Tag Archives: israel


22 May

It is I, King of All Jewish Baseball, once again, with the financial opportunity of a lifetime. Finally, your chance to do something good, GIVE US YOUR MONEY, to make right all the wrong, to be born anew, fresh and clean. All it takes is a small donation, an offering, if you will, something symbolic, a seared lamb shank, some sage, a few thousand here, a million there, a sacrificial Visa or Master Card number offered at the sacred alter of crowd funding, where self-anointed modern-day saints kneel before friends and family and accept the wealth they assuredly deserve.  How can I do this, you ask? Allow me to explain.

Many months ago, my man Tom, aka Dizzy, Gillespie, King of All International Scouting for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Executive Director of Play Global (http://www.play-global.org/), called me and said he had an idea, “Let’s set up a series of fraudulent crowd funding campaigns,” he said, “then disappear forever into Mexico City.” Kidding, kidding.  He said, “Fish, I have an idea, let’s start a program in Israel for Jewish and Arab kids to play baseball together.  I am, after all, the King of All International Scouting for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Executive Director of Play Global, and you are the King of All Jewish Baseball and the Executive Director of the Israel Association of Baseball.  Together, we could surely accomplish this.”  To which I said, without thought, “That is a horrible idea, Tom.  But let’s do it anyways.”  And thus was born BASEBALL LE’KULAM, or, for those of you not fluent in transliteration, BASEBALL FOR ALL.

After much preparation and convincing of parents to loan us their children, on March 5th and 6th of the Great and Nearly Perfect year of 2015, 30 sixth graders, boys and girls, 15 Jewish kids, and 15 Arab kids, who would have never met despite living so close, the Jewish kids from Modiin, the Arab kids from Ramle, just a few miles apart, came together for Baseball Le’Kulam.  None of them had ever played baseball before. But we played together.  Some of them had never shared a dinner table with a member of the other group.  But we ate together.  And a few had never spent a night away from home.  But we slept together– wait, that didn’t sound right.  We slept over, in the same building, that is, the coaches staying up all night chasing the kids back into their rooms when they tried to escape to bond over junk food and air guitar bands.  

And like that, magically, Baseball Le’Kulam went from a nice idea, a theory, to a real thing. The kids turned from names on a piece of paper into real human beings with real faces and real lives and real families.  Just two weeks ago, all the kids and their parents and siblings were eating pizza and playing catch for Baseball Le’Kulam Family Nightas the sun set at Kibbutz Gezer.  We have 2 more sessions, June 4th and 5th, and October 15th and 16th.  But all this real pizza and real coaches for these real people costs real money.  Which is where you come in. 

Watch the video.  Read the campaign page. And donate.  If you can.  We need it to continue the program.  We will not go to Mexico City and put it all on black. Promise. 

CLICK HERE!!!!! https://www.crowdrise.com/baseballinisrael-playglobal/fundraiser/playglobal!!!!!!!


3 Nov

Forget the Dominican Republic, Israel is the new hotbed for young baseball talent.  That’s right, Ladies and Geetles, the Israel Baseball Academy has officially been launched like a pumpkin violently shot from a cannon.  We’ve hand picked 11 of our finest young players, and we’re putting them to the test every week, literally, measuring their body fat, grip strength, positional velocity, blind taste test, and overall curatorial sensabilites, and reporting it all back to none other than Major League Baseball himself.   I now present to you, using only a wide angle lense, and my own squinting eye, the Inaugural Class of the Israel Baseball Academy.

Shlomo Lipman. 17 years-old.  RHP/IF. Bet Shemesh.

Shlomo Lipman. 17 years-old. RHP/IF. Bet Shemesh.

Ori Wachspress. 16 years-old. RHP/IF. Modiin.

Ori Wachspress. 16 years-old. RHP/IF. Modiin.

Noam Calisar. 17 years-old. SS. Benyamina.

Noam Calisar. 17 years-old. SS. Benyamina.

Tal Erel. 18 years-old. C. Tel Aviv.

Tal Erel. 18 years-old. C. Tel Aviv.

Ilan Klein. 19 years-old. RHP/IF. Bet Shemesh.

Ilan Klein. 19 years-old. RHP/IF. Bet Shemesh.

Assaf Lowengart. 16 years-old. RHP/IF. Timorim.

Assaf Lowengart. 16 years-old. RHP/IF. Timorim.

Avi Watson. 17 years-old. LHP/1B. Bet Shemesh.

Avi Watson. 17 years-old. LHP/1B. Bet Shemesh.

Roye Shelem. 19 years-old. OF. Tel Aviv.

Roye Shelem. 19 years-old. OF. Tel Aviv.

