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The Jewish Sport Report: This NBA All-Star is converting to Judaism



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Good afternoon!

The (unplanned) theme of this week’s Jewish Sport Report is new beginnings. We’ve got a new Jewish player in the WNBA, a Jewish NHL debut, a soon-to-be new Jew in the NBA, a new Jewish NFL owner and more.

In honor of all the new-ness, we want to hear from you: have you seen a Jewish athlete’s professional debut? Tell us that story. If you haven’t, which Jewish athlete, past or present, do you wish you saw in their first game? Email us at to let us know.

NBA star Domantas Sabonis is converting to Judaism

Rabbi Mendy Cohen is dwarfed by 7-foot-1 Kings center Domantas Sabonis, who attended Chabad of Sacramento’s Purim party on March 7. (Courtesy of Chabad of Sacramento)

All-Star Domantas Sabonis is preparing for the NBA Playoffs, where his Sacramento Kings take on their rivals, the Golden State Warriors, in the first round this weekend.

Sabonis is also preparing for another life milestone: he’s converting to Judaism.

“We really haven’t talked about it [publicly],” said Sabonis’ wife Shashana, who is Jewish. “He loves [Judaism] and really wants to be a part of it.”

The 7-foot-1 center regularly studies on Zoom with a Los Angeles rabbi and reportedly keeps kosher. The son of a Lithuanian Hall of Famer attended Chabad of Sacramento’s Purim party this year and sponsored a sufganiyot giveaway at a Kings home game during Hanukkah.

Read more about the soon-to-be Jewish star right here.

Halftime report

SPREAD YOUR WINGS. After a stellar college career at Princeton and Maryland, Jewish basketball star Abby Meyers is going pro. Meyers was selected in the first round of the WNBA Draft this week by the Dallas Wings.

CHANGE OF COMMAND. Embattled Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder has reportedly agreed to sell his NFL franchise to a group led by fellow Jewish billionaire Josh Harris, who already owns several other sports teams. The $6 billion deal is a record.

(PLAY)BOOK OF MORMON. College quarterback Jake Retzlaff is chasing history: he is trying to become the first Jewish starting QB ever for the Mormon Brigham Young University.

TO RUN OR NOT TO RUN. In November 2021, Oliver Ferber faced a decision familiar to some Jewish athletes: compete on Saturday, or keep Shabbat? Ferber’s Jewish day school would be racing in the Maryland state championship on a Saturday morning, and despite pressure from his teammates, coach and family, Ferber decided not to race. Read his story here on ESPN.

NOT GOOD. There were two unsettling incidents with Israeli athletes in Greece this week. First, an Israeli soccer player who played for a Greek team was arrested for alleged sexual acts with a minor and was found in possession of heroin. In an unrelated event, local fans burned an Israeli flag at a basketball game between Hapoel Jerusalem and AEK Athens.

“King Solomon” takes on the English Premier League

Manor Solomon celebrates after scoring a goal during the Premier League match between Brentford FC and Fulham FC, March 6, 2023. (Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Israeli soccer star Manor Solomon is a rare Jewish player in the world’s top tier of soccer. But he isn’t just riding the bench — he’s making a big impact.

The 23-year-old midfielder has shined for Fulham F.C. this season, at one point scoring in five straight games and garnering interest from one the Premier League’s best teams.

Solomon’s journey to reach this point was not easy: he had been playing in Ukraine since 2019 when war broke out last year.

Read more about the rising Israeli star right here.

Jews in sports to watch this weekend


Soon-to-be Jewish player Domantas Sabonis and the Sacramento Kings face the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Game 1 is tomorrow at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.


Manor Solomon and Fulham F.C. host Everton tomorrow at 10 a.m. ET, streaming on Peacock.


Alex Bregman, who has two home runs this week after a slow start to the season, leads the Houston Astros in a three-game series against the Texas Rangers. Joc Pederson and the San Francisco Giants head to Detroit for a trio of games against the Tigers.


Devon Levi and the Buffalo Sabres take on the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET on the final day of the regular season. The Stanley Cup Playoffsbegin Monday — Adam Fox, Zach Hyman and Jack and Luke Hughes will all be in action.


After a disappointing finish at The Masters last week, Max Homa is at the RBC Heritage tournament this weekend in South Carolina.


Luke Hughes, the youngest brother of Jack and Quinn, made his NHL debut this week, playing with Jack on the New Jersey Devils. Plus, Yaniv Perets, fresh off a national championship with Quinnipiac University, has signed an entry-level deal with the Carolina Hurricanes. The young Jewish talent in the NHL right now is, simply put, awesome.

Tonight’s matchup between the New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres could feature three Jewish players, all 21 or younger:

Luke Hughes, who is making his NHL debut
Jack Hughes, 2-time All-Star
Devon Levi, DI’s top goalie two seasons in a row

— The Jewish Sport Report (@JTASportReport) April 11, 2023

The post The Jewish Sport Report: This NBA All-Star is converting to Judaism 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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