Welcome to the Center for Sport and Jewish Life

"Where Bob Costas meets Bar Cochbah"

The Center for Sport and Jewish Life is a donor-supported 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Jewish identity, Jewish community, and Jewish values through sports. Bruchim Ha-Ba'im! Welcome to the website of the Center for Sport and Jewish Life. We are pleased to have visitors from all over the world, and hope that you will enjoy the articles posted here. We want to hear from you! Please write us at, with your ideas for stories, to let us know of Jewish athletes competing at the high school or collegiate level, if you are interested in writing for us, or to let us know you stopped by. We hope to see you back here soon!

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Heroes and Defining Moments Rosh Hashanah and 9/11

On Rosh Hashanah it is written, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed: Who shall live, and who shall die... Who shall live out the full measure of their days, and who shall not...... Click here for full story.


Since the tragic moments on Monday, May 14, where some sixty Palestinians were killed and over a thousand wounded, I have been checking the international press to see what is being reported. What a painful task. With just a few exceptions the media has portrayed Israel in the worst possible light.... Click here for full story.

Coach K and the Meaning of Passover

It was April 3, 2001, with Passover just a week away. The night before, Duke had won the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship, beating Arizona two days after a semi-final game win over Maryland where they had been down 22 points in the first half. Coming a few years after back-to-back titles in the Christian Laettner-Bobby Hurley-Grant Hill era, this was Duke's - and Coach Mike Krzyzewski's - third championship.... Click here for full story.

It's always nice when the best team in the league is interested in you

Omri Casspi, Israel's sole representative in the NBA, started his career as the first-round draft pick of the Sacramento Kings back in 2009 Following stops in Cleveland, Houston, a return stay in Sacramento, and time during the 2016-17 season in New Orleans and Minnesota, Casspi is now just 80 miles from his Sacramento roots as a newly acquired member of the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors... Click here for full story.

Dudi Sela: "Having Jewish fans pulling for me during a match really makes a difference"

[February 19. 2016] Israeli tennis player Dudi Sela returned to Florida this February to play his 6th Delray Beach Open. Afterwards he spoke to Click here for full story.

Jewish Roots and the Quest for an NBA Championship

Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals was, by all accounts, one tough game. After the Heat managed a 103-100 overtime win after being down 5 with under 30 seconds to go, LeBron James called it "by far the best game I've ever been a part of." In the San Antonio locker room, third year Spurs member Tiago Splitter agreed. Click here for full story.


What sports legend, known more for his high living ways, championed the Jewish people when they most needed a friend? You might be surprised. Read more...

CSJL Seeks Coordinator in Israel

The Center for Sport and Jewish Life ( is looking to hire a coordinator in Israel for (at present) a 1/3-time position. Duties include coordinating efforts at life skills education through sports, occasional stories/interviews, and creating ties with like-minded individuals and organizations. Please pass the word along. Anyone interested should contact for details.

The CENTER FOR SPORT AND JEWISH LIFE has mounted the ALL IN THE FAMILY CAMPAIGN CAMPAIGN with the aim of supporting the following two organizations that serve lone soldiers: READ MORE

In Memoriam: Legendary Israeli Coach Ralph Klein, 1931-2008

It is with great sadness that the Center for Sport and Jewish Life shares with our readers the news that legendary Israeli basketball coach Ralph Klein has passed away at the age of 77. Klein served as one of two Honorary Presidents of the Center, along with MLB Commissioner Bud Selig.

Klein had spent the past week in the hospital with health complications. Three years ago he battled cancer, and had subsequently been in remission.

Klein has been recognized on numerous occasions for his many accomplishments. In 1998, he was chosen as Israeli Coach of the Half-Century. In 2006 he received the prestigious Israel Prize (something like the Congressional Medal of Honor), which is awarded each year on Yom HaAtzma'ut (Israeli Independence Day) to a dozen or so individuals from the arts, education, industry and other realms. Entire Article >>

Announcing the publication of a unique book:
"Baseballs, Basketballs and Matzah Balls"!

Called "compelling and entertaining" by CBS Sports Final Four guru Seth Davis, and "insightful and inspirational" by former NFL player and Fox TV analyst Tim Green, Baseballs, Basketballs and Matzah Balls: What Sports Can Teach Us About the Jewish Holidays ... and Vice Versa explores the world of sports - of contests and heroes, of triumph and adversity - and examines how they relate to the festivals that Jews have celebrated for thousands of years. Baseballs, Basketballs and Matzah Balls was written by Rabbi Mitch Smith, the founder of the Center for Sport and Jewish Life, who is the Director of Sport Psychology Services at Florida Atlantic University. In the pages of Baseballs, Basketballs and Matzah Balls, you will hear from Moses, Michael Jordan and Mordecai Kaplan, Phil Jackson and Philo Judaeus, Hammerin' Hank Greenberg and Theodor Herzl, Rabbi Moses Maimonides and Reggie Miller. You will hear, too, from Bill Bradley and Boris Becker, Gary Player and Grant Hill, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Abraham Joshua Heschel, Rafael Nidal, Red Auerbach and Rabbi Akiba. For more description and info on how to order your copy, click here.

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