Friday, December 19, 2008

The Orthodox Female Michael Jordan

Thanks to New Rules of Investing for alerting me to this story.

We all remember the headlines about the Jewish Michael Jordan, Tamir Goodman. Well forget about him because we now have an orthodox Jewish female, who is creating a buzz of her own. Naama Shafir, an Israeli from around Tiberias, is the freshman star of the University of Toledo women’s basketball team, and the first Orthodox Jewish female to ever get a sports scholarship to an NCAA school.

According to a feature in the Jewish Week: "As a Sabbath-observant, kosher-eating minority of one on the Toledo campus, Shafir is providing an education about the customs and requirements of Orthodox Judaism, and the team is serving as a model of religious tolerance.
Her favorite food, according to a player’s profile in the Rockets’ media guide, is “kosher food.”
“My teammates ask a lot of questions,” Shafir says. “I explain.”
Alerted to the symbols of kosher certification, the other young women on the team, Christians, many of them African Americans, go out of their way to find products with the Orthodox Union’s OU symbol when buying snacks, she says.
With the guidance of her rabbi in Israel, who advised her when she was the sole Orthodox girl on her national team a few years ago, she has worked out an MO that allows her to follow Jewish law while playing at the highest level of college hoops."

I think this is very cool. She is a great role model for Jewish girls in the US. Not quite your typical JAP! What's so interesting is that the Israeli media hasn't picked up on the story. When they do, I can't wait to hear the reaction; especially from the Orthodox community. I can imagine that while some will be proud and supportive, there will be many other prominent Orthodox Jewish leaders who use the word 'disgrace' 'not modest'- just to name a few.

1 comment:

JMNOR55 said...

Well hopefully she does well. In general, Jewish people don't play sports as well as other people and most schools aren't going to want to have their kids emulate her.

Today's yeshiva high schools want to have their girls be aidel meidels and go into the stereotypical fields, (i.e. education, occupational and physical therapy, etc.)

My friend's wife is an attorney at a nice firm in Chicago. How much publicity does she get for it? Would Ida Crown bring her in for career day? Doubt it. Al achas kammah v'kammah basketball players.