Yoav Moeded. 17 years-old. IF. Kibbutz Gezer.

Yoav Moeded. 17 years-old. IF. Kibbutz Gezer.

Ofer Bobrov. 15 years-old. RHP/OF. Misgav.

Ofer Bobrov. 15 years-old. RHP/OF. Misgav.

Yotam Ben Amran.  17 years-old. RHP.  Bet Nir. Missed picture day.

Yotam Ben Amran. 17 years-old. RHP. Bet Nir. Missed picture day…

It’s happening.  One practice at a time.  One squat, one pitch, one tire-flip at a time.  The Israel Baseball Academy has arrived.





29 Jul

We just had our first game.  We beat Finland 13-1.  Then we did what any team does after a big win, we found a horse field and shot portraits.  Now, Ladies and Geetles, I proudly and dutifully, using only the power given to me by the Yugo Czech Austro Hungarian Slovak Empire, present to you, THE GREATEST JEWISH BASEBALL SHOW ON EARTH, the 2014 Israel National Team…

Eitan Maoz aka Swamp Thing, Catcher.

Eitan Maoz aka Swamp Thing, Catcher.

Aric Weinberg aka Cyborg, Center Field.

Aric Weinberg aka Cyborg aka the Flying Squirrel, has metal bones, capable of doubling body size for 3 seconds at a time, can actually fly, Center Field.

Orr Gottlieb aka Ogre Israeli Babe Ruth, Pitcher/Outfield/3rd base.

Orr Gottlieb aka Ogre aka Israeli Babe Ruth, Pitcher/Outfield/3rd base.

Alon Leichman aka Leroy the Giant Baby of the Sky, Right Handed Pitcher/Our Heart.

Alon Leichman, man of ultimate preparedness and honor, Right Handed Pitcher/Our Heart.


Yuli Tsypin aka Yules the Laugher, man of steele, Outfield/Right Handed Pitcher.

Amit Kurz aka the Million Year Old Trumpet, 1st base/Utility.

Amit Kurz aka the Trumpet, saved our lives 74 times on the drive yesterday,1st base/Utility.

Ophir Katz aka the Good Gardener, Catcher/1st base/DH/Utility.

Ophir Katz aka the Gardener, the only one of us brave enough to sport a mohawk for the tournament, Catcher/1st base/DH/Utility.


Tal Erel aka Mister T, Catcher.

Josh Weiss, failed 3 drug tests for Hairoids, Outfield.

Josh Weiss, failed 3 drug tests for Hairoids, Outfield.

David Weiss, created in a labratory to be used in future Terminator films, experiment went horribly wrong, scientists added to much sawg, and Terminator was canceled, wound up on Israel National Team, Outfield.

David Weiss, created in a labratory to be used in future Terminator films, experiment went horribly wrong, scientists added too much swag, then Terminator was canceled, wound up on Israel National Team, Outfield.

Jonathan Isaac aka Jon Jon, the only man capable of visualizing himself visualzing, Outfield.

Jonathan Isaac aka Jon Jon, the only man capable of visualizing himself visualzing, Outfield.

Dean Kremer aka Dean-O aka Kreme aka Krembo aka Dean Kremer Abdul Jabbar, Right Handed Pitcher.

Dean Kremer aka Dean-O aka Kreme aka Krembo aka Dean Kremer Abdul Jabbar, Right Handed Pitcher.

Shlomo Lipetz, the man with a Triillion Testicles... and nicknames, Shlo, Shlo Motion, Shlobot, Shlo Gun Assasin, Shlogurt, Right Handed Pitcher.

Shlomo Lipetz, the man with a Trillion nicknames… and testicles, Shlo, Shlo Motion, Shlobot, Shlom Boy, Shlo Gun Assasin, Shlogurt, Shlo Time, Right Handed Pitcher.

Dan Rothem aka the Matrix aka Neo aka the Computer, 3rd base/Right Handed Pitcher.

Dan Rothem aka the Matrix aka Neo aka the Computer, 3rd base/Right Handed Pitcher.

Simon Rosenbaum aka Young Mag Pie, Actual Human Giant, ate this child after photo was taken, 1st Base.

Simon Rosenbaum aka Young Mag Pie, Actual Human Giant, ate this child after photo was taken, 1st Base.

Oren Gal aka Goat Boy, the only man who eats 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 4 dinners, ate half his jersey in his sleep last night, woke up in a panic. 2nd Base.

Oren Gal aka Goat Boy, the only man who eats 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 4 dinners, ate half his jersey in his sleep last night, woke up in a panic, 2nd Base.

Yotam Ben Amran aka the Monk, Rookie, Right Handed Pitcher.

