The Jewish Sport Report: This inspiring Jewish sports story will never air on TV


This article was sent as a newsletter. Sign up for our weekly Jewish sports newsletter here

Hello, Jewish Sport Report readers!

Israel’s impressive run at the World Lacrosse Men’s Championship in San Diego came to an end Wednesday in a quarterfinals loss to the United States, the top-ranked team. Before losing to the American team, Israel had beaten Sweden, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, the Czech Republic and Ireland.

Read our recent deep-dive on lacrosse in Israel here.

An inspiring Jewish story cut from ‘American Ninja Warrior’

Group photo on TV set

Members of the Jewish Inspiration Foundation on the set of “American Ninja Warrior.” From left to right: Chaya Ruth Weberman, Eli Casper, Ari Cohen, Esther Schwab and Aydra Jones. (Courtesy of Leah Cohen)

Orthodox athlete Michael Neuman had set it up perfectly. He qualified for the current season of NBC’s obstacle course competition show “American Ninja Warrior.” And he had arranged for a group of children with severe illnesses and disorders from his charitable organization to join him in Los Angeles for the taping.

The kids had the time of their lives. They were going to be featured in the show’s promotional content and on the episode itself. They were put up in a 5-star hotel.

But the semifinals were set to be filmed on Shabbat, and Neuman took himself out of the competition. The show decided not to air any of the footage of Neuman and his foundation, and the children’s parents were devastated that they wouldn’t receive any of the footage as keepsake records.

“I can’t fathom that that’s out there and one day when my son, God forbid, is not here, to know that those pictures and those videos are out there, and I won’t be able to have any comfort in looking at them and seeing them and being proud of them,” Leah Cohen, one of the parents who went on the trip, told me.

Read more about the whole ordeal here.

Halftime report

NO MORE 88. Italian soccer players will no longer be allowed to wear No. 88, after the Italian government and the Italian soccer federation announced a joint initiative this week aimed at curbing antisemitism. The number 88 has been used by neo-Nazis as a coded antisemitic symbol.

LET THE GAMES BEGIN. More than a thousand Jewish teenage athletes from 10 countries are convening for the JCC Maccabi Games next week, an Olympics-style competition co-hosted by the JCC Association of North America and Maccabi World Union. The tournament kicks off on Thursday, and at the opening ceremony next weekend, attendees will hear from Israeli President Isaac Herzog. Israeli NBA player Deni Avdija will light the torch.

ENCORE. After placing third in the Under-20 World Cup, Israel’s under-21 soccer team is on a run of its own at the European Championships. Israel pulled off an upset 1-0 win over the Czech Republic on Wednesday and will advance to the quarterfinals, where they face the host country Georgia on Saturday.

BAGEL-ED. It’s been an up-and-down week, and season, for Oakland A’s fans. But one night before watching their squad lose in a perfect game, Jewish A’s fans were treated to a win-win: their team beat the New York Yankees on Jewish Heritage Night. There were bagels, of course.

LIKE RIDING A BIKE. The Tour de France begins tomorrow, and eight cyclists will suit up for a team called Israel Premier Tech, which features a Star of David on its uniform. But none of them are Jewish or Israeli. The Forward has more.

These Ukrainian teens are headed to Jewish sports camp in California

Ukrainian teens

Clockwise from top left: Leonid Bereslavich, Mark Sagan, Alexey Kulik, Nikita Novitsky, Ilya Miroshnichenko, Veniamin Rudman and Artur Dotsenko (Courtesy of Makkabi Ukraine)

Thanks to a partnership between Maccabi USA and the Ramah camping system, a group of six Ukrainian teens and one counselor are headed to California next week for an all-expenses-paid trip to Ramah Sports Academy.

“For these children, who mainly are now in Ukraine, it’s really a good opportunity to have a good rest, to see another country, to speak with teens the same age as they are,” said Galina Pechaiko, who lives in Kyiv and serves as Makkabi Ukraine’s deputy director.

I spoke with a number of the teens and the organizers of the initiative. Check it out.

Jews in sports to watch this weekend


Dean Kremer takes the mound for the Baltimore Orioles tonight at 7:05 p.m. ET against the Minnesota Twins. Harrison Bader and the New York Yankees face his old team, the St. Louis Cardinals, in a three-game set this weekend, while Alex Bregman and the Houston Astros take on their division rival Texas Rangers.


Daniel Edelman and the New York Red Bulls host the Columbus Crew Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET. Edelman is coming off a solid performance against Atlanta, which earned him a spot on the MLS Young Players of the Matchday. Israel’s under-21 national team faces Georgia tomorrow at 12 p.m. ET in the European U-21 Championship.


Abby Meyers and the Washington Mystics take on the Atlanta Dream tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET and the Dallas Wings Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.


Lance Stroll will be racing at the Formula One Austrian Grand Prix Sunday at 9 a.m. ET.

Nominate a standout athlete today!

Don’t forget to nominate an awesome Jewish student athlete for our upcoming list of “Jewish Student Athletes to Watch.” We’re looking to highlight high school and college athletes who are stars on and off the field.

Nominations are open through July 12. Nominate someone today!

Recommended from JTA