The Shmooze

5 Jewish Things About Baseball Opening Day

By Anne Cohen

Getty Images
Kevin Youkilis

Who still says Jews can’t be good at sports?

With baseball season kicking off (or rather, batting off), we’ve rounded up the top five Jewish things you should know about the who’s who of America’s pastime.

These guys are all more kosher than the hot dogs at Citi Field.

1. Kevin Youkilis

No, he’s not Greek. Well, not really. Known as “Youks,” this former Red Sox player, who signed with the New York Yankees in December , is undeniably Jewish. His great-great-great grandfather was originally from Romania, but moved to Greece at the age of 16 to avoid conscription into the Cossacks. When he returned to Romania years later, he changed his name from Weiner to Youkilis. The first baseman was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of Carolyn and Mike Youkilis, a wholesale jeweler. His mother converted to Judaism after her wedding.

Youkilis will be facing his old team Monday afternoon as the two rivals open the season in the Bronx.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: ryan braun, yankees, paul goldschmidt, mets, opening day, kevin youkilis, jewish, ike davis, diamondbacks, brewers, baseball

Rangers' Jewish GM Is Conquering the Major Leagues, But Not as a Batter

By Ron Dicker

The Texas Rangers’ Jewish general manager, Jon Daniels, idolized the Mets while growing up in Queens, but he always assumed his future wouldn’t include being a star ballplayer for the team. It became that much more apparent when he tried out for the freshman baseball team at Hunter College High School in Manhattan. As he said in an interview with Fast Company magazine, “I could throw, and I wasn’t afraid to take a beating, but I couldn’t hit for shit.”

But he has conquered the Major Leagues as a front-office wiz kid. In 2005, at age 28, he took over the wheeling-and-dealing of the Rangers to become the youngest general manager in history. Five years later, the Rangers are appearing in the American League Championship Series for the first time, playing the New York Yankees starting tonight for the right to advance to the World Series.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Theo Epstein, Yankees, Texas Rangers, Jon Daniels, Mets, Jewish, Hunter College High School, General Manager, Fast Company, Domecq, Cornell University, Colorado Rockies

Kosher Food on Shabbos at Mets' Stadium?

By Lauren F. Friedman

If you believe Kosher Sports Inc., keeping kosher matters more to the Mets than to Rabbi Shmuel Heinemann, who has been an orthodox “Kashrus Administrator” for 28 years.

According to an article in yesterday’s New York Post, Kosher Sports – which operates three kosher food stands at Citi Field – is suing the Mets. It is claiming over a half-million dollars in lost profits as a result of the team’s prohibition against operating its kosher food stands on Friday nights and Saturday afternoons.

The catch? Kosher Sports insists that it got approval from the appropriate kosher-certifying authorities – Rabbi Heinemann of Star-K – and that only the Mets are standing in its way. The rabbi says otherwise.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Star-K, Mets, Kosher Food

Who Is a Ball-Playing Jew?

By Jordana Horn

Play ball, already! For those who are in the “fascinated by Jews who are professional athletes” category, a new website will help you indulge your yenta streak.

JewishBaseballNews.com, a website that debuted this week, follows all Jewish Major League Baseball players, showing how they perform, as well as how they fare compared with the rest of Major League Baseball.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Mets, Major League Baseball, Jews, Jewish Baseball News, Ike Davis, Craig Breslow, Brad Ausmus, Baseball, Ryan Braun, Scott Barancik, Scott Feldman

Meet the Mets' Rookie Mensch

By Kevin Deutsch



Jewish Mets fans across the city are abuzz over news of this season’s first-baseman, 23-year-old Ike Davis (actually, Isaac Benjamin Davis), the first Jewish kid to ever come up solely through the Mets farm system and make the big league team.


Davis, who’s batting an impressive .355 in his first 10 games, is being hyped more than any Jewish ballplayer in the city since Sandy Koufax.
 “I am really proud of my Jewish heritage,” Davis, 23, told SNY.tv recently. “I did grow up celebrating both Christmas and Hanukkah. I know there haven’t been too many of us. So I’m glad Jewish kids get to see they can grow up to be professional baseball players.”

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Sandy Koufax, Rafi Ginsberg, Mets, Ike Davis, Jewish, Citi Field, Yankee




Find us on Facebook!
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • 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.