Yotam Ben Amran aka the Monk, Rookie, Right Handed Pitcher.

Jake Rabinowitz, the largest Black Jewish Man in the former Yugoslavia, Pitching Coach.

Jake Rabinowitz, the largest Black Jewish Man in the former Yugoslavia, Pitching Coach.

Richard Kania aka Sir Richard, Voted best unofficial official honorary Israeli of the Century, Head Coach.

Richard Kania aka Sir Richard, Voted best unofficial official honorary Israeli of the Century, Head Coach.

Suzanna aka Yentl, 1st Base Coach.

Suzanna aka Yentl, 1st Base Coach.

Tomer, Bat Boy.

Tomer, Bat Boy.

Nate Fish, King of Jewish Baseball, Short Stop.

Nate Fish, King of Jewish Baseball, Short Stop.

Next game is tomorrow, 5:30, against the hosts, Slovenia.  Check http://www.baseballeurope.com/ for gamecasts, highlights, and scores.  And search #roadtoslovenia on FB, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with the Greatest Jewish Baseball Show on Earth this week as we chase a championship.


24 Jul

One of our baseball players was killed in Gaza.  His name was Shon Mondshine.  He was 19 years old.  I did not know him. He played for the Tel Aviv Juniors in 2011.  This blog post is for Shon and his family.

It started like any good story starts, I did not realize it was starting, there was no announcement, no one said, “Please take your seats, and cover your heads, the war is going to begin now,” it just began.

3 Jewish boys got kidnapped and killed in the West Bank, in “the Gush”.  We have teams there, I am there often, but it didn’t feel close.  We have a proximity meter with tragedy.  When is it real?  How close do we have to be? 7,000 miles away?  Someone from the same religion?  Same country?  A family member?  A stranger?  An enemy?  Then an Arab boy got killed in Jerusalem.  Narratives form.  Things escalate.  A couple of sirens in southern Israel, and Tel Aviv, no big deal, still not close enough, it’s Israel, it happens, the Iron Dome, the rockets don’t get through, life goes on.  More rockets.  Every day.  A lot of them.  Sirens 2 or 3 times a day some places.  Taking shelter on the side of the road, at the field, in random apartment buildings, with the kids at camp.  It’s getting tiresome.  Things escalate again.  Air strikes in Gaza.  Then Israel goes into Gaza.  13 Israeli soldiers killed in one day, and 7 more the next, a total of 28 so far, and far more Gazans.  And then Shon.  My meter goes off.  A baseball player.  A kid.  In the same uniform I see the kids in every week.

Through all of this, we are trying to get ready to play.  We go out to practice, forget about it, maybe hear some booms in the distance, then, after, check our phones for updates, Red Alerts, rockets in Ashdod, on the ride home, “Yuli, What’s he saying on the radio?” 3 more soldiers killed, and everyone is quiet for a moment.  It’s not like in the States.  Everyone knows each other here, or knows someone who knew them.  It’s like everyone went to the same high school.  If you couldn’t tell from the tone of this post, there is a seriousness to things right now.  You can feel it.  This has made me more Israeli than a passport.  Stores are being burned in France.  Maccabi Haifa’s soccer team was attacked on the field during a game in Vienna yesterday.  What is happening?

For the Americans, the only thing I can compare it to is 9/11.  People don’t leave their houses, they just sit and watch news.  People are sad.  People are mad.  People are jumpy.  When a motorcycle starts, or a dumpster lid slams closed too fast, or a song with a siren in the background comes on the radio, everyone perks up. Liberals become conservatives.  Flags come out.  There are demonstrations in the street.

We leave in 3 days for Slovenia.  And the airport is closed, sort of, some flights are getting out, some are cancelled, I can’t keep up.  It feels like Michael Corleone trying to get the last flight out of Cuba on New Years Eve.

We will be fine.  Mostly, we’ll just be playing ball, like we always do.  But, every once in a while, maybe at the hotel, privately, maybe in the 3rd inning of a close game, we will think about what is going on, about the people who are fighting, and the people who are dying, and about Shon.

Shon Mondshine.  2011 Tel Aviv Comrades. 4th from the right, top row, with long hair.  RIP.

Shon Mondshine. 2011 Tel Aviv Comrades. 4th from the right, top row, with long hair. RIP.




14 Jul

Lots of messages this week…

“What’s going on in Israel” “Are you OK?”  “Are you safe?”  “Can you still turn sticks into serpents?  I have a certain situation and could use some help with that.”

The Kingdom of Jewish Baseball is under fire!  So I now must do what All Men of Destiny and Honor do when it’s time for war — tweet, post on Facebook, and write a blog!

A rocket flies over my head.

