Coach Jonathan Halpert Recruits from Israel as His Way of Thanking Those That Served in the IDF
To the average fan, it is no more than another mediocre basketball game in Division III of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. However, for Dr. Jonathan Halpert it means a whole lot more. For Halpert, the Yeshiva University team he coaches represents not only a private Jewish school from New York, but the entire Jewish people.
Halpert is in his 40th season as the basketball coach of the Maccabees, who currently have seven players from across Israel on their roster. Halpert, 67, comes to Israel twice a year to recruit local talent, hoping to find players worthy of representing not only Yeshiva University, but Jews everywhere.
“When Maccabi Tel Aviv plays in the Euroleague they are not only representing Maccabi, they are representing Israel and the Jewish people,” Halpert said during his recent visit to Israel.
“Whether Israelis want it or not, in the eyes of the world Maccabi is representing the Jewish state. When Yeshiva University goes out on court we are ‘the Jewish school.’ We are ‘the Jewish players.’ “There’s an opportunity to represent much more than yourself and the name of the school. For me to be able to represent the Jewish people 25 times a year is an opportunity I couldn’t get any place else. In Israel you can coach different teams and have that opportunity, but in America there is only one place I can do that so that is pretty special.” Read the full article in The Jerusalem Post…