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Friday 11/11/2016
Scottsdale rabbi to compete in Ironman
Posted: November 11, 2016

After a recent move to Arizona, Rabbi Leib Bolel will be toeing the starting line at Ironman Arizona on Nov. 20. The Ironman is a triathlon race totaling 140.6 miles consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and culminating in a marathon, 26.2-mile run, all within a 17-hour window.

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Thursday 11/03/2016
Cubs fans, like the Jews, now face the challenge of success
Posted: November 03, 2016

For years, I've told anyone who would listen that the Cubs were the team of the Jews. I've written two blog posts about it during the past month alone.

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Tuesday 11/01/2016
World Series ignites old passions in American Jews living in the West Bank
Posted: November 01, 2016

KARNEI SHOMRON, West Bank  -- The Chicago Cubs are facing the Cleveland Indians in a historic World Series, and most of Israel could not care less. This Jewish settlement is different.

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Tuesday 09/06/2016
Minnesota Vikings owner thinks big with new stadium and Holocaust philanthropy
Posted: September 06, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer stepped up to an 800-pound gjallarhorn and exhaled with all he had to launch the festivities that officially inaugurated the team’s $1.1 billion stadium.

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Monday 08/22/2016
Israel’s rhythmic gymnastics coach raps Olympic politics, poor training conditions
Posted: August 22, 2016

JERUSALEM — The coach of Israel’s rhythmic gymnastics team said that she never expected to win a medal, citing poor training conditions and politics as two reasons.

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Gilbert photographer snaps into third Olympics
Posted: August 22, 2016

RIO DE JANEIRO — Gilbert native Larry Slater didn’t always have a passion for sports photography. It wasn’t until he took a trip to the NCAA wrestling championship in Las Vegas in 2005 that his interest in photography was sparked.

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Friday 08/19/2016
At 80, a Munich Olympics and Holocaust survivor is still the sportsman
Posted: August 19, 2016

OMER, Israel — Shaul Ladany, a two-time Olympian, acknowledged that he was “very happy” that the International Olympic Committee finally held an official memorial for the 11 Israelis who were killed in a terrorist raid at the 1972 Munich games.

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Palestinian with Israeli roots wins Jordan’s first Olympic medal
Posted: August 19, 2016

Jordan won its first-ever Olympic medal thanks to the performance of a Palestinian taekwondo fighter whose family left Israel 20 years ago.

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Wednesday 08/10/2016
Team Phoenix wins 15 medals
Updated: August 17, 2016 - 4:57 pm

Team Phoenix brought home 15 medals from the JCC Maccabi Games held in St. Louis July 29-Aug. 5.

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Bronze for judo is Israel’s first Rio medal
Posted: August 10, 2016

Yarden Gerbi became the first Israeli to medal at the Rio Olympics, bringing home a bronze in the women’s 63-kg judo competition.

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At Rio, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia lose their Olympic spirit over Israel
Posted: August 10, 2016

More than 11,000 world athletes have converged on Brazil’s second largest city, Rio de Janeiro, for the 2016 Summer Olympics, which began on Aug. 5. Despite the problems that led up to the games, such as Rio’s issues with pollution and crime, and the threat of the Zika virus, many have also hailed the games as bringing forth an Olympic spirit of peace and friendly competition during a time of global stress and conflict.

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With Amar’e Stoudemire’s help, Jerusalem looks to overtake Tel Aviv as Israel’s basketball capital
Posted: August 10, 2016

JERUSALEM – Hapoel Jerusalem basketball fans know that when the owner of their team tweets a smiley face, the signing of a new player is about to be announced.

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Aly Raisman helps power US women’s gymnastics team to Olympic gold
Posted: August 10, 2016

 The United States women’s gymnastics team, led by its Jewish-American captain Aly Raisman, won the Olympic gold medal in Rio.

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Monday 08/08/2016
Israeli Olympians kicked off bus to Rio games by Lebanese delegation
Posted: August 08, 2016

RIO DE JANEIRO — Lebanese Olympians refused to ride on a bus with Israeli athletes to get to the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 summer games.

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Aly Raisman earns spot in individual all-around finals in Rio
Posted: August 08, 2016

Jewish-American woman’s gymnast Aly Raisman earned a spot in the individual all-around competition at the Olympics in Rio.

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Israel’s first female Olympic wrestler seeks to make family and nation proud in Rio
Posted: August 08, 2016

At 5 feet 7 inches tall, and weighing around 150 pounds, 26-year-old optimistic and powerful blonde Ilana Kratysh will become the first-ever Israeli woman to compete in the wrestling events at the Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, which began Aug. 5. On Aug. 17 she will fight for the gold in the under 69-kilogram category.

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Monday 08/01/2016
Amar’e Stoudemire signs two-year deal with Hapoel Jerusalem basketball team
Posted: August 01, 2016

JERUSALEM — Amar’e Stoudemire, who retired from the NBA last week, has signed a two-year deal with the Hapoel Jerusalem basketball team.

