Sports

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 »

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 »