Jewish Basketball? You bet!

All of Israel is rooting for the Cleveland Caveliers to take the NBA championship this year, since favorite son David Blatt took over coaching the team. Last year David, who made aliyah decades ago from the US to play basketball for Maccabi Tel Aviv, led the club to the European League championship. 

At our YBA network of schools, physical education is an important part of Torah education and Training Israel's Future. Our schools encourage sports activities so that our students will be models of the Jewish axiom: Nefesh briah b’guf bari’ (a healthy soul in a healthy body).

YBA Hadarom basketball champions (
We are excited to announce that YBA Hadarom in Rehovot won the championship of the Israeli Yeshiva High School Basketball Tournament in January. Over thirty yeshiva high schools from all over the country participated in the annual tournament, now in its thirtieth year. In a very physical and evenly matched championship finale, YBA Hadarom bested Yeshivat Darchei Noam of Petach Tikvah, 46:38, to take the title for the second year in a row.

“I was very impressed by the high level of the players and the spirit of good sportsmanship the students displayed throughout the tournament,” said the tournament organizer, Yaki Saada, from the Givat Washington Community College, where the event took place.

YBA Hadarom, Rehovot
Yeshivat Hadarom joined the YBA educational network in 2010 after over 50 years of being one of the largest and most esteemed yeshiva high schools in the southern region of Israel. The school was founded in 1947, and has been associated with the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) since its inception. During the 1950's and 60's, Yeshiva University regularly sent its rabbinical students to study for a year in Israel at Yeshivat Hadarom. Today YBA Hadarom serves over 600 students from Rehovot and the surrounding region, including many from lower socio-economic level families.

Instilling Jewish values at YBA Hadarom

Rabbi Kook addressing YBA Hadarom students
as Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi David Twersky (seated) looks on. 
Last June three boys were kidnapped and killed by Hamas terrorists in Gush Etzion, The vicious murder of Gilad Shear, Naftali Frankel and Eyal Yifrah prompted the PA and IDF to crackdown on Hamas terrorists operating in the Hebron area, Hamas in Gaza responded by firing hundreds of missiles on cities and towns in southern Israel, and the IDF responded by launching Operation Protective Edge, which left 66 IDF soldiers and 5 Israeli civilians killed during 50 days of fighting.

Now, six months later, students of YBA Hadarom in Rehovot have begun a project to honor the memory of the three murdered boys, Gilad, Naftali and Eyal, by studying Torah.

“Jewish tradition teaches us that Torah study in memory of a soul elevates that soul in Olam Habah (the World Come)," explained Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi David Twersky at the opening ceremony, "So we are calling the project ‘Mishna l’neshama’ (Mishna for the Soul),The goal is for each student to learn two chapters of Mishna per week.”

The ceremony was attended by the grandparents of Gilad and Naftali, residents of Rehovot, and the Chief Rabbi of Rehovot, Rabbi Simcha Hacohen Kook, who praised the boys for taking responsibility for the Nation of Israel through the project.

Yeshivot Bnei Akiva - Training Israel's Future. TM