A rocket flies over my head.

1) Tuesday, July 87:00pm

Picking Amit up for Eliora’s wedding.  Sirens. We go into the stairwell with his sister and mother and neighbors.   Amit is casual about it. ROCKETS DON’T HURT US.  So, so am I.  We leave for the wedding 10 minutes later.

First phone call from my Mom.

 2)Tuesday, July 8, 10:00pm

At the wedding.  The sirens earlier did not stop people from coming.  Everyone is here.  Alon.  Lee.  The King of Jewish Ice cream.  Jewish Jackie Robinson.  After the ceremony, in the dining room, more sirens.  Everyone is told to go to the bathrooms.  People crowd in.  There is not enough room.  Some people go outside to look at the sky.  We don’t see anything.

Facetime with Dasi to tell her I am okay.

3) Wednesday, July 9, 8:30am

3rd day of Baseball Camp.  We hear rockets being intercepted in the distance during our group meeting with the kids.

4) Thursday, July 10, 8:00am

Sirens on our way to camp.  We pull of the highway.  Me, Richard, Yuli, and Apple Juice jump the guard rail and lay down.  I don’t get the logic of laying down.  But, when the sirens go off, pick the most Israeli person in the group, and do whatever they’re doing.  THEY’RE ISRAELI.  THEY’RE TRAINED FOR THIS.  We get back in the car and proceeded to camp mostly in silence.

Mom calls, worried.  She has the Red Alert App that notifies her when there are rocket attacks. Dasi tells me the US Embassy is closing and I am living in a war zone.  They are both better informed than I am. It still feels like we’re just running a baseball camp.


The King of Jewish Baseball and his Army of Interns are forced to retreat and hide in the  bushes by the road.

The King of Jewish Baseball and his Army of Interns are forced to retreat and hide in the bushes by the road.

5) Friday, July 11, 10:45am

3rd inning of a scrimmage game between the Junior National Team and the Senior National team.  Sirens.  We all run in our metal cleats into a house behind the third base dugout and crowd into two safety rooms.  We hear the booms of the rockets being intercepted by the iron dome.  We resume the game 15 minutes later.

6) Friday, July 11, 6pm

Sitting at a restaurant in Jaffa.  No sirens, but see a cloud of smoke in the sky and a rocket explode in mid air.  People gather around to look.

Mom calls.  I assure her I am fine.  Things are totally normal.

7) Saturday, July 12, 9pm

Get home, open the car door, sirens.  Louder than before.   My neighbors come outside.  I ask if they want to come in.  They say it’s safer outside.  Again, I do not understand, but follow the Israelis, wavering half-in my door, half-out, while they calm their dogs down.  I go inside and sit in the shower and take a picture of myself.  Then we hear the rockets blowing up in the sky, close and loud.  Partly because I am home, and party because I amalone, I feel scared for the first time.

I call my mom.  She is calm now, losing interest.

8) Sunday July 13, 4:45pm

Drop Richard off at his hotel.  Sirens.  I put the car in park, leave it in the street, Richard, Yuli, and I run into the hotel.  Everyone goes to the basement.  The siren is loud again.  And the explosions are pretty loud.

No phone calls are made.

9) Sunday, July 13th, 8pm

Sundown at the beach. I sit on the rocks with Nam Nam and Efrat and watch rockets get shot down out of the sky.

I miss a call from my parents.  I call back.  Things have changed.  They’re cool.  No big deal. They’ve adapted. They’ve become Israeli about it.  We get used to danger quickly.

Today is Monday, July 14th, 2014. It’s been almost a week since the first sirens.  I’m sitting in the storage shed at Baptist Village– my office, sweating, typing, watching the kids practice on the field. All of the rockets have been intercepted by the Iron Dome so far.  It’s like there aren’t rockets coming at all, like a deadly asteroid flying through space you know will never hit Earth, but that may hit Earth. There is nothing to do but continue at baseball camp, and use the closest Israeli as a human barometer for how to act and feel.  More sirens could come anytime.


17 May

Mazel Tov!  You’re reading the the 100th post on KING OF JEWISH BASEBALL, the greatest blog of all time, the blog responsible for ending all racism and all hunger.  In 2 years, I, King of All Jewish Baseball, literary genius, baseball deity, have composed 100 of the finest blog posts on this, or any other, Earth, using only the combined resources of the scientific community, including all human knowledge and technology, dinosaur magic, and the internet, of course.

