Thursday, January 23, 2014

Nominate Your Rabbi - America's Top Sports Rabbis

Over the last few years there have been lists after lists of TOP RABBIS. There was Newsweek's Top 50 Rabbis in America, The Forward had a list of America's Most Inspiring Rabbis, and recently ran a list of Hottest Rabbis. We are getting into the action and looking for America's Top Sports Rabbis. This list is going to be broken down into two categories:

1) Rabbis who are/were actual athletes: 
Did your rabbi play in the Maccabi games? Did he play college baseball? Maybe she was All-State in Volleyball. We want to meet these Rabbis!

2) Rabbis who are sports enthusiastic: 
Does your rabbi have more sports autographs in his office then Torah commentary? Did she coach in the Maccabi games? Does he have season tickets to his local team?

To nominate your rabbi it is simple. Simply pick the category and then send your rabbi's name, photo, and why you think s/he should be nominated to Nominees are do March 1st and we hope to have  our list by March Madness time.

Join in the fun and nominate your rabbi!!!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Two New Jews on Ice

Two new Jews joined the NHL ranks. However, they came up to the pros but fairly quickly off their rosters.

Trevor Smith played 25 games for the Maple Leafs and had 4 goals and 9 assists. reported "Smith broke a bone in his right hand when blocking a shot from Florida's Shawn Matthias in the third period of a 3-1 loss Dec. 17." Hope he gets back soon.

David Warsofsky played only four games for the Bruins and was sent back to the minors. He scored 1 goal (in his first game) during his time in the pros.

We hope to see them both back in the NHL soon.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Interview: Cornell's (and Shalhevet's) JoJo Fallas

There is a lot of talk about the big Jewish kid in Evanston Illinois, Aaron Liberman playing for Northwestern. But before we get all wrapped up in one Orthodox Jew from California, we better pay attention to the East Coast where another former California Orthodox High Schooler is making waves at Cornell. Meet JoJo Fallas, former Red Sarachek MVP and Shalhevet legend. JoJo is working under the tutelage of former Cornell (Jewish) legend Jon Jaques and he just might be the one we are talking about for the next few years.

1) Tell TGR a little bit about yourself?
I’m JoJo Fallas, an 18-year-old freshman on Cornell’s basketball team. I am from Los Angeles and went to Shalhevet High School, an orthodox Jewish institution. I am majoring in Applied Economics and Management. 

2) When did you start playing basketball and when did you realize playing at the next level was a reality?
I’ve been playing basketball for as long as I can remember. My first organized basketball experience was in the first grade, but basketball has always been a major part of my life. It has always been a dream of mine to play basketball at the Division 1 level, but I don’t think it was until the summer between my junior and senior years of high school that I really viewed it as a reality. 

3) There have been an influx of athletes who graduated Jewish High Schools moving on to play college sports; do you take pride in this? 
I take a lot of pride in it. I think for a long time there was an untrue belief that players from Jewish High Schools were either not talented enough to play at the next level or did not receive enough exposure to ever have a real possibility of taking that next step. To me, it’s all about young athletes believing that they can accomplish whatever they set their minds to, and more and more athletes from Jewish High Schools are proving just that. 

4) Was it harder to get noticed at a Jewish High School? 
It was more difficult to get noticed at a Jewish High School. Shalhevet has a total of 200 students, which means that the division that we played in was composed of other small schools, limiting us to very little exposure. However, AAU and summer camps are becoming ever more competitive, and coaches are using these avenues to recruit more, so it was not as hard as it might seem. 

5) What was the Red Sarachek tournament experience like? 
I attended the Red Saracheck tournament 3 times in my high school career, and it was an amazing experience each and every time. The tournament does an outstanding job of shrinking the country and connecting Jewish students who would otherwise have very little contact. Winning the tournament in my last high school game was a rewarding and fulfilling conclusion, and one that meant a lot to the school as a whole. 

6) What adjustments have you had to make in your game so far at Cornell? 
There are a lot of adjustments I have had to make at Cornell, from becoming accustomed to the speed and strength of the game to understanding how to make more complex and advanced reads about what is happening on the floor. But I think the biggest adjustment is mental; the season is longer, there is more travel and harder and longer practices than many players have experienced at the high school level. It takes a lot of adjustment to stay mentally engaged and focused throughout all that is happening, which is why so many freshmen seem to hit a wall towards the end of the season. 

7) Have you been able to learn from Coach Jon Jaques (former TGR Interviewee and Cornell standout)? 
I have been able to learn a lot from Coach Jaques. From light lessons like how to adjust to the weather coming from LA, to just hearing about his experience as a player going to the sweet 16, he has played a major role in my transition to Cornell and my development as a player. 

8) Can Cornell get back to the tournament? 
Cornell can definitely get back to the tournament. We have had a tough start to the season, but we are a young, talented team and just need to put a few things together. I feel like we have all the pieces necessary to win the Ivy League, and it is just about getting better every day in order to make that a reality. 

9) What are you future goals moving forward?
One of my goals is definitely to win the Ivy League and get back to the tournament. Individually though, I am just trying to become a player that people enjoy watching and playing with. I would also love to play professionally in Israel after college.

Thank you to JoJo for the interview. Lets get Cornell back on track. We will be watching.
 And Let Us Say...Amen.
- Jeremy Fine

Monday, January 13, 2014

2013 College Football Player of the Year

We had several TGR College Football Players of the Year nominees. Shout outs to those considered:  Jake Bernstein, Ben Gottschalk, Adam Shapiro, Jake Smith, and Stephen Stein.

Announcing this year's Co- Players of the Year

Washington State Sophomore Receiver - Gabe Marks


Iowa Junior Fullback - Mark Weisman

Marks hauled in 74 receptions for a total of 807 yards. He also grabbed 7 TDS for the Cougars. One of those TDs came in a loss in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.

Weisman ran the ball 227 times for 975 yards. He got into the end zone 8 times for the Hawkeyes. Weisman also scored a TD in his team's loss in the Outback bowl.

Real solid production for two men who played for bowl teams.

Mazel Tov! Big expectations for both players next year.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

JNFL Player of the Year

While there were a few JNFLers who had successful season (Brian De La Puente snapping to Drew Brees and Marc Trestman reinventing the Bears Offense). But one player had a legitimate standout season.        With 105 catches, 1056 yards receiving, and 6 TDs. 

2013 JNFL Player of the Year: Julian Edelman

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy 78th Birthday to Sandy Koufax!

Click HERE for more.