On Monday, Rabbi Beitler’s shiur had a special e-visit from three time University of Pennsylvania Quakers men’s basketball captain and their all-time school leader in assists, Zack Rosen. Rosen, who is currently a star of Maccabi Ashdod, skyped in from Israel and spoke to the students about his own incredible journey that led him from pro ball to religious Judaism. Rosen grew up unobservant in Colonia, NJ. He suffered a serious arm fracture in his junior year of high school and doctors told him that he would never be able to play again. But after working incredibly hard, he was able to overcome the odds and was back on the court just nine months later; he soon transferred to one of the elite high school basketball programs in the country (after MTA, of course!!) at Saint Benedict’s in Newark, NJ, where a number of his teammates ended up playing in the NBA. It was there, where he was just one of a small handful of Jewish students in the Catholic school, that he discovered himself and his Jewish faith by observing the faith of those around him following their own religion. Zack explained to the boys that sometimes it takes a yeridah to have an aliyah. We thank Zack for his time and for his incredibly inspiring words.

 

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