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The Jewish Sport Report: Taking a trip to Jewish surf camp

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Good afternoon! It’s been an exciting summer in the Jewish sports world, from the MLB and NBA drafts to the JCC Maccabi Games to world championships in fencing and cycling.

What was your Jewish sports highlight of the summer? Let us know by emailing us at or tweeting (X-ing?) at us: @JTASportReport.

We’ll go first: Zack Gelof, who became the 18th Jewish big leaguer this season, has been raking — in 28 games, the rookie is hitting .294 with 32 hits, 8 home runs and a .986 OPS.

Surf’s up at this Jewish summer camp

Sababa Beachaway’s director, Danny Mishkin, standing in center, begins the morning by leading a moment of meditation. (Jacob Gurvis)

Surfing through a Jewish lens? That’s the goal at Sababa Beachaway, a Jewish surf camp in Virginia Beach I visited earlier this summer that specializes in ocean education and exploration.

The camp offers four focus areas — surfing, sailing, scuba diving and an education track called “ocean discovery” — on top of typical camp activities and Jewish programming and prayer.

The camp launched in 2015 in New York, first as a day camp, before expanding to an overnight camp in Virginia in 2018. It hasn’t been smooth sailing — the camp has navigated COVID, joining a new parent company and switching campuses. But they’ve still managed to grow enrollment.

Get stoked and read more about Sababa right here.

Halftime report

MENSCH. Super Bowl champion Leonard Fournette paid a surprise visit to a Jewish camp for children and teens with cancer and other chronic illnesses last weekend. “We all have our own problems, even myself, but the battle these kids face each and every day and for the rest of their lives, they’re the champions in our heart,” Fournette said during his visit.

Israeli soccer player Stav Lemkin, who starred for Israel at the FIFA U20 World Cup, is headed to Ukraine to play for Shakhtar Donetsk, the same Ukrainian Premier League team that Manor Solomon played for before moving over to the Premier League. Lemkin said he “hesitated because of the war,” but ultimately “my considerations were purely about soccer, because I knew Shakhtar would be the best place for me to develop.”

MOVING ON UP. The Forward’s Louis Keene stopped by Visalia, California, this week to see Orthodox prospect Jacob Steinmetz in action in Single-A. Steinmetz struck out seven batters over six innings, including recent Los Angeles Dodgers draftee Jake Gelof.

CHECK THIS OUT. The neighborhood around Fenway Park in Boston has unveiled a new art installation called “Be the Change,” in partnership with the Jewish Arts Collaborative. Billed as an “art and activism initiative, rooted in the Jewish tenet of justice,” the exhibition is on display through October.

B’TAYAVON. brings us the behind-the-scenes story of Yankee Stadium’s kosher food scene, from the secret elevator that leads to the kitchen to the updated food offerings for this season.

Jews in sports to watch this weekend


Atlanta Braves ace Max Fried toes the rubber Sunday at 1:35 p.m. ET as he and Kevin Pillar face Joc Pederson and the San Francisco Giants. The Giants are coming off a 7-0 win earlier this week during the team’s Jewish Heritage Night. Dean Kremer isn’t scheduled to pitch this weekend, but his first-place Baltimore Orioles are facing the Oakland Athletics and their red-hot second baseman Zack Gelof.


Matt Turner started in goal for his new Premier League team Nottingham Forest as they played Sheffield United this afternoon — still in progress as of publication time. Manor Solomon and Tottenham face Man United Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET.


Max Homa is competing in the BMW Championship this weekend. He finished tied for sixth at the FedEx St. Jude Championship last week.


That’s right, football is back! Catch Anthony Firkser with his new team, the New England Patriots, as they play AJ Dillon and the Green Bay Packers in Week 3 of the preseason. And stay tuned for a full NFL season preview coming soon!

Gabe Kapler’s style is

Labor Day is fast approaching, which means it’s time to get your white outfits in while you still can. San Francisco Giants skipper Gabe Kapler is clearly taking that to heart, as he was rocking a fresh white and orange fit earlier this week. A former player called him the “hottest in the game.”

Gabe Kapler is the only manager in the show that pulls this outfit off. Hottest in the game and there isn’t a close second.

— Coach Trev (@trevorplouffe) August 16, 2023

The post The Jewish Sport Report: Taking a trip to Jewish surf camp appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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US House Passes $95 Billion Ukraine, Israel Aid Package, Sends to Senate

House Speaker Mike Johnson speaks to members of the media at the Capitol building, April 20, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Ken Cedeno

The U.S. House of Representatives on Saturday with broad bipartisan support passed a $95 billion legislative package providing security assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, over bitter objections from Republican hardliners.

The legislation now proceeds to the Democratic-majority Senate, which passed a similar measure more than two months ago. U.S. leaders from Democratic President Joe Biden to top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell had been urging embattled Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson to bring it up for a vote.

The Senate is expected to pass the measure next week, sending it to Biden to sign into law.

The bills provide $60.84 billion to address the conflict in Ukraine, including $23 billion to replenish U.S. weapons, stocks and facilities; $26 billion for Israel, including $9.1 billion for humanitarian needs, and $8.12 billion for the Indo-Pacific, including Taiwan.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his thanks, saying U.S. lawmakers moved to keep “history on the right track.”

