The Jewish Sport Report: Israel enters the lacrosse world championship ranked 7th in the world


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Israel enters men’s lacrosse world championship ranked 7th in the world


Lacrosse is catching on in Israel, where 300-400 children and teens are now playing the sport. (Courtesy of the Israel Lacrosse Association)

Lacrosse is nowhere near the echelon of popularity that soccer and basketball occupy in Israel. But in the short time since the Israel Lacrosse Association launched in 2010, the sport has spread across the country, becoming increasingly popular among native Israelis.

This coming week in San Diego, Israel’s men’s national team will be competing in the World Lacrosse Men’s Championship — and they are ranked seventh in the world.

Two of the 23 players on the national team are Israeli natives, and the women’s national team has one native Israeli, too — something Israel Lacrosse Executive Director Ian Kadish says is a meaningful increase in how the sport is spreading.

“We are now getting to a really exciting point in our organization where a lot of that leadership and a lot of that energy is coming from native-born Israelis,” Kadish told me.

Read more about the growth of Israeli lacrosse right here.

Halftime report

MAY HIS MEMORY BE A BLESSING. Ben Helfgott, one of two known Holocaust survivors to go on to compete in the Olympics, died today at 93. He survived multiple concentration camps on his way to becoming Britain’s lightweight champion and a two-time Olympian.

SOARING HIGH. Basketball legend Sue Bird had her jersey number 10 retired by the Seattle Storm on Sunday, in recognition of the Jewish icon for her remarkable career on the court and her indelible impact off of it.

STILL GOING STRONG. The German soccer team Makkabi Berlin, which was originally founded in 1898 as a sports club for young Jews, recently won the Berlin Cup (for the Berlin-Liga, the sixth tier of German soccer). Haaretz takes a look at the team’s history, and the recent antisemitism it has endured.

TAKING THE REINS. Jewish Insider profiles new Phoenix Suns CEO Josh Bartelstein, who recently ascended to the team’s top job, becoming one of the NBA’s youngest executives.

GRAND SLAM. Shoe designer and Maccabiah gold medalist Stuart Weitzman has made a “transformative gift” to support tennis in Israel. His gift to the Israel Tennis & Education Centers will enable the creation of the Stuart Weitzman Tennis Complex in Jerusalem.

ICYMI. Last weekend, Israel beat South Korea 3-1 in the third place game to claim the bronze medal in the FIFA U-20 World Cup, an impressive finish for Israel’s first-ever tournament appearance.

Mash that merch

Matt Mervis and his merchandise

Matt Mervis, left, is selling Hebrew merchandise to support baseball in Israel. (Israel Association of Baseball/Getty Images)

Baseball is also not a top sport in Israel. But Chicago Cubs rookie and Team Israel alum Matt Mervis (who was sent back down to Triple-A Thursday night) has unveiled a new line of merchandise in partnership with the Israel Association of Baseball to raise money to support the sport’s growth there.

His new hats and t-shirts feature his nickname spelled in Hebrew.

“It’s a great cause to help grow the game in Israel,” Mervis told, “and try to build some fields over there.”

More on Mervis’ new merch here.

Jews in sports to watch this weekend


Max Homa is in his native Los Angeles this weekend for the U.S. Open, the first major tournament since the PGA-LIV merger. He’s looking to cement his spot as one of golf’s brightest stars.


Dean Kremer takes the mound for the Baltimore Orioles against the Chicago Cubs at 1:05 p.m. ET on Sunday. Over in Boston, Harrison Bader is set to return from the injured list tonight as his New York Yankees take on the Boston Red Sox. Sox reliever Richard Bleier is on the injured list, and Ryan Sherriff is currently in the minors. Kevin Pillar and the Atlanta Braves take on Jake Bird and the Colorado Rockies in a four-game set.


Lance Stroll races in his home Canadian Grand Prix Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. Stroll had another strong showing earlier this month in the Spanish Grand Prix, finishing in sixth.

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