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Israeli soccer star Manor Solomon is making waves as a rare Jew in the English Premier League

(JTA) — For decades, Jewish players have been increasingly rare in English professional soccer. Since 1992, only one British-born Jew has appeared in the Premier League, the country’s top tier and arguably the best soccer league in the world.

But this year, an Israeli has been turning heads with his play in the league, to the extent that analysts believe he could earn a spot on one of the world’s elite teams this summer.

After recovering from a knee injury last year, Manor Solomon, a 23-year-old from Kfar Saba in central Israel, has shined as a midfielder for Fulham F.C., one of a few Premier League teams based in London. Solomon scored in five straight games from Feb. 11 through March 6, becoming the first Israeli to accomplish the feat since Liverpool’s Ronny Rosenthal scored in three straight in 1992.

“It’s something I’ve always dreamed of,” he said of his first Premier League goal, against Nottingham Forest.

AN ABSOLUTE BEAUTY! Fulham have TIED it. #FULWOL

: @USANetwork pic.twitter.com/N6FT1InLSs

— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) February 24, 2023

His success story comes after a harrowing year. After playing for the Israeli team Maccabi Petah Tikva, Solomon joined the Ukrainian soccer club Shakhtar Donetsk in 2019. When he scored his first UEFA Champions League goal that season, he became the youngest Israeli to score in the Champions League — the highest level of club competition in Europe — at 20 years old.

After Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine in February 2022, he “woke up to the sound of explosions and sirens,” as he recounted to BBC Sport. “It was like being in the middle of a movie.”

He quickly made arrangements to leave Ukraine, making the 17-hour journey to the Polish border — where he had to wait for more than 10 hours in the freezing cold before making it home to Israel.

“I feel lucky I got out,” he said.

He joined Fulham F.C. last July on a temporary one-year deal, thanks to a FIFA rule allowing non-Ukrainian players in Ukraine to suspend their contracts. His Sephardic heritage allowed him to obtain a Portuguese passport, which helped facilitate his travel throughout the European Union.

RELATED: British Jews love soccer. So why are there no Jews in the Premier League?

Soccer fans back home in Israel are taking notice of the rise of “King Solomon.”

“Everyone has their eyes on the TV to see what Manor is going to do. That’s across the country. Any time that Manor is on TV now, you can guarantee the viewers are through the roof,” sports writer Josh Halickman told The Athletic.

Solomon said “It’s difficult” for him to walk down an Israeli street.

“If you go to Tel Aviv or somewhere, it’s impossible to walk,” he said. “Sometimes, I want to go with my girlfriend to the beach in nice weather and you need to go to a separate place because otherwise, the people go crazy.”

The “Manormania,” as some have called the hype around Solomon, is evident across Israeli media’s sports pages. Soccer is one of the most popular sports in Israel, and having a homegrown star play in Europe is no small feat.

“Him being a representative for Israeli success has a double meaning,” Einav Schiff, a journalist at Yedioth Ahronoth, told The Athletic. “It’s not only that he’s a good soccer player and people admire him for that — they also admire him as a representative of the country.”

Solomon also plays for Israel’s national team. Israel hasn’t qualified for the FIFA World Cup since 1970, but the team is currently in the midst of qualifying for the UEFA 2024 European Championships.


The post Israeli soccer star Manor Solomon is making waves as a rare Jew in the English Premier League appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Obituaries

