HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal

Danny Schayes

Issue: Athletics

Former NBA Basketball Player

How did sports impact your Jewish identity?

Sports has enhanced my Jewish identity greatly. I have traveled to Israel on 5 occasions that were sports related trips. My first transformational Jewish experience occurred when I traveled to Israel for the Maccabiah Games as a high school senior. I went to play sports and came away with an understanding of what it meant to be a Jew that I could never have achieved by living in the US. I later enjoyed a long NBA career and for a time was the only Jewish player in the league. I was often met by Jewish fans at the games. The connection between Judaism and sports had been a long term love affair for me.


What advice would you give to a young Jewish athlete today?

The best advice that I can give for a young Jewish athlete today is to pursue the joy of sports to the highest level possible. Sports, academics, and Jewish life can absolutely coexist. The phrase “sound mind, sound body” is one of the most fundamental because it is at the core of every life. Sports is an ideal complement to an academic life, and also compliments a spiritual one.

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Estee Ackerman

Ping-pong player, currently ranked 6 in the US for Cadet Girls under the age of 15, and 68 for all women in America.......


This issue presents a wealth of guidance and examples for day schools to stay on top of their game. Articles discuss how schools ensure that athletics stay informed by a school's mission, by embodying Jewish values and embracing inclusivity; how they can use sports as a vehicle for teaching about and fostering love for Israel; how a wide range of sports can bring out the best in students and faculty; and how schools can more broadly employ movement and teach healthy living.

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