It is only appropriate that for this monumentous occasion, this centennial, that I share one of the great secrets of Israel Baseball with you.  If you recall, faithful reader, which I am almost sure you do, I have mentioned, many times, “Baptist Village”.  But what, you have wondered, laying sleepless, reading by the light of your cell phone in bed, is a Baptist Village? – And what does it have to do with baseball? – In Israel? – Is it like an Ewok Village, but instead of Ewoks, there are Southern Baptists living in trees, communicating with a series of unintelligible chirps and gutteral clicks, walking from tree house to tree house on rope ladders?  Well, yes, that is exactly what it is like, except far, far stranger.

photo 3

Welcome to Baptist Village. The Baptists are high in the treetops. SSSSHHHH.

Baptist Village is located in Petach Tikvah, 25 minutes from Tel Aviv, near the internationally-known Green Line.  As you pull off the highway to the Village, in the background are the dotted, dry hills of West Bank.  In the Village are a few fields of crops, a train runs along the boundary of the property, and, of course, inside the inner fence, deep into the village, through a winding path that goes around the crops, there is one softball field, and one baseball field, at  night, the lights glowing like a spaceship.  Around the softball and baseball fields are small white cotttages with red roofs, modest 1 or 2 story buildings.  For years, Baptist people from America and from around the world have come to visit Israel and stay at the Village.  But, why, exactly, did a group of Baptists build a baseball field in Israel, a place where, by appearances, no one played baseball?  To answer your question as consicely and vigorously as possible, I DON’T KNOW.  It defies logic.  But no one here thinks it’s strange.  Like anything strong enough to simply exist, it seems normal.  But, that answer is not enough for an immigrant like me, so, as is my habit, I investigated.

There is a plaque behind the softball field with some of the history of Baptist Village.  It says the Village has been there since 1955.  It used to be an orphanage.  That is where the cottages come from.  For decades, the village was just open space, fields for farming, or nothing at all.  It wasn’t an orphanage anymore, and not a baseball facility yet.  In 2002, after the 2nd intifada, saftey fences went up around the Village, fences to protect, well, nothing.  But the Baptists had to do something with the land.  Let’s say you’re the Baptist Church, in Tenessee, or Kentucky, and you have this land in Israel, you have to do something with the land, but not something too disruptive, this is, after all, a quiet place, a place for people to stay for a couple weeks when they’re visiting the Holy Land.  You want to build something, but something no one will really use.  So you build a baseball field, a nice one, even, lights and all.

At the time the Baptists built the field, I don’t think they knew if anyone played baseball here.  But Peter, or Haim, or someone, heard about it, and went to see what was happening.  And it has been headquarters for the Israel Association of Baseball.

All Premier League and many Junior League games are played at the Village.  All 5 of our national teams practice there.  Our umpire training course takes place there.  We have a “clubhouse” there, one of the old orphanage cottages turned part storage, part Israel Baseball Museum, with memorabiliah from Maccabi Games past, and jerseys hanging on the walls.  We store our uniforms there, and much of our equipment.  There is no alcohol allowed on the premise.  We are asked to not swear, and, if we must, to be discreet when we change into or out of uniform by the dugouts. We use the field at Baptist Village 5 days a week.  On my phone, on my GPS, I have the location listed as “work”, it is my office, our office.  It is still the only legitimate full-sized baseball field in the country.

And so we have a partnership that was never intended to be, the Baptist Church and the Israel Association of Baseball, living in perfect harmony, taking batting practice a few kilometers from the West Bank, almost in range of a long foul ball.

On this historical 1ooth blog post, the King of Jewish Baseball would like to thank the Baptist Churh for building a baseball field where no one needed one, for whatever reason.  We’re making good use of it.


The field at Baptist Village. Petch Tikvah, Israel.

The field at Baptist Village. Petach Tikvah, Israel.


28 Apr

Yes! Ladies and Geetles, it is I, again, King of All Jewish Baseball, Literary Genius, Master Blogger, Professional Exaggerator, the Most Important Artist/Dancer of the 21st Century, #1 Ranked Funk DJ in the Middle East, Leader of the Most Powerful Clandestine Baseball Organization in the World, and, of course, my greatest accomplishment, Real-Life Baseball Player, with more news from the front lines of Israel Baseball.

It is hard, as I am sure you know, faithful reader, for an Oleh Chadash, an immigrant, like myself, to keep track of all the holidays here in Israel.  Even today is a holiday, Holocaust Remembrance Day, where, at precisely 10am, less than 2 hours ago, sirens sounded around the country and everyone, everywhere, whether driving a car or singing Janet Jackson’s entire song catalogue in alphabetic order atop a horse, stopped what they were doing and stood in complete silence, arms at their sides, for 2 minutes, a nation famously fragmented, in silent unison, for 2 minutes, at least.  And next week, too, a holiday, two holidays, actually, Memorial Day, then Independence day.  The saddest day, and the happiest, right next to each other, a funeral then a wedding, an emotional roller coaster of a calendar dictated by the cycles of the moon, and of history.

