BUENOS AIRES (JTA) — Israel’s under-20 men’s national soccer team has arrived in Argentina and is preparing for its first-ever appearance in FIFA’s under-20 World Cup, which begins this weekend.
Israel has only made the general World Cup one time, in 1970.
“I’m 48, and coming to Argentina to play soccer was my dream since I was 10 years old,” said manager Ofir Haim, a former professional player, referencing the level of play in the country that won the most recent World Cup last year.
On Monday afternoon, the team received a warm welcome upon arriving at a hotel in Buenos Aires. Around 80 members of the local Jewish community joined the team at a two-hour event that included speeches and an introductory video. An organizer said it sold out in person within five minutes.
But at the same time as the welcome event, around 10 blocks away, a group of demonstrators participated in a protest commemorating the Nakba, the term meaning “catastrophe” that Palestinians use to describe their displacement during and after Israel’s founding.
“The [Israeli] national soccer team is the most representative team in the country because it is composed of the diversity that comprises the state of Israel, a state of all of its citizens, regardless of religion or ethnicity,” said Alejandro Mellincovsky, the director for Spanish-speaking countries at the World Zionist Organization, which organized Monday’s welcome event. The Israeli team includes three Arab players.
The tournament was not originally slated to be played in Argentina. Former host country Indonesia objected to Israel’s participation, arguing that it had agreed to host the tournament before knowing that Israel would qualify.
In response, FIFA, the global soccer organization that runs the World Cup and its accompanying tournaments, stripped Indonesia of its hosting rights in March.
“We knew that Indonesia would reject us, but we were confident to represent Israel with pride everywhere,” Haim said to applause at Monday’s event.
On the field, the squad will be eager to prove the surprise success that got them to the World Cup — a run to the finals of the UEFA under-19 European championship last year — was not a fluke. In the initial group stage, they will play Colombia on Sunday, May 21; Senegal on Wednesday, May 24; and Japan a week from this Saturday, May 27. The top two teams from each group advance to the next stage.
“We came here to win the trophy,” midfielder El Yam Kancepolsky told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Kancepolsky was born to a surfer father in Hawaii but raised in Israel, where his dad opened the country’s first “surf center” (El Yam means “to the sea”). He will be one of the team’s top players after it was announced that lead scorer and star Oscar Gloukh did not obtain permission to play in the tournament from his club team, Austria’s Red Bull Salzburg.
The only other player on the roster who currently plays on a European team is Tai Abed, who suits up for Dutch club PSV Eindhoven. (Rising Israeli star Manor Solomon, who plays in the English Premier League for Fulham, is 23.)
The team has the opportunity to make history: The only goal Israel scored in a major FIFA tournament was kicked by Mordechai “Motaleh” Spiegler against Sweden, in the Mexico 1970 World Cup.
Israel was kicked out of the Asian Football Conference in 1974 and since 1994 has played in international tournaments through UEFA, the European soccer federation that offers more difficult competition.
Besides the general World Cup, which takes place every four years, and the U-20 World Cup, which takes place every two years, FIFA also holds an U-17 World Cup.
“I’m very proud to represent Israel in a World Cup, it is a huge dream,” Kancepolsky said.
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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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