Bintel Blog

Maccabiah Update: A Softball Miracle and Misplaced Nostalgia

By Nathan Jeffay

  • Print
  • Share Share

Congratulations Team USA! The American delegation to the Maccabiah is delivering the goods.

Yesterday, American pole-vaulter Jillian Schwartz set a new Maccabiah record, reaching 4.24 metres. She broke the record set just a few minutes previously by Israeli national champion Morin Azizi. Obviously, Schwartz won a gold medal in the process.

There was another gold medal for America yesterday thanks to Brown University student Samantha Adelberg. She ran the 800m race in 2:13.65.

The U.S. basketball, softball and baseball teams are all undefeated, and the first US fustal team to enter (fustal is a variant of soccer played indoors) won its first game, which it played against Estonia.

So American sportsmen and women are doing their country proud, but coaches beware: Israel is out to poach them. As the media here has reported, Israel is offering cash incentives of more than $3,000 for members of foreign teams to move to Israel.

If you read a past Bintel Blog on the Maccabiah, you will know that organizers were left red-faced after failing to get a licenses needed to stage softball games. They were canceled by police as a result. Given the Israeli passion for bureaucracy which means that most licences take an age to arrive it’s a miracle, but organizers managed to secure the necessary license yesterday, and the softball is back on.

Another topic discussed in this previous Bintel Blog is the suggestion by some that the Maccabiah is not really a serious sporting tournament anymore, and is more of a social event. We put this claim to Ron Carner, head of the U.S. delegation. Here’s what he had to say: “It’s a very high-level competition, and it’s a social and Zionist event. One doesn’t detract from the other. The number one part of the program is the sport, and everything else flows from that.”

After reading this piece in Haaretz about what the Maccabiah used to be like, one wonders whether those claiming the competition has gone downhill are indulging in a bit of misplaced nostalgia. At least nowadays medalists actually get their medals.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Sports, Maccabiah, Israel



Find us on Facebook!
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.