Sports

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 »

Blair Braverman becomes first Jewish woman to finish the Iditarod sled dog race

Blair Braverman came in 36th place in the 1,000-mile race. (James Netz)

  Editor’s note: Blair Braverman is actually the second Jewish woman to finish the Iditarod. Susan Cantor was the first. (JTA) — Writer and adventurer Blair Braverman appears to be the first Jewish woman to race in — and complete — the historic Iditarod sled dog race, finishing the grueling… Read more »

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 »