Yeshiva University News » Maccabees

Former Maccabee Selected to Join Flourishing Yeshiva Athletics Program

Elliot Steinmetz, new men's basketball head coachYeshiva University has announced Elliot Steinmetz as its head men’s basketball coach.  Steinmetz, a 2002 graduate of YU’s Sy Syms School of Business who lettered on YU’s basketball team for three seasons from 1999-02, will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the men’s basketball program while ensuring the academic success of its student-athletes.  He has served with distinction as head coach of the varsity basketball team at North Shore Hebrew Academy High School and of the gold medal-winning United States 18 and Under Boys Basketball Team for the Maccabiah Games in Israel.

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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.

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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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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.

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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…

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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…

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Maccabees Win Skyline Sportsmanship Trophy for Third Time in Five-Year History of Award

Yeshiva University has captured the Skyline Conference’s Sportsmanship Trophy for displaying outstanding team sportsmanship during the 2011-12 academic year.

Yeshiva University has won the Sportsmanship Trophy for the third time in five years.

The Skyline Conference instituted the Sportsmanship Trophy in 2007-08 to gauge team sportsmanship among its member schools. The Maccabees compiled 531 points out of a possible 710 points (9 sports), for an overall rating of .748.

“This award is so important because it shows that our student-athletes know how to represent themselves, the University and the Jewish People in a fiercely competitive yet fair, honest and respectful manner,” said Joe Bednarsh, director of athletics, physical education and recreation. “This is the most valued award for our department. We place it above all-star honors.” Read the rest of this entry…

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Athletic Banquet Honors Student-Athletes Across 14 Varsity Sports

The annual Athletic Awards Banquet was held Wednesday evening, May 9, in the Max Stern Athletic Center. More than 250 athletes, administrators and guests were present to celebrate the 14 2011-2012 athletic teams that Yeshiva sponsors. Attendees were treated to a night of special awards for their teammates along with the unveiling of a championship banner for the men’s cross country team, celebrating the school’s first ever back-to-back championship in any sport. Read the rest of this entry…

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Men’s Basketball Coach Honored with Court-Naming Ceremony and Scholarship Fund

On Sunday, May 6, Yeshiva University’s Alumni Office celebrated the 40-year career of men’s basketball Coach Jonathan Halpert ‘62YUHS, ‘66YC, ‘78F with a court-naming ceremony in his honor at the Max Stern Athletic Center on the Wilf Campus. The event included the unveiling of Halpert’s signature on the men’s basketball court, a tribute video and the launch of the Coach Jonathan Halpert Scholarship Fund, an endowment that will be awarded annually to children of YU alumni living in Israel wishing to study at the University.

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Halpert, who took over the Maccabees roster in 1972, is the longest tenured men’s basketball coach in New York City history.  He was named coach of the year in the NCAA’s Skyline Conference twice, and at one point compiled a streak of 15 consecutive winning seasons.  Above all, Halpert has served as a role model for core Jewish values to three generations of Yeshiva University students. Read the rest of this entry…

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YU to Honor Longtime Men’s Basketball Coach Jonathan Halpert with Court-Naming Ceremony, Scholarship Fund

Yeshiva University’s University’s Alumni Office will be celebrating the 40-year career of men’s basketball Coach Jonathan Halpert ’62YUHS, ’66YC, ’78F with a court-naming ceremony in his honor on May 6, 2012 at the Max Stern Athletic Center on YU’s Wilf Campus in Manhattan. The event will include the unveiling of Halpert’s signature on the men’s basketball court as well as the launch of the Coach Jonathan Halpert Scholarship Fund, an endowment that will be awarded annually to children of YU alumni living in Israel wishing to study at the University.

Halpert, who took over the YU Maccabees roster in 1972, is the longest tenured men’s basketball coach in New York City history.  He was named coach of the year in the NCAA’s Skyline Conference twice, and at one point compiled a streak of 15 consecutive winning seasons.  Above all, Halpert has served as a role model for core Jewish values to three generations of Yeshiva University students.

“For four decades, Coach Halpert has imbued the Melvin J. Furst Gymnasium with the values of sportsmanship, teamwork and Jewish pride,” said President Richard M. Joel. “With this deserving honor, Coach Halpert’s example and leadership will inform the play and actions of the future scholar athletes of Yeshiva University for generations to come.”

Over the last 30 years, Halpert has visited Israel twice a year to recruit Israeli talent interested in representing Yeshiva University on the court while receiving a top-notch Torah and academic college education. The Coach Jonathan Halpert Scholarship Fund was established under his guidance to benefit YU alumni who have immigrated to Israel.

“When I heard that YU wanted to mark this milestone in my tenure, I insisted that the celebration include the establishment of the scholarship fund,” said Halpert. “This grant is an expression of gratitude to Yeshiva University alumni who have made Aliyah and my way of ensuring that Israel’s future leaders obtain the tools they need to continue to build the Jewish State.”

Individuals interested in honoring Halpert’s significant contributions to YU and the Maccabees can contribute from anywhere in the world via the University website. Donors to the Coach Jonathan Halpert Scholarship Fund will be recognized in the interactive display documenting the history of the Maccabees in the Max Stern Athletic Center and in an honorary book to be presented to Halpert later this year.

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