Yeshiva University News » Athletics

Benjy Ritholtz, Rebecca Yoshor Earn Academic All America Honors

Yeshiva University basketball players Benjy Ritholtz and Rebecca Yoshor just raised the stakes. The men’s basketball and women’s basketball stars, who last month were named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Capital One Academic All District teams, were both named Academic All Americans by CoSIDA. Ritholtz was named a men’s basketball’s third team All-American, while Yoshor was named to women’s basketball’s second team.


Benjy Ritholtz was named a men’s basketball’s third team All-American.

Ritholtz, a history major, has a 3.98 grade point average (GPA), which was tied for the highest GPA among the men’s first, second and third team members. He is a West Hempstead, New York native and a 2010 graduate of the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County. Through 23 games this season, Ritholtz is averaging 14.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. He has connected on 41.7 percent of his field goal attempts (128-for-307), including 37.7 percent (46-for-122) from behind the three point arc. To date, Ritholtz has netted 743 points, leaving him 257 points away from becoming the 27th player in Yeshiva men’s basketball history to reach 1,000.

“I am truly honored to have received this award,” said Ritholtz. “Credit goes to my amazing professors at Yeshiva University for helping me so much academically, to my teammates and coaches, and especially to my parents for their support and guidance in everything I do.”

Yoshor earned a spot on the second team after last season becoming the first women’s basketball player in Yeshiva history to make the team. Read the rest of this entry…

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TABC Defends Wittenberg Title; Shabbaton Includes Talk From Olympic Athlete

More than 230 wrestlers from 14 yeshiva high schools across the country descended on Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus for the 19th Annual Henry Wittenberg Wrestling Invitational February 14 – 17.


More than 230 wrestlers took part in the weekend tournament.

With 292 total points, the Torah Academy of Bergen County (Teaneck, NJ) wrestling team took first place at the tournament for the second year in a row. Kushner Academy (Livingston, NJ) and SAR Academy High School (Riverdale, NY) placed second and third, respectively. Read the rest of this entry…

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Yeshiva University Men’s Basketball Coach Won More Than 400 Games

Yeshiva University today announced that Dr. Jonathan Halpert, men’s basketball coach for the past 42 years, will conclude his service at the end of the 2013-14 season. Halpert, a graduate of Yeshiva University High School for Boys, Yeshiva College and Ferkauf Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, took over the Maccabees roster in 1972 and is the longest serving men’s basketball coach in New York City history.

Halpert was twice named coach of the year in the NCAA’s Skyline Conference (1999-00, 2009-10) and received the National Association of Basketball Coaches “Guardians of the Game” honor in 2003-04. The Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association bestowed him with its “Good Guy” award in 1997-98. During his illustrious career, Halpert has coached over 300 student-athletes, including several father-son tandems. Read the rest of this entry…


Yeshiva University Launches Blue & White Club to Support Athletics Program

The Yeshiva University Athletics Department has launched the Blue & White Club, the booster club for the YU Maccabees. Supporters from around the world can now partner with Yeshiva in effort to help maintain the unique experience of our student athletes. All contributions to the club will be used to advance the long-term programmatic goals of the athletics department, and every dollar of each donation directly affects the students.

BlueWhite_Club_Shield_MarkAccording to Director of Athletics Joe Bednarsh the idea of a booster club has been percolating for many years. “It was one of my goals when I took the reins of the program,” said Bednarsh. “I want to thank Vice President Josh Joseph and all of the departments, offices and administrators who helped make this initiative a reality.” Read the rest of this entry…

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Are You Still Coaching? Tells the Story of a Celebrated Career and the First ‘Torah-Sponsored Basketball Team’

Dr. Jonathan Halpert, the longest tenured men’s basketball coach in New York City history, will self-publish a memoir about his storied 42-year career at Yeshiva University. Aptly titled Are You Still Coaching?, the book is scheduled for release by AuthorHouse on January 2, 2014.

Coach Halpert

YU Men’s Basketball Coach Jonathan Halpert

In the book’s preface, Rabbi Simcha Krauss, rabbi emeritus of Young Israel of Hillcrest and a longtime friend of Halpert, explains that the volume really tells the story about the first “Torah-sponsored basketball team of an Orthodox school of higher learning.” Read the rest of this entry…


Women’s Basketball Standout Rebecca Yoshor Named to Capital One Academic All-America Team

Yeshiva University junior forward Rebecca Yoshor has been named to Capital One’s NCAA Division III Academic All-America women’s basketball second team for the 2012-13 academic year. The teams were selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

Mac-YoshorYoshor is the first female student-athlete in YU history to garner Capital One Academic All-America honors, and just the second student-athlete overall. Former Maccabees men’s basketball player, Eric Davis was cited on the third team in 1991.

“This is an amazing honor,” said Yoshor upon hearing the news. “My parents and coaches, both in high school and college, have been very encouraging and supportive, to say the least.”