Dr. NATHAN WISEMAN

Wiseman, Nathan Elliot
1944 – 2023
Nathan, our beloved husband, Dad, and Zaida, died unexpectedly on December 13, 2023. Nathan was born on December 16, 1944, in Winnipeg, MB, the eldest of Sam and Cissie Wiseman’s three children.
He is survived by his loving wife Eva; children Sam (Natalie) and Marni (Shane); grandchildren Jacob, Jonah, Molly, Isabel, Nicole, and Poppy; brother David (Sherrill); sister Barbara (Ron); sister-in-law Agi (Sam) and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Nathan grew up in the north end of Winnipeg surrounded by his loving family. He received his MD from the University of Manitoba in 1968, subsequently completed his General Surgery residency at the University of Manitoba and went on to complete a fellowship in Paediatric Surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital of Harvard University. His surgeon teachers and mentors were world renowned experts in the specialty, and even included a Nobel prize winner.
His practice of Paediatric Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg spanned almost half a century. He loved his profession and helping patients, even decades later often recounting details about the many kiddies on whom he had operated. Patients and their family members would commonly approach him on the street and say, “Remember me Dr. Wiseman?”. And he did! His true joy was caring for his patients with compassion, patience, unwavering commitment, and excellence. He was a gifted surgeon and leaves a profound legacy. He had no intention of ever fully retiring and operated until his very last day. He felt privileged to have the opportunity to mentor, support and work with colleagues, trainees, nurses, and others health care workers that enriched his day-to-day life and brought him much happiness and fulfillment. He was recognized with many awards and honors throughout his career including serving as Chief of Surgery of Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg, President of the Canadian Association of Pediatric Surgeons, and as a Governor of the American College of Surgeons. Most importantly of all he helped and saved the lives of thousands and thousands of Manitoba children. His impact on the generations of children he cared for, and their families, is truly immeasurable.
Nathan’s passion for golf was ignited during his childhood summers spent at the Winnipeg Beach Golf Course. Southwood Golf and Country Club has been his second home since 1980. His game was excellent and even in his last year he shot under his age twice! He played an honest “play as it lies” game. His golf buddies were true friends and provided him much happiness both on and off the course for over forty years. However, his passion for golf extended well beyond the eighteenth hole. He immersed himself in all aspects of the golf including collecting golf books, antiques, and memorabilia. He was a true scholar of the game, reading golf literature, writing golf poetry, and even rebuilding and repairing antique golf clubs. Unquestionably, his knowledge and passion for the game was limitless.
Nathan approached his many woodworking and workshop projects with zeal and creativity, and he always had many on the go. During the winter he was an avid curler, and in recent years he also enjoyed the study of Yiddish. Nathan never wasted any time and lived his life to the fullest.
Above all, Nathan was a loving husband, father, grandfather, son, father-in-law, son-in-law, uncle, brother, brother-in-law, cousin, and granduncle. He loved his family and lived for them, and this love was reciprocated. He met his wife Eva when he was a 20-year-old medical student, and she was 18 years old. They were happily married for 56 years. They loved each other deeply and limitlessly and were proud of each other’s accomplishments. He loved the life and the family they created together. Nathan was truly the family patriarch, an inspiration and a mentor to his children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, and many others. He shared his passion for surgery and collecting with his son and was very proud to join his daughter’s medical practice (he loved Thursdays). His six grandchildren were his pride and joy and the centre of his world.
Throughout his life Nathan lived up to the credo “May his memory be a blessing.” His life was a blessing for the countless newborns, infants, toddlers, children, and teenagers who he cared for, for his colleagues, for his friends and especially for his family. We love him so much and there are no words to describe how much he will be missed.
A graveside funeral was held at the Shaarey Zedek cemetery on December 15, 2023. Pallbearers were his loving grandchildren. The family would like to extend their gratitude to Rabbi Yosef Benarroch of Adas Yeshurun Herzlia Congregation.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, in the name of Dr. Nathan Wiseman.

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Bill Maher tells it like it is when it comes to what “the river to the sea” really means

Bill Maher cuts to the chase like no one else. Here’s a link to a segment from the most recent episode of “Real Time with Bill Maher” where he exposes the total hypocrisy of the “useful idiots” everywhere chanting “from the river to the sea”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP-CRXROorw

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Jewish community holds solidarity rally November 25

The Jewish Federation of Winnipeg held a rally in support of Israel on Saturday evening, November 25.

A number of speakers addressed the crowd of 800, including Rabbi Yosef Benarroch of Adas Yeshurun-Herzlia Congregation; Members of Parliament Ben Carr & Marty Morantz; Yolanda Papini-Pollock of Winnipeg Friends of Israel; Paula McPherson, former Brock Corydon teacher; and Gustavo Zentner, President of the Jewish Federation.

Ben Carr

Click here to watch Ben Carr’s remarks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crfREGNRKfg

Marty Morantz

Click here to watch a video of Marty Morantz’s remarks: https://studio.youtube.com/video/zHzC-iaqivg/ed

Gustavo Zentner

Click here to watch a video of Gustavo Zentner’s remarks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3M_cCYuLgs

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