And last week, of course, a big one, Passover.  We celebrated, as Jews do, by punishing ourselves, no bread, starvation sated only by the occasional sip of salt-water, or a nibble of bitter herbs, 40 years of suffering played-out around the table nearly in real-time.  But, this year, a new tradition, for no holiday, from this day forward, should not also have a corresponding baseball activity in Israel.  Using only the power of the internet, a lifetime of carefully crafted knowledge, and the Angel of Death, of course, we smeared lamb’s blood on our faces, jumped in the car, parted the sea, and headed out into the wilderness, the desert, the unknown, for our Passover Break Baseball Games.

Baseball is funny, sometimes it rewards mistakes– a blooper can be a single, and a line drive can be an out, so we devised a new game, a game to eliminate chance.  Here are the rules…  7 on 7, 3 innings, fastballs only, 5 minutes innings, all Jews– Finally, a game of ultimate fairness!

We played “instructional games”.  Each inning started with a different set of circumstances, and the kids had to do different things according to the situation. And between each inning, bonus rounds.  Instead of runs, they got points.  If they executed, point, if they did not, merciless torture.  Pay attention, baseball coaches.  The kids loved it.  They came out of their homes and their floating wicker baskets, nearly 200 in total attended 4 days of baseball at 4 different locations.

Kids at Kraft Field in Jerusalem during Passover.

Kids at Kraft Field in Jerusalem during Passover.

While we were busy working on sac bunts, and praying for mana, our Junior National Team was in Prague playing in the 2014 Pony Baseball Tournament against their 16-year old counterparts from around Europe.  The team finished in 2nd place, losing in the finals to the host team, the Czech Academy.

The 2014 Israel Junior National Team.

The 2014 Israel Junior National Team before a game in Prague.


Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice.  The holidays, and the Israel Association of Baseball, just keep coming, around the clock, non-stop.




8 Apr

I got these 2 e-mails this week…

1) Hi,i am organizing kids baseball in katzir,i am in need of equipment,i was given nate fish’s name by a friend in columbus ohio, call me! thx chaag sameach.

2)  In 2012 our family moved from Jerusalem to a new community located on the Egyptian border. The communities of Bnei Netzarim was founded by the broken residents evacuated from their homes in Gush Katif. Over the course of 8 years they had bounced from hotels and shelters to temporary houses and finally to permanent structures… I decided to form a Baseball league to encourage and promote a healthy lifestyle for the 200 children under age 18 living in the community. To date we have bi-weekly regular practice with an average of 20 participants.

What is going on? Mutual friends in Columbus?  20 kids playing baseball twice a week on the Egyptian border?

It seems, dearest reader, we are experiencing a nasty outbreak of JEWISH BASEBALL FEVER in Israel.  Protect yourself.  Or don’t.  Contract it willingly.  But let it be known, it has spread beyond our control.  It’s a revolution.

Where others have failed, we shall succeed.

The Enlightenment, MEANINGLESS.  The Civil Rights Movement, A FAILURE.  Women’s Lib, I DON’T THINK SO, DIDN’T WORK.  The Hippies ACCOMPLISHED NOTHING.  Occupy, NOTHING.  The people are demanding a new movement.

The problem with these other so-called revolutions is that people tried “working together”.  No, no, no.  That’s not how it’s done.  The reason we’re succeeding is that I have DONE THIS ALL ALONE, with help from NO ONE.  That’s right, Ladies and Geetles, I, King of All Jewish Baseball, am responsible for all you see.

No help from Peter Kurz, President of the IAB who has volunteered for 15 years.  He is unresponsive, displays poor leadership skills, and is an overall dummy.

Not from Amit, his son, member of the Israel Senior National Team and The Tel Aviv Comrades of the Premier League, Head Coach if the Junior National Team, Running new programs in Raanana and Kibbutz Na’an, who is LAZY, and a bad coach.

Not from Dan Rothem, Vice President of the IAB, RHP, guru, member of the Israel National Team since 1986, co-founder of the Tel Aviv Comrades– dumb, lacks ability for long-term commitment.

Nor from his brother, Asaf, merely a member of the Israel Senior National Team, Coach of the Tel Aviv Comrades Juniors, Head Coach of the Jerusalem Lions of the Premier League, and selfishly calls a Major League game in Hebrew on TV every Sunday night.  He lacks understanding of basic concepts of the game.

