Yael Averbuch West, a former professional and U.S. National Team soccer player and founder of the National Women’s Soccer League Players Association, was selected as one of the New York Jewish Week’s 36 to Watch (formerly 36 Under 36). This distinction honors leaders, entrepreneurs and changemakers who are making a difference in New York’s Jewish community. Averbuch West currently owns and operates her own business, Techne Futbol, and serves as the general manager of Gotham FC. Averbuch West lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with her husband and two kids.
For the full list of this year’s “36ers,” click here.
New York Jewish Week: In a few sentences, tell us about the work you do and any outstanding accomplishments.
Averbuch West: As a soccer player, I won two NCAA Championships and three professional soccer championships. I have 26 appearances and one goal with the U.S. National Soccer Team. I launched my own business, a soccer training app called Techne Futbol, in 2016 and now have come full circle to lead what was my first professional club as a player.
How does your Jewish identity or experience influence your work?
I’ve often been the only Jewish player on my team or in my work environment. For that reason, I’ve come to greatly appreciate finding my place in the Jewish community. I’m used to standing out or being different because of my name and my Judaism, which has helped me to foster inclusive environments wherever I play or work.
What is one of your most memorable Jewish experiences as a soccer player?
When I was living and playing in Sweden I was welcomed by the Jewish community there and would go to services and Shabbat dinner. At a time and place when I was living far from home, this community was instrumental to me feeling like I had support and a family in another country.
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