9 Jul

Ladies and G’s, I am proud to announce, the international, intersteller domination of Israel Baseball continues.  Our Juvenile National Team (12-and-under) finished in 2nd place this weekend in the Tuscony Series in Italy, losing a close game, 7-6, in the finals.

the Juvenile Israel National Team in Italy (photo by Yitzy Roseman)

The Juvenile Israel National Team in Italy (photo by Yitzy Roseman)

The gentleman in the back row, center, is Head Coach, David Schenker.  And this post is about him.  But first, before we get to David, before we get to the important stuff, we must talk about, well, me, of course, the King of All Jewish Baseball, and my continued acclimatization to the blazing beauty of my new home, the Middle Earth– I mean, East.

I continue to live in a world of doubt.  The only thing I am certain of is that I am doing at least one thing wrong at all times.  I don’t know what menus say, which way the money goes into the ATM on a deposit, or how to stop sweating. I am still fascinated by Israelis’ insatiable appetite for sculpture ( and mediocre American popular music.  In addition to the Doors and Depeche Mode, ALL Israelis LOVE… Billy Joel, Fleetwood Mac, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Maroon 5, Lenny Kravitz, Tracy Chapman, and Elton John.  I will say… a) Elton John is British, not American, and b) in their defense, a lot of this music is good.  I suppose it is not so much who these artists are, or the quality of their music that interests me, but more why, exactly, Israelis like it.  It will get easier, I tell myself, things will start to make sense, or I will spiral downward into a vortex of ultimate confusion, still too early to tell.  Anyhow, here are 3 more things I have learned in Israel, about Israel…

1) Israelis are the Kings of Technology

There’s an app for everything here, GPS, parking, taxis, banks…  There are codes, PINs, and passwords.  EVERYTHING is automated.  Forget Silicon Valley, this is the start-up capital of the world.

2) There are motor… things, everywhere

Cars are expensive here.  And traffic is bad.  So people ride anything they can.  There are motorcycles, vespas, three wheelers, golf carts, tricycles, electric scooters with lawnmower motors dragging behind on the highway. It’s like Mad Max Welcome to Thunder Dome.

they're coming!

They’re coming for us!

3) And finally, Israelis have crazy names

Ubu, Kiki, Bobo, Momi, Odi, Uki, Dodo, Retzi.  The vowels here have built a separation wall around the consonants.   It is the American equivalent of African-American names; LeQuan, Shanita, Reshandre, Tavarius.  These are new cultures, and with new cultures, I suppose, come new names, for some reason, with more vowels than old world names.  In the future, there will only be vowels.

And now, let us commence our real work, a profile, if you will, one man magically unveiled, using only the infinite power of the human mind, and a digital camera, of course – the bio of David Schenker, Head Coach of the Juvenile Israel National Team, the Toughest Man in Jewish Baseball…

David Schenker

David Schenker, the Toughest Man In Jewish Baseball

David and I sat down today to talk about the trip to Italy over Shawarma (he had to order for me because I couldn’t read the menu).

David was born in 1947 in Nuremberg, Germany.  When he was 4 years old, he and his family moved to, no, not Queens, but close, Newark, New Jersey.  David lived what must by now, all these years later, feel like a full and separate life in Jersey.  He had a home, a wife, and a son.  But at 33, same age as me, he moved to Israel.  He and his family lived for almost 10 years in Ranana, a historically “Anglo”, as it’s said here, community about 20 minutes north of Tel Aviv.  He then moved to Ginot Shomron, a settlement in the West Bank, where he still lives.

So, David has gone from Nazi Germany to Newark New Jersey to the West Bank, three of the harshest environments on Earth.  Forget Eskimos, canibal warriors of the Amazon, and Chuck Norris, David Schenker is tough.  He seeks inhospitality.  He was frozen in amber for 300 millennia.  He once got lost on his way to work, climbed Everest by accident, wasn’t late, and doesn’t remember it.  He is a translucent shrimp scientists find living comfortably in the freezing depths off an ocean cliff in the year 3070.  He can survive anywhere.

In seriousness, David has been involved with the Israel Association of Baseball since the beginning, 1986.  He has also served 20 years in the Israeli Army, in intelligence, and works full-time as a banker.  In his highly decorated tenure with the IAB, he has coached the Senior National Team, the Junior National Team, he now coaches, as you know, the Juvenile National Team, he was the National Director at one time, and he was treasurer for 12 years, from 1988 to 2000.  Besides a short time spent in exile for spending too much money on hotel rooms at a tournament, which we will not mention here… he has been working on Israel Baseball non-stop for 25 years.  And he is still going strong.

David thinks that his team could have won the tournament in Italy this past weekend.  What else would the Toughest Man in Jewish Baseball think???


Tomorrow, my team for the next 3 weeks, The United States Junior National Team, aka, Team Jew.S.A., arrives at Ben Gurion Airport, for the 2013 Maccabi Games aka THE GREAT CELEBRATION OF JEWISH SPORTSMANSHIP AND PAGEANTRY TO BE OBSERVED IN ISRAEL ON THE 3RD MOON OF JULY EVERY 4TH YEAR, and I switch gears, and nationalities, and uniforms, once again, from from Director of Israel Baseball, to Coach of Team USA, and, as always, King of All Jewish Baseball…


  1. Rick Yaverbaum July 11, 2013 at 12:16 am #

    Go Team USA! Go King of Jewish Baseball! Ricky

  2. zevmoore July 26, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

    Reblogged this on age10fanatics.

  3. Devorah Bayer July 26, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    Love,the writing. Great story. Continued hatzlacha to both of u.


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