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The Jewish Sport Report: How the MLB’s Jewish players will handle Yom Kippur this year

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Hello, Jewish sports fans!

What’s your most prized sports possession? For one fan, it’s this insanely cool ticket from Game 1 of the 1965 World Series, signed by none other than Sandy Koufax, who famously did not pitch in that game. More on that below.

The Yom Kippur game, signed by Koufax for my mom at the National 25 years ago.

— DR (@davidwrubin) February 5, 2023

Do you have any rare or special Jewish sports keepsakes? Reply to this email or drop us a line at to show them off!

The MLB has more Jewish players than ever — but none of them will face a Yom Kippur dilemma this year

Dean Kremer, left, and Max Fried, right, are among the best Jewish players in the MLB. (Getty Images)

If you’re reading this newsletter, chances are you’re familiar with the Sandy Koufax Yom Kippur story — that time the best pitcher in baseball sat out a World Series game that fell on Judaism’s most important holiday.

But Koufax is far from the only Jewish MLB player to have made that choice. Hank Greenberg and Shawn Green have done it, too, plus several others. (Green even sacrificed an impressive streak to sit for the High Holidays).

This Yom Kippur, two of baseball’s best Jewish players — Max Fried and Dean Kremer, each of whom have wrestled with this issue in the past — lucked out: Fried pitched last night, and Kremer toes the rubber tonight.

Click here for more on how the MLB’s Jewish players are navigating the holiday this year.

Halftime report

THIS ONE’S FOR YOU. Chelsea Football Club has announced the creation of a Jewish fan group, becoming the second Premier League Team to do so this year, following Arsenal. Chelsea has long been active in efforts to combat antisemitism, especially under former owner Roman Abramovich.

YEEZY MAKING ME WHEEZY. Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden defended former collaborator Kanye West, who the sportswear giant dropped last year amid the fallout from West’s antisemitic tirades. “I don’t think he meant what he said and I don’t think he’s a bad person,” Gulden said. “He just came across that way. And that meant we lost that business, one of the most successful collabs in the history. Very sad.”

NEW BOSS IN MOTOWN. The Detroit Tigers hired Jeff Greenberg as their new general manager. Greenberg has years of experience as an executive with the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Blackhawks and is the son of former Texas Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg.

VOTE EARLY AND OFTEN. “The Franchise: Jews, Sports, and America,” the excellent podcast from Tablet Studios and friend of the Sport Report Meredith Shiner, is a finalist for the Signal Awards’ best limited series in the sports documentary category. Check out the pod here and vote for it here.

Jews in sports to watch this weekend


Dean Kremer takes the mound for his Baltimore Orioles as they face Eli Morgan and the Cleveland Guardians tonight at 7:10 p.m. ET. Team Israel is in Prague for the European Baseball Championship, where they face Switzerland Sunday at 5 a.m. ET and Germany Monday at 2 p.m. ET. Streaming information can be found here.


Week 3 of the NFL season is here. Here’s the Jewish schedule:

Sunday at 1 p.m. ET: Greg Joseph and the Minnesota Vikings host the Los Angeles Chargers, A.J. Dillon and the Green Bay Packers face the New Orleans Saints and Michael Dunn and the Cleveland Browns take on the Tennessee Titans.
Sunday at 4 p.m. ET: Jake Curhan and the Seattle Seahawks host the Carolina Panthers — though it is unclear if Curhan will play on Kol Nidre.


In the Premier League, Matt Turner and Nottingham Forest play Manchester City Saturday at 10 a.m. ET, while Manor Solomon and Tottenham play Arsenal Sunday at 9 a.m. ET. Over in the MLS, Daniel Edelman and the New York Red Bulls host Steve Birnbaum and DC United Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET.


Jewish Canadian golfer Ben Silverman is at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship at Ohio State University this weekend — sorry, THE Ohio State University.

