Over 100 Yeshiva students piled into a high school gym in the Katamon neighborhood of Jerusalem Saturday night, January 21 for OneFamily’s First Annual Hoop-A-Thon.
Seven Yeshivot, represented by nine teams, competed in the tournament along with OneFamily’s own basketball team composed of bereaved siblings, orphans, and wounded victims.
The charity basketball tournament, organized by OneFamily volunteer Laura Lerer of Chicago, was intended to raise awareness and support among English-speaking students in Israel for Israel’s terror victims and the assistance OneFamily provides them.
As part of their participation in the tournament, teams spent the month preceding the competition raising money for terror victims. Some of the teams are still working to raise money for victims of terror through OneFamily.
OneFamily would like to say a special thank you to the guys from Yeshivat Gush Etzion for raising the most money. Gush Etzion, who was eliminated in the semi-finals of the tournament, received a beautifully designed plaque by Scottie Katz of United Crystal and Engraving in Chicago in honor of their efforts.
Netiv was the winner of OneFamily’s First Annual Hoop-A-Thon. The Yeshiva was represented in the tournament by two teams and surprisingly, both made it to the final round. Gush Etzion and Eretz HaTzvi finished 3rd and 4th.
OneFamily’s basketball team, led by Point Guard Yair Kit, won its first round game but was eliminated from the tournament nonetheless because their margin of victory was the lowest among the first round’s winning teams.
The emcee for the tournament was Kenny Sachs. Kenny is himself a survivor of terrorism. Before the evening’s final game, he addressed the students in the crowd to tell them his story.
“I’ve loved basketball all my life, and I played in a Jerusalem league until about 2 years ago when a terrorist infiltrated my army base and shot me,” he said.
Kenny had already finished his army service and was on reserve duty at the time. He hasn’t been able to play basketball since the attack, and more importantly, he hasn’t been able to work due to all the physical therapy he’s had to undergo.
“The devestation wrought by terrorism is not always visible from a distance,” he explained to the audience. “The scars I have on the inside and outside of my body will never disappear. I want everyone to know how important it is that we stand with the soldiers of Israel, and with the citizens of Israel of who have been injured in terror attacks. We need you.
It was a message we all needed to hear. Terror victims in Israel need our help. And even though everyone participating in OneFamily’s First Annual Hoop-A-Thon had a great time, we knew that the event stood for something greater.
As OneFamily Chairman Marc Belzberg said, “Tonight is about Jewish unity. We, as Jews, have a responsibility to help our brothers and sisters in Israel. They bear a heavy burden and we must stand with them.”
The Following Yeshivot participated in the Hoop-A-Thon:
HaKotel (2 teams): Yaacov Farkas, Josh Gottesman, Eli Jacobson, Yosef Kurtz, Shuki Merlis, Reuben Berman, Nachum Joel, Moshe Kolb, Yitzy Kolb, Jordan Silvestri, Ami Solow
Lev HaTorah: Keith Flaks, Allan Greenspoon, Gabe Leinwand, Barak Shloush, Avi Staiman
Shaalvim: Jay Brody, Ephriam Feman, Daniel Neiss, Uri Weingarten, Yoni Weiss, Sammy Kahn
Nair Yaacov: David Blumberg, Moshe Cohn, Ezra Danichman, Shmuly Gruen, Ari Mann, Tzvi Rosenweig
Eretz HaTzvi: Gabriel Cartman, Brian Finkel, Adam Kahn, Michael Klein, Moshe Kook, Ben Lieblich, Tuvia Peretz, Jon Rosenblatt
Gush Etzion: Sam Adelsberg, Aaron Ciner, Noam Fine, Michael Gottesman, Avi Grumet, Chaim Horowitz, Noam Horowitz, Jeff Kiderman, Adam Kugelman, Noah Lehrman, Yitzy Raisner, Isaac Silverstein
Netiv (2 teams): David Ben-Simon, Jonah Bibi, David Feldman, Marc Fruchter, J. Gillers, Avi Guttman, Shuki Jacobi, David Katz, Scott Kaye, Yoni Lieberman, Moshe Nieman, Elly Shicker, Alex Taub, Issac Zafaran, Eric Zimmerman, Asher Shorner, Moshe Klein, Aaron Meiman