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Good afternoon! It’s been an exciting summer in the Jewish sports world, from the MLB and NBA drafts to the JCC Maccabi Games to world championships in fencing and cycling.
We’ll go first: Zack Gelof, who became the 18th Jewish big leaguer this season, has been raking — in 28 games, the rookie is hitting .294 with 32 hits, 8 home runs and a .986 OPS.
Surf’s up at this Jewish summer camp
Surfing through a Jewish lens? That’s the goal at Sababa Beachaway, a Jewish surf camp in Virginia Beach I visited earlier this summer that specializes in ocean education and exploration.
The camp offers four focus areas — surfing, sailing, scuba diving and an education track called “ocean discovery” — on top of typical camp activities and Jewish programming and prayer.
The camp launched in 2015 in New York, first as a day camp, before expanding to an overnight camp in Virginia in 2018. It hasn’t been smooth sailing — the camp has navigated COVID, joining a new parent company and switching campuses. But they’ve still managed to grow enrollment.
MENSCH. Super Bowl champion Leonard Fournette paid a surprise visit to a Jewish camp for children and teens with cancer and other chronic illnesses last weekend. “We all have our own problems, even myself, but the battle these kids face each and every day and for the rest of their lives, they’re the champions in our heart,” Fournette said during his visit.
🇮🇱 → 🇺🇦 Israeli soccer player Stav Lemkin, who starred for Israel at the FIFA U20 World Cup, is headed to Ukraine to play for Shakhtar Donetsk, the same Ukrainian Premier League team that Manor Solomon played for before moving over to the Premier League. Lemkin said he “hesitated because of the war,” but ultimately “my considerations were purely about soccer, because I knew Shakhtar would be the best place for me to develop.”
MOVING ON UP. The Forward’s Louis Keene stopped by Visalia, California, this week to see Orthodox prospect Jacob Steinmetz in action in Single-A. Steinmetz struck out seven batters over six innings, including recent Los Angeles Dodgers draftee Jake Gelof.
CHECK THIS OUT. The neighborhood around Fenway Park in Boston has unveiled a new art installation called “Be the Change,” in partnership with the Jewish Arts Collaborative. Billed as an “art and activism initiative, rooted in the Jewish tenet of justice,” the exhibition is on display through October.
B’TAYAVON. JewishPress.com brings us the behind-the-scenes story of Yankee Stadium’s kosher food scene, from the secret elevator that leads to the kitchen to the updated food offerings for this season.
Jews in sports to watch this weekend
⚾️ IN BASEBALL…
Atlanta Braves ace Max Fried toes the rubber Sunday at 1:35 p.m. ET as he and Kevin Pillar face Joc Pederson and the San Francisco Giants. The Giants are coming off a 7-0 win earlier this week during the team’s Jewish Heritage Night. Dean Kremer isn’t scheduled to pitch this weekend, but his first-place Baltimore Orioles are facing the Oakland Athletics and their red-hot second baseman Zack Gelof.
⚽️ IN SOCCER…
Matt Turner started in goal for his new Premier League team Nottingham Forest as they played Sheffield United this afternoon — still in progress as of publication time. Manor Solomon and Tottenham face Man United Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET.
⛳️ IN GOLF…
Max Homa is competing in the BMW Championship this weekend. He finished tied for sixth at the FedEx St. Jude Championship last week.
🏈 IN FOOTBALL…
That’s right, football is back! Catch Anthony Firkser with his new team, the New England Patriots, as they play AJ Dillon and the Green Bay Packers in Week 3 of the preseason. And stay tuned for a full NFL season preview coming soon!
Gabe Kapler’s style is 🔥
Labor Day is fast approaching, which means it’s time to get your white outfits in while you still can. San Francisco Giants skipper Gabe Kapler is clearly taking that to heart, as he was rocking a fresh white and orange fit earlier this week. A former player called him the “hottest in the game.”