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Good afternoon! It’s a big day for Jewish baseball players and fans.
The Chicago Cubs have called up top prospect Matt Mervis, a power-hitting first baseman who represented Israel in this year’s World Baseball Classic. Mervis, who hit 36 home runs in the minors last year, is making his MLB debut today.
Over in Atlanta, Braves ace Max Fried squares off against Dean Kremer and the Baltimore Orioles. I say the losing pitcher has to wear the winner’s jersey next time they go to synagogue.
According to the Jewish Baseball Museum’s Bob Wechsler, there have been four previous instances of Jewish opposing starting pitchers. Can you name any of the matchups? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your answer! (Hint, it’s been a while).
A star in the making
Harry Sheezel is on a path to greatness. The 18-year-old Jewish day school grad has quickly become a star in his first season in the Australian Football League, where he was drafted as the third overall pick last fall. (Australian rules football, or footy, is very different than American football.)
Sheezel is only the 11th Jew in the sport since 1897, and he’s not wasting any time. Since debuting in March, Sheezel has ranked in the AFL’s top 10 in disposals — a stat referring to legal touches of the football, which indicates how involved one is in a game. He set an all-time record for most disposals for a player in their first four professional games, with 127.
His team, the North Melbourne Kangaroos, already extended his contract. And he was nominated for the AFL Rising Star award.
“You don’t want to get too excited too early, but Harry has the potential to perhaps be our greatest-ever male Jewish athlete in Australia,” said Ashley Browne, an Australian sports journalist who wrote a book about Jewish Australian athletes called “People of the Boot.”
WELCOME BACK. Jewish outfielder Harrison Bader returned to action this week after an oblique injury kept him out of the New York Yankees lineup for the first month of the season. In his first game back, the Gold Glove winner made an impressive diving catch. (Elsewhere, Philadelphia Phillies Jewish utilityman Dalton Guthrie was also recalled from the minors this week.)
CHOSEN ONES. The NHL began announcing its award finalists this week, and New Jersey Devils star Jack Hughes is on the shortlist for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, awarded for sportsmanship. Adam Fox is a finalist for the James Norris Memorial Trophy for best defenseman, which the New York Rangers standout won in 2021.
PLAY BALL. Philadelphia 76ers owners Josh and Marjorie Harris are supporting a basketball initiative for girls in Israel, in partnership with the organization The Equalizer. Harris, who has been involved with other Israeli sports projects in the past, is also in the process of purchasing the NFL’s Washington Commanders from embattled owner Dan Snyder.
KING OF KINGS. Domantas Sabonis and the Sacramento Kings’ playoff run came to an end, but the soon-to-be member of the tribe is poised to stick around his team for the long haul. “Domas is a huge part of what we do,” said Kings general manager Monte McNair. “We’re going to do all we can to keep him here and build around him.”
STAY GOLDEN, PONYBOY. Team Israel won the PONY 19U European Championship in baseball this week, earning a spot in this summer’s Palomino World Series in Texas. Israel beat the Stuttgart Reds 8-2 in the title game.
Jews in sports to watch this weekend
Jack and Luke Hughes and the Devils face the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 2 of the second round of the NHL playoffs tonight at 8 p.m. ET. Carolina leads 1-0, with Game 3 set for Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET. Zach Hyman and the Edmonton Oilers are down 1-0 in the second round to the Vegas Golden Knights, with Game 2 tomorrow at 7 p.m. ET.
Max Fried vs. Dean Kremer, AKA the Jewish World Series, is tonight at 7:20 p.m. ET. Matt Mervis and the Chicago Cubs host the Miami Marlins this afternoon at 2:20 p.m. ET. On the West Coast, it’s a battle of Jewish sluggers as Joc Pederson and the San Francisco Giants take on Rowdy Tellez and the Milwaukee Brewers at 10:15 p.m. ET tonight.
Max Homa is at the Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina this weekend. Homa won the tournament in 2019, his first PGA Tour victory, and again last year.
After finishing in seventh place in last weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll looks to continue his strong season in the Miami Grand Prix, Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Boxing Day came early
Dmitriy “Star of David” Salita, a Ukrainian-born former professional boxer-turned-promoter, was inducted into the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame last weekend. Salita told JTA in 2009 that boxing is one way he expresses his faith.
“God wants us to work hard,” he said. “While I wouldn’t recommend a rabbi’s son become a boxer, it fits in with my background. In my way, I’m spreading my Judaism.”
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.
The post Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.