Sports

Jewish NFL star Mitch Schwartz embraces his inner chef during coronavirus quarantine

Mitchell Schwartz is having some fun, with food, off the gridiron. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images; Mitchell Schwartz/Instagram)

(JTA) — Fresh off his Super Bowl win in February, Kansas City Chiefs lineman Mitchell Schwartz took a vacation with his wife, Brooke, to St. Lucia. Little did they know that when they returned, they would be spending the next few months holed up at home because of the… Read more »

Meet Mitchell Schwartz, the Jewish Kansas City Chiefs lineman heading to Super Bowl LIV

Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz enters the game against the Tennessee Titans at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Jan. 19, 2020. (William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

(JTA) — Kansas City Chiefs lineman Mitchell Schwartz does more than start for perhaps the best offense in the NFL. The 6-5, 320-pound tackle is a star at his position and has been for much of his eight-year career since turning pro following a standout career at the University… Read more »

Diego Schwartzman and the outsized power of Jewish representation in sports

Diego Schwartzman, listed at 5-7 but probably shorter, is congratulated by Alexander Zverev, who stands 6-6, at the 2019 U.S. Open. Schwartzman defeated Zverev in the fourth round. (Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

This article originally appeared on Alma. I was never the best tennis player. Nor was I particularly good at soccer, basketball or any other sport my parents signed me up for. Still, I stuck with tennis through my junior year of high school, when I was unceremoniously cut from the… Read more »

Israel’s Olympic baseball team preps for Tokyo and looks to expand the sport

Team Israel players Danny Valencia, left, and Jeremy Bleich with students at the Hand in Hand Galilee School in Eshbal, Israel, Jan. 16, 2020. (Hillel Kutler)

MISGAV, Israel (JTA) – As more than 20 men wearing blue-and-white baseball uniforms walked along Tel Aviv’s bustling Allenby Street on a recent Tuesday, a motorcyclist called out in Hebrew and English. “Good luck! We’re behind you!” the man shouted to the group, members of the baseball team that… Read more »

Amar’e Stoudemire is now an undergrad, goes to his campus Hillel and wants to boost black-Jewish relations

Amar'e Stoudemire is leading an initiative to connect Jewish and African-American students at Florida International University. (Courtesy of FIU Hillel)

(JTA) — Despite his serious thoughts about an NBA comeback, Amar’e Stoudemire is taking a little break from basketball to go to school. The former six-time NBA All-Star, who had never attended college, started this fall as a freshman at Florida International University in Miami. Though the semester just… Read more »

Tucson teens make friends and win big at JCC Maccabi Games in Atlanta

With a cowboy as their logo for the 2019 JCC Maccabi Games, Team Tucson galloped out at the July 28 opening ceremonies in Atlanta to the song “Old Town Road.” From left: Grant Cohen (front), Gabe Green, Pasha Maher (basketball coach), Elijah Nogales,Josh Shenker (delegation head), and Gianna Miltenberger

Tucson’s team for the annual JCC Maccabi Games for Jewish teens, held July 28-Aug. 2 in Atlanta, was “small but mighty” with four athletes, says Josh Shenker, delegation head and director of children, youth and camping services at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. “Though we were the smallest delegation… Read more »

Local player helps Team USA bring home Maccabi gold

Cody Blumenthal (back row, center, in white) played point guard for Team USA at the July Maccabi Pan American games in Mexico City. Team USA won gold over Team Israel (in blue) by 20 points.

Cody Blumenthal brought home a gold medal from his participation on the age 18 and under Team USA basketball team at the 14th Pan American Maccabi Games in Mexico City, July 5-15. “Winning gold with my new best friends was the best feeling in the world,” he says. Every… Read more »

Arizonan earns pride in grueling Maccabi competition

David Tannenbaum approaches the finish line at about 28 MPH at the Maccabi Pan American Games in Mexico City. (Michelle [email protected])

David Tannenbaum of Hereford, Arizona, was the sole bicycling competitor in Team USA’s Master Division at the 2019 Maccabi Pan American Games in Mexico City, July 5-15.  He finished in eighth-place in the 55-59 year age group, receiving a medal for completing all three races. “That makes me the… Read more »

Gymnast Agnes Keleti survived the Holocaust to win 10 Olympic medals. At 98, she’s as feisty as ever.

Agnes Keleti, in her mid-90s, performs a split in front of young Hungarian gymnasts in Budapest, Jan. 16, 2016. (Peter Kohalmi/AFP/Getty Images)

BUDAPEST (JTA) — When journalists ask Agnes Keleti about her health, she gently smiles and slowly extends her right hand in apparent gratitude for the question. Keleti yanks anyone who is foolish enough to grasp her hand with enough force to throw them off their balance. Then she replies:… Read more »

Mariano Rivera is a big supporter of Israel

(JTA) — The usual bio for Mariano Rivera includes retired New York Yankees relief pitcher, all-time saves leader, first player voted unanimously into the Baseball Hall of Fame, 13-time All-Star, five-time World Series champion. Add that he’s a staunch supporter of Israel. Rivera, 49, spoke this week at the… Read more »

Drowning out jeers, Polish soccer fans applaud Israeli anthem

(JTA) — Thousands of Polish soccer fans attending a match in Warsaw between their national team and Israel’s applauded during the playing of the Jewish state’s anthem. “Hatikvah” was played just before “Mazurek Dąbrowskiego” on Tuesday ahead of the match, which ended with Poland winning 4-0. When some fans… Read more »

7 Jewish fun facts about the 2019 Women’s World Cup

HARRISON, NJ - MAY 26: The full roster for the United States Women's National Team that is heading to France for the 2019 World Cup just after the International Friendly match the U.S. Women's National Team and Mexico as part of the Send Off Series prior to the FIFA Women's World Cup at Red Bull Arena on May 26 2019 in Harrison, NJ,USA. The United States won the match with a score of 3 to 0. USA. (Photo by Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images)

(JTA) — There aren’t any Jewish players that we know of at this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, which runs from June 7 to July 7 in France. The top-ranked U.S. team is looking to win its second Cup in a row and fourth all time. But there are… Read more »

Tucson sluggers aim Team Israel at ’20 Olympics

Alexis ‘A.J.’ Kaiser, seen here at bat for Syracuse University, grew up in Tucson and will be a member of Team Israel in women's softball. (Courtesy A.J. Kaiser)

Softball players across the country are coming together this summer to train for the Team Israel women’s softball team, which will be led by Stacey Iveson, the University of Arizona women’s softball director of recruiting-operations. Iveson is a former Wildcat player and coach, and won four junior college national… Read more »

We found the (actual) first Jewish woman to finish the Iditarod sled dog race

Susan Cantor ran the Iditarod in 1992 after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. (Courtesy of Cantor)

(JTA) — Blair Braverman wasn’t the first Jewish woman to finish the Iditarod sled dog race, as we mistakenly reported. That title goes to Susan Cantor, who completed the race in 1992. Twenty-seven years before Braverman crossed the finish line on Sunday, Cantor completed the grueling 1,000-mile course in 14… Read more »