G’mar Chatima Tovah

Whether you plan to spend your weekend watching sports, observing Yom Kippur, or somewhere in between, we wish you a good weekend, an easy fast and a happy new year! And don’t forget, if you made any ill-advised sports bets in the past year, now’s your chance to atone!

The post The Jewish Sport Report: How the MLB’s Jewish players will handle Yom Kippur this year appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Israeli and Jewish activists take campaign for greater concern about Oct. 7 sex crimes to UN

(JTA) — Less than a week after the United Nations secretary general urged an investigation into reported sexual violence by Hamas, the Israeli U.N. mission held a conference on the allegations and pressed the international community to speak out more forcefully against them.

“We have come so far in believing survivors of sexual assault in so many situations. That’s why the silence on these war crimes is dangerous,” said former Meta COO Sheryl Sandberg, the event’s keynote speaker. “The world has to decide who to believe. Do we believe the Hamas spokesperson who said that rape is forbidden, therefore it couldn’t have possibly happened on October 7th? Or do we believe the women whose bodies tell us how they spent the last few minutes of their lives?”

A CNN op-ed by Sandberg, and an accompanying Instagram post, have been at the center of a growing protest by Israeli and Jewish women who charge that the U.N. and other international bodies have dismissed or downplayed reports of sexual violence during Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel. The protest has spread via the hashtag #Me_Too_UNless_UR_a_Jew and found its real-life expression in Monday’s event, which drew 700 people to U.N. headquarters on Manhattan’s East Side.

Israeli U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan took aim in particular at U.N. Women — the organization’s arm for promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment — which caught flak for posting and then deleting a statement condemning the Hamas attack.

“Sadly, the very international bodies that are supposedly the defenders of all women show that when it comes to Israelis, indifference is acceptable,” Erdan said in his opening remarks.

“U.N. Women ignored all of the proof and were blind to all the evidence, including video footage of testimonies of sexual crimes,” he said. “Instead of immediately supporting the victims, U.N. Women brazenly suggested that Hamas’ gender-based violence be investigated by a blatantly antisemitic U.N. body.”

The condemnation of the U.N. is the latest in a long line of complaints Israel has had about the body both before and during its ongoing war with Hamas. In late October, Erdan called on Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to resign after he said the Oct. 7 attack “did not happen in a vacuum.”

The United Nations General Assembly has yet to condemn Hamas and has called for a cessation of the conflict, which restarted last week after a seven-day pause in which Hamas released more than 100 hostages and Israel released hundreds of Palestinian security prisoners..

Last week, Guterres called for an investigation into sexual violence by Hamas. But speakers at Monday’s event pushed for more from world leaders. Sandberg called for “the entire U.N. to formally condemn, investigate, hold the terrorists accountable.” Erdan, to loud applause, called for an “investigation of U.N. Women’s indifference to the heinous crimes against Israeli women”

In the nearly two months since the Hamas attack in Israel on Oct. 7, Israeli law enforcement, search and rescue groups, and the country’s recently formed Civil Commission on October 7 Crimes by Hamas against Women and Children have collected evidence and testimony regarding Hamas’ sexual violence on Oct. 7. Over the weekend, The Sunday Times reported testimony from survivors of the Nova music festival recalling women being gang raped and beheaded.

Sheila Katz, the CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women, which organized the event along with other women’s rights groups, drew a parallel between last week’s Torah portion, which includes the Biblical story of the rape of Dinah, and the experiences of the victims of Oct. 7. Katz noted that Dinah’s voice is notably missing from the Biblical narrative.

“For generations, survivors of sexual assaults have looked to Dina’s story because it speaks so powerfully to the secondary trauma of being unheard, ignored and reduced to mere objects for debate,” said Katz, who invited people to step out of the room if they felt the need, given the graphic nature of the event. “And we heard this with new significance this year, because Israeli women and girls were recently tortured, raped, and killed, forever silenced by Hamas.”

Several actors attended the event, including Tovah Feldshuh, Julianna Margulies, Emmy Rossum and Debra Messing, all of whom have spoken out against antisemitism or Hamas’ attack. (Margulies was also fresh off an apology after making disparaging comments about Black Americans who have not supported Jews after Oct. 7.)

