(JTA) — With just one month to go until the 2023 World Baseball Classic, Team Israel announced its full roster on Thursday.
Thanks to a recruitment effort led by Peter Kurz, president of the Israel Association of Baseball and Team Israel’s general manager, along with the team’s former-star-turned-manager, Ian Kinsler, Israel will arrive in Miami next month with a roster laden with talent — including an unprecedented 15 players with Major League Baseball experience.
Here is the full 30-man roster, with their current playing level:
Starting pitchers: Brandon Gold (Triple A), Colton Gordon (Single A), Dean Kremer (Baltimore Orioles), Robert Stock (Triple A)
Relief pitchers: Jake Bird (Colorado Rockies), Richard Bleier (Boston Red Sox), Daniel Federman (Single A), Jake Fishman (Triple A), Andrew Gross (Double A), Rob Kaminsky (free agent), Evan Kravetz (Double A), Kyle Molnar (free agent), Bubby Rosman (free agent), Jacob Steinmetz (Arizona Diamondbacks organization), Joey Wagman (free agent), Zack Weiss (Los Angeles Angels), Josh Wolf (Single A)
Outfielders: Alex Dickerson (free agent), Jakob Goldfarb (free agent), Spencer Horwitz (Triple A), Joc Pederson (San Francisco Giants),
Infielders: Zack Gelof (Triple A), Ty Kelly (free agent), Assaf Lowengart (college), Noah Mendlinger (Single A), Matt Mervis (Triple A), Danny Valencia (retired), Michael Wielansky (free agent)
Catchers: Ryan Lavarnway (free agent), Garrett Stubbs (Philadelphia Phillies)
Kurz told the Jewish Baseball News site that the current roster is Israel’s strongest ever. “We’ve come a long way since our international debut at the 2012 WBC qualifiers,” he said.
Big leaguers Scott Effross and Harrison Bader, both members of the New York Yankees, had planned to play for Israel but dropped out due to injuries. Outfielder Kevin Pillar was previously rumored to be on the team but did not appear on the final roster.
Israel also has an additional group of relievers it can add to the roster if it advances past the first round: Jake Kalish (AAA), Alex Katz (free agent), Adam Kolarek (Los Angeles Dodgers organization), Jake Miednik (Single A), and Israeli Shlomo Lipetz.
Israel will be playing in Pool D in Miami, along with Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.
With half of the MLB based in Florida for Spring Training — which overlaps with the WBC — the proximity helped entice players to participate.
“Team Israel has shown well,” Kinsler told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in October. “Being in Miami makes [players’] decisions easier. All of those things led to more opportunities for more players. I think we get more accomplished players.”
Kinsler added that Pederson, perhaps the team’s most famous MLB player, has helped with recruitment. Pederson is a two-time World Champion and was an All-Star in 2022.
“Joc’s making phone calls and sending texts and is doing his best,” Kinsler said. “He wants to play on a competitive team.”
Another element is Israel’s continued success on the international stage. The team reached seventh place at the 2017 WBC and was one of just six teams to qualify for the 2020 Olympics.
Previous success aside, Israel is set to face its toughest competition yet. The Dominican team is headlined by MLB stars Juan Soto, Manny Machado and Sandy Alcantara.
Pool D begins action Saturday, March 11, and two teams from each pool advance to the second round. Israel’s first game is March 12 against Nicaragua. The team will also face the Miami Marlins and Washington Nationals in exhibition games before the WBC starts.
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Phyllis Pollock died at home Sunday September 3, 2023 in Winnipeg, after a courageous lifetime battle with cancer.
Phyllis was a mother of four: Gary (Laura), daughter Randi, Steven (deceased in 2010) (Karen), and Robert. Phyllis also had two grandchildren: Lauren and Quinn.
Born in Fort Frances, Ontario on February 7, 1939, Phyllis was an only child to Ruby and Alex Lerman. After graduating high school, Phyllis moved to Winnipeg where she married and later divorced Danny Pollock, the father of her children. She moved to Beverly Hills in 1971, where she raised her children.
Phyllis had a busy social life and lucrative real estate career that spanned over 50 years, including new home sales with CoastCo. Phyllis was the original sales agent for three buildings in Santa Monica, oceanfront: Sea Colony I, Sea Colony II, and Sea Colony. She was known as the Sea Colony Queen. She worked side by side with her daughter Randi for about 25 years – handling over 600 transactions, including sales and leases within the three phases of Sea Colony alone.