“The vital U.S. aid bill passed today by the House will keep the war from expanding, save thousands and thousands of lives, and help both of our nations to become stronger,” Zelensky said on X.

It was unclear how quickly the new military funding for Ukraine will be depleted, likely causing calls for further action by Congress.

Biden, who had urged Congress since last year to approve the additional aid to Ukraine, said in a statement: “It comes at a moment of grave urgency, with Israel facing unprecedented attacks from Iran and Ukraine under continued bombardment from Russia.”

The vote on passage of the Ukraine funding was 311-112. But significantly, 112 Republicans opposed the legislation, with only 101 in support.

“Mike Johnson is a lame duck… he’s done,” far-right Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene told reporters afterward.

She has been a leading opponent of helping Ukraine in its war against Russia and has taken steps that threaten to remove Johnson from office over this issue. Greene stopped short of doing so on Saturday, however.

During the vote, several lawmakers waved small Ukrainian flags as it became clear that element of the package was headed to passage. Johnson warned lawmakers that was a “violation of decorum.”

Meanwhile, the House’s actions during a rare Saturday session put on display some cracks in what generally is solid support for Israel within Congress. Recent months have seen leftist Democrats express anger with Israel‘s government and its conduct of the war in Gaza.

But Saturday’s vote, in which the Israel aid was passed 366-58, had 37 Democrats and 21 Republicans in opposition.

Passage of the long-awaited legislation was closely watched by U.S. defense contractors, who could be in line for huge contracts to supply equipment for Ukraine and other U.S. partners.

Johnson this week chose to ignore ouster threats by hardline members of his fractious 218-213 majority and push forward the measure that includes Ukraine funding as it struggles to fight off a two-year Russian invasion.

The unusual four-bill package also includes a measure that includes a threat to ban the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok and the potential transfer of seized Russian assets to Ukraine.

Some hardline Republicans voicing strong opposition to further Ukraine aid argued the United States can ill afford it given its rising $34 trillion national debt. They have repeatedly raised the threat of ousting Johnson, who became speaker in October after his predecessor, Kevin McCarthy, was ousted by party hardliners.

“It’s not the perfect legislation, it’s not the legislation that we would write if Republicans were in charge of both the House, the Senate, and the White House,” Johnson told reporters on Friday. “This is the best possible product that we can get under these circumstances to take care of these really important obligations.”

Representative Bob Good, chair of the hardline House Freedom Caucus, told reporters on Friday that the bills represent a “slide down into the abyss of greater fiscal crisis and America-last policies that reflect Biden and (Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck) Schumer and (House Democratic leader Hakeem) Jeffries, and don’t reflect the American people.”

But Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who carries huge influence in the party, on April 12 voiced support for Johnson and in a Thursday social media post said Ukraine’s survival is important for the U.S.

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Amid Increased Pressure, Hamas Leadership Reportedly Mulls Leaving Qatar

Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani makes statements to the media with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in Doha, Qatar, Oct. 13, 2023. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Pool via REUTERS

i24 NewsThe political leadership mulls moving its base of operations out of Qatar, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday. It is understood the Gulf state is increasingly pressurizing the terror chiefs to accept a hostage-for-truce deal with Israel.

The report quoted an unnamed Middle Eastern official as saying the Hamas politburo chiefs were mulling a move to Oman.

“The talks have already stalled again with barely any signs or prospects for them to resume any time soon, and distrust is rising between Hamas and the negotiators,” the source was quoted as saying.

“The possibility of the talks being upended entirely is very real,” another Arab official told WSJ.

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Abbas Threatens Ties with U.S. After UN Membership Bid Veto

PA President Mahmoud Abbas gestures during a meeting in Ramallah, in the West Bank August 18, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman/Pool

i24 NewsIn a recent interview with the official WAFA news agency, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas issued a stern warning, indicating that the Palestinian Authority (PA) would reassess its bilateral relations with the United States following Washington’s veto of a Palestinian request for full United Nations membership.

While Abbas has made similar threats in the past without following through, his latest remarks underscore growing frustration within the Palestinian leadership over perceived U.S. support for Israel and the ongoing conflict in the region.

In the interview, conducted in Arabic and later translated, Abbas criticized the US for its stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He accused the Biden administration of siding with the occupation and failing to uphold international law. Abbas emphasized that while the world supports Palestinian rights, the US continues to provide unwavering support to Israel, including military aid that “contributes to the suffering of Palestinians.”

Abbas’s remarks reflect a deepening rift between the Palestinian leadership and the US, particularly over issues such as Israel’s annexation policies and the status of Jerusalem.

He lamented the US’s abandonment of its promises and commitments, particularly regarding the two-state solution and achieving peace in the region.

The PA leader also highlighted the significance of Jerusalem, emphasizing its status as a red line that cannot be crossed. While underscoring the city’s Islamic and Christian sanctities, Abbas did not acknowledge Judaism’s historical ties to Jerusalem.

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