“Seeing Rebecca recognized by Capital One is wonderful,” said YU first-year head coach, Nesta Felix. “She is consistently one of the last players to leave practice and is very tough on herself. Knowing that, it is fantastic to see that her labors have not been in vain.” Read the rest of this entry…


YU Women’s Basketball Team Comes Together On and Off the Court

It’s nine o’clock on a Wednesday night and the Yeshiva University women’s basketball team is practicing basketball drills in a midtown high school gym. Poised on the sideline, guard Stephanie Greenberg holds a basketball close to her chest, scanning the court for an open teammate.


First-year Head Coach Nesta Felix has instilled the Lady Macs with a sense of confidence and cohesiveness.

Greenberg, a Stern College for Women sophomore, inbounds to Naomi Gofine, who curls around a defender and fires a pass to a cutting Rebecca Yoshor, who effortlessly lays it in the hoop. “I like that!” calls out Coach Nesta Felix. “When you do it right, basketball is like beautiful music. That was pretty.”

Felix, first-year head coach of the Maccabees, has worked rigorously, alongside Assistant Coach Garianne Brown, to mold the 2012-13 squad into one of the most hard working, tightly knit and cohesive teams to set foot on court for YU.

A native of St. Lucia, Felix was a two-sport Division I athlete, playing basketball and volleyball for Iona College. Her coaching career began right out of college in 2001, with Felix serving as an assistant coach for seven seasons at Monroe College, where she helped lead the team to four regional championships. In Fall 2012, Felix brought her discipline, determination and passion to Stern College—traits she has found in the Maccabees, as well. “One of the things I love about coaching here is the focus and work ethic of my ladies,” she said. “I’m driving them like they’ve never been driven before, but they are so committed because of who they are.” Read the rest of this entry…


With Milestone Victory, Jonathan Halpert Joins Elite Group of NYC Basketball Coaches

Yeshiva University’s Dr. Jonathan Halpert became just the seventh men’s basketball coach in New York City history to record his 400th career victory on Thursday night, December 6 at the Max Stern Athletic Center—on the same court dedicated less than one year ago in his honor. The YU Maccabees defeated visiting Skyline Conference opponent Maritime (N.Y.) College 72-50, notching their second win of the early season.

YU received an 18-point, eight-assist effort from senior Gil Bash (Tel Aviv, Israel), as the Maccabees shot 64 percent from the floor. Junior Shlomo Wiissberg (Skokie, Ill.) shot 7-for-9 from the field en route to a 16-point, 12-rebound double-double, while senior Dovie Hoffman (Tarzana, Calif.) and junior Benjy Ritholtz (W. Hempstead, N.Y.) poured in 12 and 11 points, respectively.

With 400 wins, Halpert joins a select group of New York City men’s college basketball coaches who have reached this milestone Read the rest of this entry…


YU Athletics to Help Raise Awareness, Funds for Breast Cancer in October

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and once again the Yeshiva University Department of Athletics will do its part to raise awareness for the cause. The Maccabees will raise funds to benefit Sharsheret, a national not-for-profit organization supporting young women and their families, of all Jewish backgrounds, facing breast cancer.

“The Yeshiva University Department of Athletics has developed a tradition of raising awareness for Breast Cancer Awareness Month every October,” said Joe Bedarsh, YU athletic director. “Our department and over 200 student-athletes get the opportunity to not only raise awareness for the cause, but also to raise funds towards the Sharsheret organization, which has provided support for members of the Jewish community affected by breast cancer since its founding in 2001.”

Throughout the month of October, student-athletes on Yeshiva teams will wear pink warm-up t-shirts and wristbands at their contests. Furthermore, the student-athletes and departmental staff members will have those apparel items on sale at select contests and on the various Yeshiva campuses, with all proceeds going to Sharsheret. Items can also be purchased in person during normal business hours at the Max Stern Athletic Center, Room 101. T-shirts are on sale for $10, while wristbands are available for $5.


Reflections on Henry Wittenberg, Olympic Gold Medalist and YU Wrestling Coach

As the 2012 Olympics kick off in London, YUNews looks back at Yeshiva University’s very own London Olympian—a Jewish American wrestler named Henry Wittenberg, who took home the gold in 1948.

Wittenberg, top, won gold at the 1948 London Olympic Games. (© International Olympic Committee )

It was no easy win. Wittenberg, who was 30 at the time, had already missed his prime competitive years—the 1940 and 1944 Olympic Games were cancelled due to World War II, in which he served in the Navy. At the 1948 London Games, Wittenberg tore muscle tendons in his chest in the semifinals and his coach didn’t want him to wrestle in the final rounds. But the wrestler fought on to win first place in the light heavyweight freestyle competition and received a hero’s welcome upon his return to New York.

Four years later, with a push from his wife, Edith (who wanted to see Finland), Wittenberg would compete again at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics and win the silver, becoming the first American wrestler to medal at successive Olympic Games since 1908. He would go on to become Yeshiva University’s first wrestling coach. Read the rest of this entry…