Phyllis had more energy than most people half her age. She loved entertaining, working in the real estate field, meeting new and interesting people everyday no matter where she went, and thrived on making new lifelong friends. Phyllis eventually moved to the Sea Colony in Santa Monica where she lived for many years before moving to Palm Desert, then Winnipeg.
After battling breast cancer four times in approximately 20 years, she developed metastatic Stage 4 lung cancer. Her long-time domestic partner of 27 years, Joseph Wilder, K.C., was the love of her life. They were never far apart. They traveled the world and went on many adventures during their relationship. During her treatment, Phyllis would say how much she missed work and seeing her clients. Joey demonstrated amazing strength, love, care, and compassion for Phyllis as her condition progressed. He was her rock and was by her side 24/7, making sure she had the best possible care. Joey’s son David was always there to support Phyllis and to make her smile. Joey’s other children, Sheri, Kenny, Joshua and wife Davina, were also a part of her life. His kids would Facetime Phyllis and include her during any of their important functions. Phyllis loved Joey’s children as if they were her own.
Thank you to all of her friends and family who were there to support her during these difficult times. Phyllis is now, finally, pain free and in a better place. She was loved dearly and will be greatly missed. Interment took place in Los Angeles.
Gwen Centre Creative Living Centre celebrates 35th anniversary
By BERNIE BELLAN Over 100 individuals gathered at the Gwen Secter Centre on Tuesday evening, July 18 – under the big top that serves as the venue for the summer series of outdoor concerts that is now in its third year at the centre.
The occasion was the celebration of the Gwen Secter Centre’s 35th anniversary. It was also an opportunity to honour the memory of Sophie Shinewald, who passed away at the age of 106 in 2019, but who, as recently as 2018, was still a regular attendee at the Gwen Secter Centre.
As Gwen Secter Executive Director Becky Chisick noted in her remarks to the audience, Sophie had been volunteering at the Gwen Secter Centre for years – answering the phone among other duties. Becky remarked that Sophie’s son, Ed Shinewald, had the phone number for the Gwen Secter Centre stored in his phone as “Mum’s work.”
Remarks were also delivered by Raquel Dancho, Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, who was the only representative of any level of government in attendance. (How times have changed: I remember well the steadfast support the former Member of the Legislature for St. John’s, Gord Mackintosh, showed the Gwen Secter Centre when it was perilously close to being closed down. And, of course, for years, the area in which the Gwen Secter Centre is situated was represented by the late Saul Cherniack.)
Sophie Shinewald’s granddaughter, Alix (who flew in from Chicago), represented the Shinewald family at the event. (Her brother, Benjamin, who lives in Ottawa, wasn’t able to attend, but he sent a pre-recorded audio message that was played for the audience.)
Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by a group of talented singers, led by Julia Kroft. Following the concert, attendees headed inside to partake of a sumptuous assortment of pastries, all prepared by the Gwen Secter culinary staff. (And, despite my asking whether I could take a doggy bag home, I was turned down.)
Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station
This is a developing story.
(JTA) — Palestinian gunmen killed four people and wounded four in a terror attack at a gas station near the West Bank settlement of Eli, the Israeli army reported.
An Israeli civilian returning fire at the scene of the attack on Tuesday killed one of the attackers, who emerged from a vehicle, and two others fled.
Kan, Israel’s public broadcaster, said one of those wounded was in serious condition. The gunmen, while in the vehicle, shot at a guard post at the entry to the settlement, and then continued to the gas station which is also the site of a snack bar. A nearby yeshiva went into lockdown.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced plans to convene a briefing with top security officials within hours of the attack. Kan reported that there were celebrations of the killing in major West Bank cities and in the Gaza Strip, initiated by terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Hamas said the shooting attack Tuesday was triggered by the Jenin raid.
The shooting comes as tensions intensify in the West Bank. A day earlier, Israeli troops raiding the city of Jenin to arrest accused terrorists killed five people.
The Biden administration spoke out over the weekend against Israel’s plans to build 4,000 new housing units for Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also finalized plans to transfer West Bank building decisions to Bezalel Smotrich, the extremist who is the finance minister. Smotrich has said he wants to limit Palestinian building and expand settlement building.
Kan reported that the dead terrorist was a resident of a village, Urif, close to Huwara, the Palestinian town where terrorists killed two Israeli brothers driving through in February. Settlers retaliated by raiding the village and burning cars and buildings.
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