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The Jewish Sport Report: American football is on the rise in Israel



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Hello, Jewish sports fans!

The Australian Open is in full swing. Here’s how each of the players we mentioned last week have fared so far:

Madison Brengle: Lost in the first round in both singles and doubles.
Taylor Fritz: Eliminated after a second round upset on Wednesday.
Camila Giorgi: Faces No. 12 Belinda Bencic in the third round tonight. Giorgi is weathering criticism over an alleged falsified vaccine card.
Aslan Karatsev: Out after losing in the first round in both singles and doubles.
Diego Schwartzman: Upset in the second round in singles; lost in the first round in doubles.
Denis Shapovalov: Defeated by No. 10 Hubert Hurkacz in the third round today.

And then there was one…

‘Hebrew in the Huddle’

American football is gaining steam in Israel. (Doron Dotan)

Basketball and soccer are hands-down the most popular sports in Israel, but another game is gaining steam across the country: American football.

American Football in Israel (AFI) kicks off its latest season this week, with around 2,000 players, coaches and referees involved throughout the country.

The sport has been supported by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who learned about Israeli football through a chance encounter in the lobby of the King David Hotel in 1999. He has since sponsored leagues, donated millions of dollars to build stadiums and remains an active presence in the development of the game.

For AFI president Steve Leibowitz, the current state of the sport represents a culmination of three decades of work.

“The craziness was sticking with it all these years, for over 30 years, and making it into a life ambition to establish the sport in Israel, because I think it’s a good sport. I think it has a place in this country,” Leibowitz told me. “I think we’ve proven that. And together with that we’ve created a community. So at this point, I can’t even leave if I wanted to, because I’m like the grandfather, except they still make me suit up and play on old timers’ days.”

Learn more about the history — and future — of Israeli football.

Halftime report

FIGHTING BACK. At some Brooklyn gyms, the idea of combating antisemitism has taken on a more literal meaning. The New York Jewish Week reports that many Jews in the New York borough have taken up krav maga, the Israeli martial art, to help defend themselves from attacks.

NOT ON OUR WATCH. The English Premier League club Arsenal is investigating two antisemitic incidents that occurred in and around the stadium last weekend. “We recognise the impact this behaviour has on our many Jewish supporters and others and condemn the use of language of this nature, which has no place in our game or society,” the club said in a statement.

BIRD IN THE RAFTERS. The Seattle Storm announced they will retire Sue Bird’s No. 10 jersey in June. The WNBA legend retired after this past season, concluding a remarkable career that spanned continents and included countless accolades.

BREAKING JEWS: The Jewish baseball world was sent into a frenzy this week when we learned that Chicago White Sox ace Dylan Cease was considering playing for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic — meaning he was eligible for Israeli citizenship. Cease confirmed to the Forward that his father’s family is Jewish, adding, “I don’t necessarily identify as it, but acknowledge it’s in my ancestry.”

WELCOME TO THE CLUB. One player who does identify as Jewish is Philadelphia Phillies rookie Dalton Guthrie, who is the latest MLB player to be confirmed as Jewish by Jewish Baseball News.

Jews in sports to watch this weekend


Italian Jewish tennis star Camila Giorgi plays in the third round of the Australian Open tonight, tentatively scheduled for 8:15 p.m. ET, but check the tournament website for the most up-to-date timing.


Quinn Hughes and the Vancouver Canucks take on Zach Hyman and the Edmonton Oilers Saturday at 10 p.m. ET. On Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, watch Jason Zucker and the Pittsburgh Penguins face off against Jack Hughes and the New Jersey Devils.


Deni Avdija and the Washington Wizards host the Orlando Magic tomorrow at 7 p.m. ET. Motor City Cruise Orthodox prospect Ryan Turell does not have a game this weekend, but you can vote for Turell to play in the new G League Next Up game during the NBA’s All-Star Weekend. And while you’re at it, vote for Avdija for the NBA All-Star Game, too.

And the 2023 Baseball Hall of Fame inductees are…

The results of the 2023 National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot will be announced Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET on MLB Network. There are no Jewish candidates this year, but the man sharing the results is Josh Rawitch, the Jewish president of the Hall — who I profiled for JTA last year.

The post The Jewish Sport Report: American football is on the rise in Israel 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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