Don’t get me started on Orr Gottlieb, their Mongoloid Cousin, who has the nerve to attend every practice and game, carrying with him, 24 hours a day, THE ANCIENT SECRET BAG OF DECENT BASEBALLS, the only, ever dwindling, bag of good baseballs we have.

Who do these people think they are?  I am the KING OF ALL JEWISH BASEBALL.  I work alone.

I have received precisely NO guidance, ideas, or support from Haim Katz, President of the IAB for 8 years, or his son, Ophir, who has taken it upon himself to single-handedly deliver baseball to Jaffa, my neighborhood.

Not from Yaron Erel, IAB treasurer, Coordinator for Tel Aviv, Team Manager for the Junior National Team– bad with money, or his son, Tal, assistant coach on the Junior National Team and 2 Tel Aviv Comrades teams, Member of the Senior National Team, Switch Hitting Catcher– immature, severe developmental, attitude, and behavioral problems.

These people are only getting in my way.

I have not heard from Howie Osterer in Jerusalem in months!  He is not working on baseball enough.  WE DEMAND TOTAL SACRIFICE, Osterer.  As a matter of fact, and hear this, all regional directors are doing a POOR JOB, and are ALL on thin ice as far as I am concerned!!!

I get nothing from Margo Sugarman, Secretary General of the IAB, Chairman of the Communications and Branding Committee, Coordinator in Tel Mond, Team Manager of the U16 National Team, IAB kosher chef.  She lacks basic communication skills, has no vision for the organization, and is a bad cook.

The man you know well, Neon Leon Klarfeld, Chief Umpire, Tournament and Camp Director– inexperienced, no sense of humor.

Not Nathan Pomerantz, Chairman of the Rules, Scholarship, and Sportsmanship Committee, Director in Rehovot, schedule maker for the minors and juveniles age divisions– inconsiderate, loud, mean, crazy.

Do you know who hasn’t helped?  Jordy Alter, commissioner of the Premier League, Coach in the Bet Shemesh for nearly a decade, equipment mule, member of the executive committee– backhanding, dishonest, swindling, looks like a rabbit.

Which reminds me, the rest of the committee and board members, you are useless, and I would like nothing more than to replace you all.  You make me sick.

Lee Siegel, IAB equipment manager, coordinator and MAINTAINER OF THE GREAT FIELD OF JEWISH BASEBALL at Kibbutz Gezer, DOES NOTHING, doesn’t know how to count, and is generally not to be trusted.

Louis Miller, Head Coach of the U12 National Team, Commissioner of the Cadet League, is an ego maniac and a convict.

The worst of the bunch may be Ira Moskowitz, Head Coach of the U16 National Team, the Modiin Miracles Juniors, and player/coach on Modiin’s Premier League team.  I am almost sure he is hiding in Israel after committing crimes against humanity in Southeast Asia in the 80’s.

I could, as you know, go on.  But let me just say, coaches, parents, umps, directors, players…  YOU’RE MY HEROS.  This is your revolution.  So come, go, stand, sit, rise and walk, get on board, NOW, be a part of it, be our 1,000 “like” on Facebook… https://www.facebook.com/pages/IAB-Israel-Association-of-Baseball/82515064247 and join the Israel Baseball Revolution.



29 Mar

My parents were in town for two weeks, living with me.  Anyone can love their family when they’re 7,ooo miles away.  But would I still like them when they were asleep downstairs, in the same room, puffy eyed sharing coffee in the morning?  So we put our relationship to the test.  My folks moved in.

If you remember, faithful reader, and I am sure you do, from a blog post not-so-long-ago, about my apartment, it is not an apartment at all.  It is a store, on the ground-level, with a giant sliding door that opens directly to the busy street, turned art studio, turned home.  By now, after 6 months here, it is livable, for me, at least, there is a kitchen, a couch, even a closet, but it is still not up to code for 2 aging, if youthful, Jews.

My father is 77 years old, from the Bronx.  My mom is 12 years his junior, from Boston, Massachusetts.  They have traveled, and moved, a lot, and said they were willing to try living on the pullout if I was willing to let them.

Of course I was!  These were the people who, however disgustingly, made love to create me, who raised me, paid for everything I ate, I wore, I did, or I wanted, for 18 years– and more, honestly, of my life.  How could I say no?  But, I thought, after this, we’re even.

I picked them up at the airport, and we headed home, together.  I had cleaned up as much as possible, but there’s only so much you can do in a place where pieces of the ceiling fall every day.  But, they said, after inspecting the sink and shower and fridge, they liked it.  They could do it.

But could I?

