Sports

Chelsea soccer club has a plan to combat anti-Semitism by fans: Send them to tour Auschwitz

Chelsea squares off against Southampton in a soccer match at St. Mary's Stadium in Southampton, England, Oct. 7, 2018. (Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

(JTA) — The British soccer club Chelsea is planning to send fans who are caught chanting anti-Semitic songs on a tour of the former death camp Auschwitz rather than punishing them. The team’s owner, Roman Abramovich, who is Jewish, has spearheaded the initiative to combat anti-Semitism, according to a… Read more »

The ‘best football player who grew up in Israel’ seeks a spot at US college

Yuval Fenta plays running back for the Tel Aviv Pioneers. (Hillel Kuttler)

TEL AVIV (JTA) – In the summer of 2011, Yuval Fenta saw two guys tossing a football on the beach in Herzliya. He asked to participate. “You’re too small,” they responded. A dejected Fenta retreated, but not before hearing them mention an American football league that played in Israel.… Read more »

At L.A. games, Maccabi USA team taps local youth for 2019 Pan Am Games

Tucsonan Cody Blumenthal heads for the basket in a tied match at the Maccabi Games in Los Angeles in August.

Cody Blumenthal and Gabe Green were among 2,600 athletes at the largest annual JCC Maccabi Games this summer, representing the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Blumenthal participated in 16 and under basketball while Green vied in 14 and under soccer at the Aug. 5-10 games in Orange County, California. Josh… Read more »

Former Eagle to share journey from football to faith

Calvin ‘Yosef’ Murray and his wife, Emunah, on a Judean Desert Jeep tour in Israel December 2017.

Legendary all-star Rose Bowl running back Calvin Murray played football for the Philadelphia Eagles in the early ’80s. Yet he says his greatest touchdown was converting to Orthodox Judaism five years ago, and with his wife, Emunah, preparing to make aliyah. Murray, who now goes by the name Yosef,… Read more »

ANALYSIS Draymond Green says his trip to Israel wasn’t about politics. Here’s why Israel’s critics won’t accept that.

Draymond Green, right, shown before a playoff game between his Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center in Houston, May 28, 2018. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)

NBA star Draymond Green on his recent visit to Israel got to meet the nation’s president and take some shooting practice — with guns, not basketballs — on a military base. Green’s visit, particularly his jovial use of Israeli military weaponry, prompted criticism from notable figures on the American… Read more »

An Israeli wrestler calls himself ‘The Chutzpah,’ and Europe loves to hate him

Lior Brooks, left, during a match in Greece, Nov. 22, 2017. (Courtesy of ZMAK)

(JTA) — Like many Israelis visiting Europe, Lior Brooks is keenly aware of his compatriots’ reputation abroad for rudeness. The boorish stereotype is so well known that it has its own term there – “the ugly Israeli” – and been the subject of many an awareness-raising campaign. There’s even… Read more »

People in the news 6.15.18

Steven Meckler

Tucson photographer STEVEN MECKLER will receive the American Advertising Federation Silver Medal Award at the Tucson Advertising Hall of Achievement event on Sept. 6 at Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort. The Silver Medal is a nationally recognized award that honors men and women who have made significant contributions… Read more »

This bike saved Jews from Nazis

The Giro d’Italia bike race is moving from Israel to Italy but this story lives on — about the heroic sports hero Gino Bartali, the Tour de France and Giro champ who saved 800 Jews from the Holocaust by teaming up with a convent of singing nuns and document-forging… Read more »

Winter Olympics 2018: 5 Jewish storylines to watch

Short track speed skater Vladislav Bykanov, lower left, leading the Israeli Olympic team at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Feb. 7, 2014. (Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

(JTA) — The world is about to revolve around Pyeongchang, a mountainous county in the northern half of South Korea, for the upcoming Winter Olympics. Jewish fans won’t have quite as many standout athletes to cheer for this year as they did in 2016, when multiple American members of the… Read more »

UA Hillel alumni plan pre-game dinner

Lorenzo Romar.

