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.
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.”
“When Dr. Halpert scours the globe for good player-athletes who will lead the team to victory, he looks for athletic promise. But in searching for the best, he is cognizant that, in the final analysis, his team will be the YU team. He knows that the players must be the best but also informed by values—Jewish values, universal values, and values touched by the breath of Torah,” writes Rabbi Krauss.
Halpert, who took over the Yeshiva University Maccabees roster in 1972, was named coach of the year in the NCAA’s Skyline Conference twice, and at one point compiled a streak of 15 winning seasons. Most importantly, Halpert has served as a role model for core Jewish values to three generations of Yeshiva University students.
“I chose Are You Still Coaching? as my title because it is the comment I hear most often from former players and fans. As one year has turned into 42, I have come to understand that coaching not only allows me to pursue my own personal dreams, but more importantly, it enables me to give young men the same opportunity,” said Halpert.
“At some moment and at some place, a player’s dream is realized. But the time and place are irrelevant. All that matters is that I have enabled another young man to believe that everything is possible. Everyone needs and deserves one of those moments.”
In 2012, Yeshiva University’s Alumni Office honored Halpert by adding his signature to the men’s basketball court at the Max Stern Athletic Center on YU’s Wilf Campus in Manhattan and by launching the Coach Jonathan Halpert Scholarship Fund, an endowment that is awarded annually to children of YU alumni living in Israel wishing to study at the University.