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The Jewish Sport Report: A Jewish guide to Super Bowl Sunday



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Happy Friday, Jewish Sport Report readers! And it’s a happy Friday indeed, because baseball season is upon us.

Pitchers and catchers report to spring training next week, the games begin Feb. 24 and the 2023 World Baseball Classic is less than one month away.

If you close your eyes, you can almost smell the fresh-cut grass and hear the crack of the bat.

The WBC begins March 8, and the official rosters for all 20 teams were announced Thursday night.

Here is Team Israel’s full roster — which features an unprecedented 15 Jewish players with MLB experience.

And this weekend, a new documentary on the team, “Israel Swings for Gold,” will premiere at a film festival in Atlanta. I spoke to the director about the film.

A Jewish guide to Super Bowl Sunday

(JTA illustration by Grace Yagel; Images: Harris Brisbane Dick Fund 1953, Creative Commons)

Before we fully dive into baseball season, this weekend is, of course, all about the Super Bowl.

While there won’t be any Jewish players on the field when the Kansas City Chiefs face the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday in Phoenix, there are still plenty of Jewish angles to the game.

First, there’s Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and owner Jeffrey Lurie, both of whom are Jewish.

Roseman is a New Jersey native who has worked for the Eagles since 2000. Lurie, a film producer from Boston, bought the Eagles in 1994.

During the DeSean Jackson antisemitism controversy in 2020, during which the then-Eagles star posted (and then deleted) antisemitic quotes online, Jackson apologized personally to Roseman and Lurie.

For Jewish Eagles fans, the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History in Philly is selling Eagles (and Chiefs) mezuzahs.

But some Jewish fans are feeling conflicted about the big game — with longstanding concerns renewed after Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest after an onfield hit last month.

“Although Hamlin’s medical crisis was a rare on-field occurrence, the trauma surrounding his collapse stirred up age-old questions for me, and for many of us, about the toll football takes on the bodies of its players,” Rabba Yaffa Epstein writes in a JTA essay. “What are we allowing to happen to these young men, in the name of sportsmanship, entertainment and national identity? When the Super Bowl airs on Sunday, what is our responsibility as spectators?”

Epstein, a scholar and educator with the Jewish Education Project, explores what Jewish tradition has to say about this dilemma — and offers a path forward for Jewish fans who still want to enjoy the game. You can read her piece here.

And if you do plan to watch the game, our friends at The Nosher suggest some Jewish inspiration for your Super Bowl snacks.

Halftime report

GOLDEN. Israeli judoka Gili Sharir won a gold medal at the Paris Grand Slam judo tournament last weekend, and Gefen Primo won bronze. Israel has long been a judo powerhouse.

THE AMAZINS. New York Mets owner Steve Cohen is doing things his own way — including spending more money than anyone else. Cohen offered a rare interview to ESPN’s Jeff Passan this week, sharing insight into his plan to change baseball in New York and beyond. Check it out.

KINSLER RETURNS TO TEXAS. Former All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler is in high demand. The 2018 World Champion is managing Team Israel in next month’s WBC, and he’s also now working for his old team, the Texas Rangers, as a special assistant to the general manager.

NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN. Mat Ishbia, the Jewish billionaire who bought the Phoenix Suns and Mercury from suspended Jewish owner Robert Sarver, has officially taken the reins of his new NBA franchise. He made it clear right away that he will prioritize fixing the team’s workplace culture, according to ESPN.

Kyrie Irving has Jewish family?

Kyrie Irving looks on from the bench during a game against the Indiana Pacers at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Oct. 31, 2022 (Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

NBA star Kyrie Irving is now a Dallas Maverick, but he didn’t leave the drama of his antisemitism scandal behind in New York.

Irving was traded to Dallas, a team owned by Mark Cuban, who is Jewish and had spoken out during Irving’s controversy last year. Cuban said the eight-time All-Star was “not educated about the impact” of his online platform.

At a press conference with his new team on Tuesday, Irving was asked why he deleted his apology post — which at the time was viewed as a critical step toward him returning from his suspension.

“I delete things all the time and it’s no disrespect to anyone within the community,” Irving said.

Irving said he stood by his apology. But he also shared some new information about his family.

“I stand by who I am and why I apologized. I did it because I care about my family and I have Jewish members of my family that care for me deeply,” Irving said. “Did the media know that beforehand, when they called me that word — antisemitic? No. Did they know anything about my family? No. Everything was assumed.”

It’s unclear which members of Irving’s family are Jewish, or if he is expressing the Black Hebrew Israelite ideology promoted in the film he shared, which includes the claim that African Americans are the genealogical descendants of the ancient Israelites.

Jews in sports to watch this weekend


Jakob Chychrun and the Arizona Coyotes play the Chicago Blackhawks tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET. Chychrun has been a frequent subject of rumors with the NHL trade deadline approaching on March 3. Saturday is an action-packed day in the NHL — Quinn Hughes, Zach Hyman, Adam Fox, Chychrun, Jack Hughes and Jason Zucker are all playing.


Deni Avdija and the Washington Wizards host the Indiana Pacers Saturday at 7 p.m. ET. Ryan Turell and the Motor City Cruise face the Oklahoma City Blue tonight and tomorrow, both at 7 p.m. ET.


Max Homa will look to keep the momentum going this weekend at the Phoenix Open. Homa announced this week that he will join Tiger Woods’ TGL league in 2024, a partnership with the PGA Tour. David Lipsky, who grew up just miles away from Homa, will also be on the green in Phoenix.

Hut, hut, hora

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft dances at a wedding ceremony for Ukrainian couples who did not have Jewish weddings in their native country, Boston, Feb. 7, 2023. Rabbi Shlomo Noginski is on his left. (Photo by Igor Klimov)

The New England Patriots may not be playing in the Super Bowl, but owner Robert Kraft still had plenty to celebrate this week. Here he is at a Chabad wedding event in Boston for couples from the former Soviet Union who were not able to have Jewish ceremonies there.

The post The Jewish Sport Report: A Jewish guide to Super Bowl Sunday appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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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.

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Local News

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.”

Raquel Dancho (left), Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St.Paul, and Nikki Spigelman, President, Gwen Secter Centre

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.)

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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.

The post Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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