The University of Arizona Hillel Foundation will host its annual alumni and friends basketball event on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 5:15 p.m. The pre-game dinner will feature Lorenzo Romar, UA associate head basketball coach under Coach Sean Miller, who will brief attendees on this year’s Wildcat team. A silent… Read more »

In the shadow of Wrigley, Chicago’s newest kosher deli pitches cured meats and good deeds

An exhibit at the Jewish baseball museum at Milt's Extra Innings in Chicago. At left is deli worker Zahava Auerbach. (Ellen Braunstein)

CHICAGO (JTA) — Baseball gloves and caricatures of famous ballplayers adorn the walls of Milt’s Extra Innings — no surprise for a deli that’s a short drive from Wrigley Field, the fabled home of the Chicago Cubs. But look closely and the picture becomes a little more unexpected: The… Read more »

Europe has a ‘Jewish’ soccer team problem

Feyenoord supporters Monti Ahmed, left, and Sjuul Deriet, right, along with a friend, waiting to enter De Kuip Stadium in Rotterdam, Oct. 22, 2017. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (JTA) — Seventeen-year-old Sjuul Deriet, standing outside this port city’s main soccer stadium on a rainy Sunday, vividly explains why he hates the people he calls “the Jews.” “They have the money, they run the business from management positions and they think they’re better than blue-collar people… Read more »

Olympic swimmer Jason Lezak will hold swim clinic

Jason Lezak takes the U.S. to gold with a record-breaking 4 x 100 medley anchor leg at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. (Courtesy Tucson Jewish Community Center)

Olympic swimmer Jason Lezak will present a Mutual of Omaha BREAKOUT! swim clinic on Sunday, Nov. 12, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. A total-person approach to swimming, the clinic can help swimmers break bad habits, build new skills, and uncover hidden talent. The clinic will… Read more »

Meet Diego Schwartzman, the best Jewish tennis player on earth

Diego Schwartzman practices in Buenos Aires, Feb. 1, 2017. (Gabriel Rossi/LatinContent/Getty Images)

  (JTA) — When Wimbledon starts this week, no other Jewish tennis player will be seeded higher than Diego Schwartzman. The scrappy 24-year-old from Argentina, fresh off an impressive five-set duel with perennial star Novak Djokovic at the French Open earlier this month, is No. 37 in the Association of Tennis… Read more »

Robert Kraft brings football Hall of Famers to Israel

Robert Kraft, in black shirt, with Hall of Famers Marshall Faulk, right, and, in rear, from left, Ron Yary, Roger Staubach and Dave Casper in Ramat Hasharon, Israel, June 15, 2017. (Hillel Kuttler)

RAMAT HASHARON, Israel (JTA) – An Israeli soldier clapped football great and Vietnam War veteran Roger Staubach on the shoulder at a soccer field here, telling the 1963 Heisman Trophy winner and U.S. Naval Academy grad that he and his brother serve in the paratroopers. The introduction Thursday evening prompted… Read more »

Three Tucsonans to compete on Team USA at Maccabiah Games in Israel

Sam Beskind of Catalina Foothills High School drives to the basket against Walden Grove High School, Jan. 12, 2017. [Courtesy Beskind)

Three young Jewish athletes from Tucson will compete in the elite Maccabiah Games in Israel. Held every four years, the games are the world’s third-largest international sporting event, with more than 9,000 athletes from over 80 countries. Sam Beskind, Tamara Statman and Brett Miller will be part of Team… Read more »

This women’s sport you’ve never heard of is taking Israel by storm

A match at the Israeli catchball tournament in Kfar Saba, Feb. 21, 2017. (Courtesy of the Israel Catchball Association)

TEL AVIV (JTA) – Every week, thousands of women across Israel gather to play a sport almost no one outside the country has heard of. For that matter, few Israelis knew about catchball – or “cadur-reshet” in Hebrew — a decade ago. But in recent years it has become… Read more »