By Staff

Elitzur basketball team at game played against KBY community players

The Elitzur all-star basketball team (for ages 14–16) visited the United States during a two-week journey which included a round of games in the U.S. The Elizur Center is a religious sports organization in Israel that promotes sports in the religious and traditional sectors.

On their tour, the basketball team played against camps throughout New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

This is the third team that has embarked on such a journey since the renewal of tradition by the current administration, which is headed by Chairman Eli Etsion. Last year’s Elitzur team generated a lot of excitement among the camps, which means that this year the number of games has increased from six to nine, and includes a variety of new locations. Everywhere the players went, campers came to see the “Israeli all-star team.”

In addition to basketball games, the players played all kind of sports with young players, as well as initiating joint activities with the youth on Zionism, aliyah and Jerusalem, in light of the 50th anniversary of its reunification. The team included 12 players from the various Elitzur associations: Rehovot, Modi’in, Gush Etzion, Hevel Yavneh, Petah Tikva, Hashmonaim, Netanya, Kochav Yair and Ra’anana.

For the second year in a row, the team was led by coach Tom Cohen of Elizur Netanya, joined by Roi Sharoni, educational and professional director; Shay Glickstein, project manager; and Eli Etsion, head of delegation. The team visited camps Moshava, Masorah, Dora Golding, Seneca Lake, Morasha and Lavi.

On the first Shabbos, the team was hosted in Hillside/Elizabeth for an amazing weekend.

During the second week of their visit, the team toured the UN headquarters as guests of Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, who arrived with his personal advisor Noy Berger. The actions of the Israeli embassy at the UN was explained, and Danon congratulated the players and wished them a successful journey.

After the visit to the UN, the players arrived in Brooklyn, where they visited the home of the Lubavitcher Rebbe and received a personal tour from Rabbi Mendel Eisenbach. The players were even shown the Rebbe’s personal room.

The second Shabbos of July 14/15 was hosted, organized and sponsored by the community of Kehillas Beis Yehuda in Suffern. The players and members of the delegation were hosted by various members of the community. They prayed together in the shul on Shabbos morning and then ate a seudah prepared by community member Mickey Montal. Seudah shelishis was hosted by Doron and Fay Cohen, followed by a musical and emotional Havdalah. The team then played one last basketball game against youngsters of the KBY community.

After a two-week journey, the players returned to Israel  on  Sunday, July 16 with unforgettable experiences.

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