They got comfortable.  The mess spread from the living room into the studio.  There were towels draped over the backs of chairs, plastic bags of change and half-eaten sandwiches everywhere, in just a few days, we had gone through almost 6 months of toilet paper.  What the hell was going on?  Were they running a spa?  Were they collecting donations for Sudanese refugees?  Were they making stuff out of toilet paper? – Were they actually wearing toilet paper under their clothes, like mummies, for some kind of temperature control?  Is this what being old is like?  My art studio had been turned into a durational conceptual performance installation I could never think of alone, THIS IS WHAT YOUR APARTMENT LOOKS LIKE WHEN YOUR PARENTS MOVE IN.

And so much cheese.  I am not sure where the cheese was coming from.  They constantly discussed, monitored, and replenished the cheese supply.  In retirement, cheese has become their full-time job.  They find comfort in it.  As long as there there is cheese, nothing can go wrong.

Exhibit A

Exhibit A


But I stayed cool.  These are, after all, my parents. I am them, and they are me.  Their DNA, and some star dust, of course, is responsible for brining the KING OF ALL JEWISH BASEBALL into this world.  The least I could do is calmly eat cheese and wait to reclaim my life.

So, patiently, each night, I snuck into my own apartment, slowly sliding the front door open and closed, tip-toeing past their bed, brushing my teeth on the dark, and going upstairs to live silently, like Anne Frank, in my last waking hours of the day so not to disturb them.

And now, they’re gone.  And I  miss them, can’t live without them.  I forgot how to be myself.  You must excuse me, I am going to cut this blog post short, I am going to the store, I need cheese…

FIsh Family.  Representing Team Israel for life.

My parents


27 Feb

I must apologize, dear reader, again, for not writing lately.  I know you wake each morning, in a panic, and stumble from bed, naked, drunk, to read a new blog post.  And most mornings, I fail you, I am not there, my absence rushes in.  You swipe at the emptiness in front of you, gasping for breathe, wondering, where is he, WHERE? –  With goats?  Yes.  The elderly?  Yes, usually.  But this time, I was in the Dark and Magical Land of Prague, home to the worlds largest community of Orthodox Vampires.  You see, it was time for the 2014 Confederation of European Baseball Annual Congress.  All the Kings and Queens of European Baseball united in one place, battling for baseball supremacy of the continent.  Power.  Politics.  We had important issues to vote on, decisions to make, chicken or fish, where will next year’s Congress be held.   I am glad to report I survived the glare of a thousand gargoyles and made it through the meetings so that today, I do not fail you, today, I deliver, today, I write.  Using only the experimental technology known as words, and youtube,  of course, Ladies and Geetles, I humbly, dutifully present to you another blog post, on this, the Most Important Blog of All Time.


2014 CEB Congress

In Prague, we met our opponents for upcoming competitions.  This summer, this July, to be specific, we, THE ISRAEL NATIONAL TEAM, will play in the European Championships “C Pool” in Ljubljana, Slovenia.  A total of 8 teams will compete. 2 of the 8 teams will move up to play in next summers “B Pool”, and the winner of the B Pool will play with the Best in Europe in the 2016 A Pool.   The other teams in the C Pool are; Latvia, Romania, Noway, Finland, Ireland, Hungary, and, of course, our hosts, Slovenia.  Being the KING OF ALL JEWISH BASEBALL, and leader of the Most Powerful Baseball Organization in the World, the Israel Association of Baseball, I thought I should do some research.  Here is what I found.  Enjoy.  A look into our world, the world of international baseball.

Enjoy a well played game in Latvia to the soft sounds of Metallica.

Moving on, a video from Baseball in Romania’s Facebook Page.  These teams love metal.


Norway’s Opening of their Baseball Hall of Fame.

Finland’s own version of baseball.  What is this!!!  The best head-first slides I have ever seen, and there are 20,000 fans.  Horrifying.

A well-done story about baseball in Ireland…

Baseball in Hungary – nice little ballpark.

A single pitch is thrown in Slovenia, the pitch heard ’round the world as it’s come to be known, a come-backer, out at 1st.  Base runner at 1st not sure what to do…

So it appears we will be competing against Romanian Metal Heads, Hungarian Missionaries, and some of the Greatest Athletes in Finland playing a sport called baseball that is not baseball.  Winner takes all.  In defense of the other teams, we do not have even as robust an internet presence as they, that is, besides my instructional videos, which are admittedly cardboard boxes of videography.  And in the end, they are not “the other teams” at all.  As the saying goes, all is fair in love and international baseball.  We are one team, playing the same game, fighting the same bizarre battles in Norway, or Portugal, or Israel, one tribe of weirdos, baseball players, spread out over Europe, the diaspora, to be reunited for a brief moment this summer for the Greatest, Bloodiest Battle of Them All, The European Championship C Pool.  See you in Ljubjana.