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Hello and Happy Hanukkah!
What do sports and Hanukkah have in common? Sure, there’s lots of fried food involved, but I’m talking about the idea of miracles. Underdogs. Victory against all odds.
A couple years ago, the Jewish Sport Report team put our heads together and listed what we thought were the eight greatest Jewish sports miracles ever — one for each night of the holiday — plus a shamash to ignite them all.
Check out our list here, and let us know what other Jewish sports miracles you would put on your hanukkiah.
The National Hughes League
Jack, Luke and Quinn Hughes made Jewish hockey history this week when they became the first trio of Jewish brothers to play in the same NHL game (and I thought my two brothers and I had a shot…).
Jack and Luke’s New Jersey Devils came out on top against Quinn’s Vancouver Canucks in what many dubbed the “Hughes Bowl.” But all three brothers showed why they’re among the NHL’s brightest stars: Jack scored a goal with two assists, Luke scored a power play goal (assisted by Jack) and Quinn had two assists.
“I thought both Luke and Quinn played really well,” Jack Hughes told ESPN after the Devils’ 6-5 win. “A lot of fun to play with them.”
“Getting a picture in warmups was pretty cool,” Luke said. “I haven’t really let it all sink in yet. For me, it’s seeing him off ice, I haven’t seen (Quinn) in a couple of months, and it’s been the five of us. Our whole family has been here for two days, going to dinner and hanging out. It’s been great for our family.”
Canadian-Israeli businessman Sylvan Adams donated $100 million to Ben-Gurion University in Beersheva as southern Israel works to rebuild after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack. Adams, who won a cycling world championship for Israel earlier this year, has been a significant supporter of the sport’s growth in the country.
MATCHMAKER, MATCHMAKER. Speaking of $100 million donations, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is giving another $100 million to his Foundation to Combat Antisemitism as a matching donation after the Norman R. Rales and Ruth Rales Foundation pledged the same amount.
BRIGHT FUTURE AHEAD. Here’s a name Jewish hockey fans will want to know: Zeev Buium, a star defenseman at the University of Denver who is considered among the top prospects for the 2024 NHL Entry Draft. Buium’s mother Miriam played pro basketball in Israel.
HOMESICK. Injured Tottenham player Manor Solomon said this week that it’s been hard to think about anything other than the ongoing war in his home country. “These days are truly terrible,” he told the Israeli news site Ynet. “Every day, you just look at the news and your phone, and the television is on all the time to see what’s happening. We all hope that all the hostages will return and that there won’t be any more losses for us.”
FLYING HIGH. Businessman David Rubenstein may soon add another line to his already lengthy resume. Rubenstein, the cofounder of a private equity firm who also chairs the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (among a number of prestigious chairmanships) is reportedly interested in buying his hometown Baltimore Orioles. Bloomberg estimates Rubenstein’s net worth at $4.6 billion.
Jews in sports to watch this weekend
Deni Avdija and the Washington Wizards face the Brooklyn Nets tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET. Domantas Sabonis and the Sacramento Kings play the Phoenix Suns tonight at 9 p.m. ET. In the G League, Amari Bailey and the Greensboro Swarm face the Delaware Blue Coats tomorrow at 6 p.m. ET, and Ryan Turell and the Motor City Cruise take on the Windy City Bulls Sunday at 6 p.m. ET. The Orthodox prospect has not seen much playing time yet this season.
Jake Walman — who will soon have his own bobblehead — and the Detroit Red Wings host Jakob Chychrun and the Ottawa Senators tomorrow at 7 p.m. ET. Devon Levi, who’s back in the NHL after a brief AHL stint, and his Buffalo Sabres host the Montreal Canadiens tomorrow at 7 p.m. ET. Sunday at 4 p.m. ET, Jack and Luke Hughes’ New Jersey Devils face off against Zach Hyman’s Edmonton Oilers.
Here’s the Jewish schedule for Week 14 in the NFL:
Sunday at 1 p.m. ET: Michael Dunn and the Cleveland Browns host the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Sunday at 4:05 p.m. ET: Jake Curhan and the Seattle Seahawks play the San Francisco 49ers, while Greg Joseph and the Minnesota Vikings face the Las Vegas Raiders.
Sunday at 8:15 p.m. ET: A.J. Dillon and the Green Bay Packers play the New York Giants on “Sunday Night Football.”
After a rough 5-0 loss against Fulham on Wednesday, Matt Turner and his Premier League club Nottingham Forest host the Wolves tomorrow at 10 a.m. ET.
Cleats for a cause
The Minnesota Vikings will be sporting Israel-themed cleats on Sunday. The shoes feature Stars of David, Israeli and American flags and the phrases “I Stand With Israel,” “Am Yisrael Chai” and “Bring Them Home.” The team is owned by Mark Wilf, a Jewish philanthropist who’s currently serving as chairman of the board of the Jewish Agency for Israel.
This Sunday against the Raiders, various people within the Vikings organization will be supporting Israel on their feet.
Kicker Greg Joseph’s cleats and sneakers that will be worn by the Wilfs and team CEO Andrew Miller.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) December 8, 2023
The post The Jewish Sport Report: The Hughes brothers make even more Jewish hockey history appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
‘American Leadership Will Not Waver’: Senate Passes $95.3 Billion Aid Package for Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan
After months of negotiations, the Senate passed a $95.3 billion aid package for Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan on Tuesday by a vote of 70-29.
