team, and to have a bobblehead made of me is pretty cool. This is a team I grew up looking up to, admiring all the players.”

Read our profile of the soccer star here.

Halftime report

SOLOMON’S NEW KINGDOM. Israeli soccer phenom Manor Solomon has signed a five-year contract with Premier League powerhouse Tottenham, a club with a rich (and at times controversial) Jewish history. The team’s fanbase, which has historically included many Jews, has called itself the “Yid army.”

ROAD TEAM. A team of 14 baseball players from the North Israel Little League are traveling to Kutno, Poland, today to represent Israel in the Little League World Series qualifiers. This is Israel’s first appearance in the tournament. “When I look at this team, I see what Israel should be,” team manager David Weiss said in a press release.

UNBOXING. The Los Angeles Times announced this week that it would stop posting box scores in its sports section — a change that upset many Jewish fans who rely on the paper for sports news on Shabbat. The Forward has the story. (Plus, The New York Times announced it would shutter its sports section and instead focus on its coverage in The Athletic.)

HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE. In the pantheon of sports executives, Adam Neuman is a rising star. After a stint as chief of staff for strategy and operations at the Big Ten Conference, Neuman is returning to his hometown to serve in a similar role with the Baltimore Ravens.

FULL COURT PRESS. New Phoenix Suns owner Mat Ishbia, who purchased the team late last year, has already had an impact in the organization. According to ESPN, Ishbia “has let it be known how he is going to run the Suns: aggressively and from the front.”

Meet the 2023 Jewish MLB Draft class

Jake Gelof, left, and Zach Levenson, right, headline the group of Jewish players drafted into MLB in 2023. (Getty Images)

Over 600 baseball players were drafted across 20 rounds of the MLB Draft this week — and six of them are Jewish.

There’s the aforementioned Jake Gelof, who just set the all-time home run record at UVA.

Then there’s outfielder Zach Levenson (158th), who was ranked 204th in MLB’s prospect rankings, plus Lucas Braun (189th), RJ Schreck (277th), Ben Simon (396th) and Will King (609th).

Meet all six draftees right here.

Jews in sports to watch this weekend


Dean Kremer takes the mound for the Baltimore Orioles against the Miami Marlins tonight at 7:05 p.m. ET. Jake Bird and the Colorado Rockies face Harrison Bader and the New York Yankees tonight at 8:40 p.m. ET. Zack Gelof is likely to make his major league debut as his Oakland A’s host the Minnesota Twins tonight at 9:40 p.m. ET.


Daniel Edelman and the NY Red Bulls host Real Salt Lake tomorrow at 9:30 p.m. ET. Manor Solomon and his new club Tottenham begin their preseason friendly matches Tuesday at 6 a.m. ET against West Ham.


Max Homa is across the pond this weekend for the Scottish Open, while Ben Silverman is competing at The Ascendant tournament in Colorado.

Highlights from the JCC Maccabi Games

The victorious under-17 boys soccer team at the JCC Maccabi Games (Courtesy of JCC Association)

The JCC Maccabi Games wrapped up this week, where 74 delegations of more than 1,000 Jewish teens from 10 countries competed for four days in Israel.

A mixed team of athletes from Morocco, Ukraine, Israel, Washington and Indiana won a gold medal in under-17 boys soccer — despite speaking four different languages. In swimming, a pair of Ukrainian teens won gold. And now that the competition is over, teens will spend time touring Israel on an educational program.

Congrats to all the medal winners!

The post The Jewish Sport Report: 18 Jewish players in the MLB is a likely — and fitting — record appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Treasure Trove recalls a time when the Kingdom of Jordan’s pavilion at the World’s Fair generated controversy, protests and a court battle

In this pamphlet, the country of Jordan is billed as the “The Holy Land”. This material introduced visitors to the Kingdom of Jordan pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City. Ironically, the motto of the fair was “Peace Through Understanding”.  It describes a pavilion that includes a “photographic survey of the Holy […]

The post Treasure Trove recalls a time when the Kingdom of Jordan’s pavilion at the World’s Fair generated controversy, protests and a court battle appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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A shooting at Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School involving two suspects is being investigated by Toronto Police

Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School, located near the Finch and Dufferin intersection in Toronto, had shots fired in its direction Saturday at 4:52 a.m. The incident was captured on a security video. The suspects can be seen getting out of a dark-coloured vehicle and opening fire on the school, which serves the Hasidic community with […]

The post A shooting at Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School involving two suspects is being investigated by Toronto Police appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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At Cannes, Iranian Director Rasoulof Recalls Difficult Exile Decision

FILE PHOTO: Cast member Setareh Maleki and director Mohammad Rasoulof attend a press conference for “The Seed of the Sacred Fig” (Les Graines du figuier sauvage) in competition at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 25, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo

Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof recalled how he had to decide within hours whether to go into exile or serve a prison sentence, saying it was still difficult to talk about it during a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday.

Rasoulof was in the French Riviera town for the premiere of his new drama “The Seed of the Sacred Fig,” almost two weeks after announcing he had fled Iran and entered into exile in the wake of his sentencing to eight years in jail and flogging.

After he learned that he had a week left before his sentence would be implemented, things moved quickly, he said, especially as authorities had caught wind of the existence of his new film.

“I had to say to myself, well, do I want to be in prison, or should I leave Iran, geographic Iran, and join the cultural Iran that exists beyond its borders?” recalled the director.

“It took me two hours to make the decision. I walked around, I paced around my house. I said goodbye to my plants that I love, and I have many, many plants in my house,” he added.

Then, Rasoulof left all his belongings and walked out of the house. “It’s not an easy decision to take. It still isn’t easy even to talk about it today with you,” he told journalists.

Iran‘s culture minister Mohammad Mehdi Esmaili told state media this month that Rasoulof’s film had been made illegally and there would be a crackdown on movies without permits.

“The Seed of the Sacred Fig” is about a court official who grows increasingly controlling of his family during the 2022 protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish woman arrested by the morality police for allegedly flouting dress codes.

The film drew the longest standing ovation at the festival after its premiere on Friday night and was well received by critics who called it “mesmerizingly gripping” and “shattering.”

The director, who has been arrested and detained several times for charges ranging from filming without a permit to “collusion against national security,” said that the idea for the film came from years of confrontation with secret services.

“All these characters were inspired by real people, all the scenes come from real situations,” he said, adding that experience has also made him adept at avoiding secret services.

“Our life is fairly similar to that of gangsters, except we are gangsters of the cinema,” he joked at the news conference.

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