The event also featured people who tended to victims of the event, including representatives from ZAKA, the Orthodox Israeli first-responder organization, and the Israeli police, who have been collecting and documenting evidence from victims of sexual violence and people who witnessed the violence. They recounted graphic stories, to which the crowd responded vocally with murmurs, gasps and tears. Some in the audience exchanged tissues, hugs and pats on the back for extra support.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, a Democrat, also came and discussed seeing a compilation of footage of the attack that a group of senators recently viewed.

“I’ve seen much of the raw footage. It takes your breath away,” she said. “You can’t unsee it.”

Speaking to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency after the event, Sandberg said silence surrounding sexual violence is connected to a dearth of female representation on the world stage.

“You look in that hall at those flags — those are countries run by men, very few are run by women. I really wanted that to change in my lifetime. It’s not going to happen, not going to be close,” she said. “But that means the progress we fought for to get women’s women’s rights and protection of our bodies, protection of who we are, protection against systematic, sexualized violence — can’t be lost. And that is why anyone can speak out. And when they speak out, we have to all unite together as quickly as possible.”

The post Israeli and Jewish activists take campaign for greater concern about Oct. 7 sex crimes to UN appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Canada’s Rally for the Jewish People brought thousands to Ottawa calling for the return of the hostages in Gaza—while delivering a loud rebuke to the recent waves of antisemitism

A detailed report from a spirited snowy scene on Monday afternoon.

The post Canada’s Rally for the Jewish People brought thousands to Ottawa calling for the return of the hostages in Gaza—while delivering a loud rebuke to the recent waves of antisemitism appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Despite bus driver boycott, thousands attend pro-Israel rally in Ottawa

MONTREAL (JTA) — Despite a foot of snow in Montreal and chartered buses that never showed up in Toronto, thousands of Canadian Jews assembled on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday to voice solidarity with Israel and decry a rise in antisemitism.

Despite concerns over overall security in Canada’s capital city, which was tight, the rally’s speakers included several prominent Canadian politicians, Jewish leaders, college students who feel unsafe on campus and family members of Israelis taken hostage or killed by Hamas on Oct. 7.

Local Jewish leaders called the event, organized by Jewish federations across Canada and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, a historic gathering. But just weeks after a similar incident in Detroit before a massive pro-Israel rally in Washington, 17 of 70 chartered buses did not show up to pick up rally-goers in Toronto.

Organizers called the no-show bus company antisemitic.

“Despite charging in full in advance and confirming its participation, the [unidentified] company did not send a single bus and has declined all communications while refusing to provide any explanations,” said Adam Minsky, president and CEO of United Jewish Appeal Federations in Toronto.

“We are driven to the view that this shameful decision is intended to disrupt our peaceful rally out of hatred toward Jews,” he added. “What happened today is sickening and outrageous. We will respond aggressively with every legal and public affairs tool at our disposal.”

Israel’s ambassador to Canada Iddo Moed, Liberal Party member of parliament Anthony Housefather and deputy Conservative Party leader Melissa Lantsman all spoke on Monday.

“This is not 1943. I’m grateful that Israel exists and has an army to fight back against those who launched this pogrom,” said Housefather, who is Jewish and represents Montreal’s heavily Jewish Mount Royal district.

Raquel Look, whose son Alexandre was murdered at the music festival in southern Israel attacked by Hamas on Oct. 7, called on Canadian politicians to take more action against antisemitism. Hate crimes against Jews — including multiple incidents that have involved Molotov cocktails thrown at Montreal-area synagogues — have spiked across Canada.

“Our sorrow is deep and immeasurable but today we want to channel this immense pain into a call for action,” Look said. “Please let us honour his memory by standing up against the forces that seek to destroy Jewish and Canadians values we hold so dear.”

The post Despite bus driver boycott, thousands attend pro-Israel rally in Ottawa appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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