The bill, if signed by President Biden, would provide $14 billion in military assistance to Israel to help it replenish the Iron Dome and weapons that can help it defeat Hamas. While US President Joe Biden supports the bill, it is not certain to pass the House of Representatives.
The aid package gives $9.2 billion for humanitarian aid to the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, along with people in Ukraine and other war zones. However, it is well documented that much of the aid to Gaza does not reach Palestinian civilians but instead goes to Hamas.
The bill also provides about $5 billion toward countering Chinese aggression and $2.5 billion for fighting the Houthis as they continue to terrorize civilian ships in the Red Sea, disrupting global trade.
In the immediate aftermath of the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said the bill’s passage showed “that American leadership will not waver, not falter, not fail.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-KY) said, in a statement, that “Our adversaries want America to decide that reinforcing allies and partners is not in our interest, and that investing in strategic competition is not worth it. They want us to take hard-earned credibility and light it on fire.”
“But today,” he wrote, “the Senate responded by reaffirming a commitment to rebuild and modernize our military, restore our credibility, and give the current Commander-in-Chief, as well as the next, more tools to secure our interests.”
More progressive members of the Senate objected to funding Israel in its war against Hamas. Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT), called the idea of voting for Israel funding “unconscionable.” He wrote, “This bill provides Netanyahu $10 billion more in unrestricted military aid for his horrific war against the Palestinian people. That is unconscionable. I will vote NO on final passage.”
Some conservatives also voted against the bill because it did not include provisions to secure the U.S.’s southern border. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), released a statement making clear that while “It is important that Israel eradicates Hamas, that Taiwan remains resilient against China’s threats, and that Ukraine defeats Russia,” he would vote for the bill “only after America’s border is secured.”
The bill faces an uphill battle to pass in the House, where Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has suggested provisions will have to be added to secure the southern border for him to bring it to the floor for a vote.
He said, “House Republicans were crystal clear from the very beginning of discussions that any so-called national security supplemental legislation must recognize that national security begins at our own border.“
Johnson continued, “In the absence of having received any single border policy change from the Senate, the House will have to continue to work its own will on these important matters.”
Police are investigating after a group of anti-Israel protesters targeted Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital
Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital, a century-old Canadian medical institution originally built for Jewish doctors and patients who faced discrimination but which now treats all the city’s residents, became the latest target of anti-Israel protests on Feb.12. Protesters took over portions of southbound University Avenue with one individual climbing a scaffold and waving the Palestinian flag […]
Yeshiva Loses its Ninth Student in War in Gaza
Israelis on Monday woke up to bittersweet news: the good was the successful rescue of two hostages from the Gaza Strip. The bad, that three soldiers, Maj. Gen. Ziv Chen, Lt. Col. Nathaniel Elkoubi, and Maj. Yair Cohen were killed in separate fighting in the Strip.
Chen, 27, from Kfar Saba, was a graduate of a religious Zionist yeshiva in southern Israel which has now lost nine students in the war against Hamas in Gaza.
“We wanted to believe that we had finished paying the heavy price,” the head of the yeshiva, Rabbi Chaim Wolfson, told Hebrew media.
The yeshiva, Yeruham Hesder, is a program for observant Israelis who wish to combine regular military service with Torah study. A longer program than regular enlistments – five years total – there are thousands of students every year participating.
“We have lost a mainstay of the Beit Midrash (study hall). Ziv, as his name is, was all light,” Rabbi Wolfson added. “A loving and beloved man, I will bless you, everything he did was with infinite love. He loved people, loved the Torah, and everything he was involved in was done wholeheartedly.”
Chen was set to celebrate his wedding anniversary this upcoming Sunday with his wife Hillel, his family said.
At the funeral, held on Tuesday in his hometown, accompanied by hundreds of Israelis paying their respects, his uncle, Danny Chen, said about the fallen soldier: “He was a salt of the earth, a brilliant yeshiva student who loved the Land of Israel. He was a walking encyclopedia, very knowledgeable. Saturday night, two weeks ago, I saw him for the last time, always hugging and kissing. An exemplary child, a great loss. We are all shocked and hurt.”
The organization overseeing the Hesder yeshivot, the Hesder Yeshiva Association, released a statement that said, “We bitterly mourn the death of the soldier Maj. Gen. Ziv Chen, a fighter in the Givati Brigade, student of the Hesder Yeshiva Yeruham, who fell in the war. On behalf of the leaders of the Hesder Yeshivas and all the rabbis and students, we embrace the family, the the rabbis of the yeshiva, its students and graduates, and pray for an overwhelming victory of our heroic soldiers over our vile and cruel enemies. May his soul be wrapped in the bundle of life.”
The three soldiers who perished on Monday were the victims of an IED explosion in Khan Younis in southern Gaza, where the IDF has been concentrating its fighting for the last few weeks.
As mentioned, Chen is the ninth soldier to fall during the war from the Yeroham Yeshiva. The other eight are: Sergeant Ariel Eliyahu, 19, Staff Sergeant Yanon Fleishman, 31, First Sergeant Eitan Dov Rosenzweig, 21, Captain Eitan Fish, 23, Sergeant Yakir Yedidia Shankolevsky, 21, Advanced Sergeant Gideon Ilani, 35, First Sergeant Elisha Levinstern, 38, and First Sergeant Ephraim Yachman, 21.