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Monday 07/11/2016
Aly Raisman earns spot on US Olympic women’s gymnastics team
Posted: July 11, 2016

Jewish-American Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman has been named again to the U.S. women’s Olympics gymnastics team.

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Wednesday 06/22/2016
Back from ‘Hogwarts’ of Krav Maga
Posted: June 22, 2016

At age 19, Derrek Hofrichter thought he knew how to defend himself. Then, while riding public transit in Washington, D.C., he realized just how wrong he was.

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Tuesday 06/21/2016
Meet the Orthodox ‘American Ninja Warrior’ training to be a rabbi
Updated: July 01, 2016 - 2:29 pm

NEW YORK — Like his fellow competitors on “American Ninja Warrior,” 25-year-old Akiva Neuman pushed himself to his physical limits — climbing, jumping and running through an intense obstacle course — in the hopes of making it to the national finals in Las Vegas.

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Friday 06/17/2016
Los Angeles Dodgers sign Israeli in Major League first
Posted: June 17, 2016

Dean Kremer became the first Israeli to sign a contract with a Major League Baseball team.

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Wednesday 06/15/2016
‘The League’: Not just sports
Posted: June 15, 2016

This isn’t a sports story, even though it’s about the Jewish Youth Group Sports League, which recently completed its first season of basketball play at the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center in Scottsdale. No, this is a story about community-building.

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Tuesday 05/17/2016
Kids' soccer leagues aim to bridge Israel's religious divide
Posted: May 17, 2016

PARDES HANNA, Israel — When Yoel decided, at age 8, to begin observing Shabbat, there was one problem: It meant he couldn’t join most of Israel’s youth soccer teams, which played games on Saturday.

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Monday 05/02/2016
David Blatt to interview with Sacramento Kings for head coaching job
Posted: May 02, 2016

David Blatt, the Israeli American who was fired this season as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, reportedly will interview with the Sacramento Kings for the same position.

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Wednesday 04/06/2016
Scottsdale skater finishes 8th at Worlds
Posted: April 06, 2016

Scoring a new personal best, Jewish figure skater Max Aaron from Scottsdale was part of a trio that landed the U.S. skaters in the top 10 at the ISU 2016 World Championships.

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Tuesday 03/29/2016
A league of their own: A Jewish baseball museum, at last
Posted: March 29, 2016

When Jews visit the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, they can learn about the two most celebrated members of the tribe who have been inducted into the hallowed museum: Hank “The Hebrew Hammer” Greenberg and Sandy Koufax.

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Wednesday 03/16/2016
A catcher’s life in the minors
Posted: March 16, 2016

With the Cactus League in full swing and the Major League Baseball (MLB) season just around the corner, many forget that minor league players are working around the Valley to play on teams all over the country this summer, and the Valley’s own Adam Sonabend is one of them. 

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Wednesday 02/17/2016
Teens connect at The League
Posted: February 17, 2016

The League is, without a doubt, the best place for Jewish teens to be on a Sunday night, when 80 teens from local Valley Jewish youth groups come together to play basketball, eat pizza and cheer on friends. Many more attend just to socialize and be part of the excitement. 

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Wednesday 02/10/2016
Rabbi played baseball in Israel
Posted: February 10, 2016

With the first pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training in Arizona and Florida next week, sports fans’ thoughts turn to the national pastime. Rabbi Jason Bonder, who heads the religious school at Temple Emanuel of Tempe, has a particularly strong tie to the sport, having played in the single season of the Israel Baseball League back in 2007. 

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Wednesday 02/03/2016
Medals and memories
Posted: February 03, 2016

Six athletes from the Valley competed as part of Team USA in the 2015 Pan American Maccabi Games, the quadrennial Jewish regional athletic competition, held at the end of December in Santiago, Chile.

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Monday 02/01/2016
LA Lakers sign Jewish teenager with brain cancer
Posted: February 01, 2016

The Los Angeles Lakers signed a Jewish teenager with brain cancer to a one-day contract yesterday (Jan. 31).

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Wednesday 12/30/2015
For ex-baseball players, Israel a place to learn and teach
Posted: December 30, 2015

Out of baseball after four years playing in the minor leagues, Brent Powers, a Christian from Texas, took a tour of Israel last year with his wife. He was smitten with the country and considered how to return.

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VOSJCC youth basketball and soccer leagues start in January
Posted: December 30, 2015

Registration is now open for the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center’s youth RUSH Soccer and Maccabi Basketball leagues. RUSH is a recreational soccer league that helps boys and girls ages 4-7 to improve their motor skills, coordination and self-confidence. The season runs Jan. 18-March 2; the registration deadline is Jan. 18. Cost is $80 for JCC members and $95 for nonmembers.

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