Your Daily Phil: Sheba hospital raises $2.74M + Young Israeli soccer stars beat the odds

Good Thursday morning!

In today’s edition of Your Daily Phil, we report on Team Israel’s stunning run in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, and feature an op-ed from Jayme Mallindine. Also in this newsletter: Shoham Nicolet, Rabbi Jonah Steinberg and Lisa Harris Glass. We’ll start with Sheba Medical Center’s 75th anniversary gala.

Sheba Medical Center raised over NIS 10 million ($2.74 million) in a gala event on Sunday, which highlighted the hospital’s partnerships in the Gulf following the Abraham Accords, a Sheba spokesperson told eJewishPhilanthropy’s Judah Ari Gross.

Located in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan, Sheba Medical Center, still often referred to by its original name Tel HaShomer, is now Israel’s largest hospital and one of its top-rated.

More than 1,400 people attended the annual gala earlier this week, significantly more than in previous years. This year’s event celebrated the hospital’s 75th anniversary – it was formed as a military hospital shortly after the founding of the state – and Sheba sought to highlight its role in deepening ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain through medicine.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides and Bahraini Ambassador to Israel Khaled Yusuf Al-Jalahma attended the event, along with a host of Israeli celebrities and business leaders. The Sheba spokesperson said dozens of donors from North America, Europe, Australia and Africa also flew in for the gala. The event was held in a converted parking lot on the hospital’s 200-acre campus. The NIS 10 million that was raised came from both donations and ticket sales for the swanky gala.

Mohamed Alabbar, an Emirati businessman whose Emaar Properties built the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall, delivered one of the addresses during the event. Since the signing of the Abraham Accords in 2020, Alabbar has played a key role in connecting Sheba Medical Center to medical institutions in the Gulf, the hospital spokesman said.

In his speech, Alabbar recalled a conversation that he’d had with Yitshak Kreiss, the director of Sheba Medical Center, about how medical care could advance peace. “We were talking about a dream or a vision. I think we’ve come a long way since then,” Alabbar said. “You said if we can just leave the politics aside and let humanity be saved through health care.”

Read the full story here.

Soccer stars

Buda Mendes/FIFA via Getty Images

Before last month, the country’s national team only had one FIFA World Cup appearance, in 1970. Over the course of three games, Israel’s team scored just one goal and did not advance out of the group stage. Fast-forward more than half a century, and Israel’s youth soccer league is on a Cinderella run in the FIFA under-20 World Cup, the most important global sporting event for young soccer players. On Thursday, Israel is set to play Uruguay in the tournament’s semifinals after defeating Brazil 3-2 in a major upset last weekend that delighted Israelis and Jews worldwide and shocked soccer fans at the stadium in Argentina and beyond, reports Gabby Deutch for eJewishPhilanthropy’s sister publication Jewish Insider.

Wide, wide world of sports: “It’s the biggest thing in Israeli sports in the last 30 years at least,” said Eitan Dotan, the spokesperson for Israel’s team. “Israel is a football country. Football is the biggest sport in Israel. Unfortunately, we don’t have lots of success in football.” Everything about Israel’s run has been improbable, starting with the fact that the country’s players were almost not allowed to participate. The tournament was supposed to be hosted in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, a country that most Israelis are unable to visit without a particular type of visa. But in March, FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, stripped Indonesia of its hosting duties after prominent government officials in the country said they would refuse to host the Israeli team. That two of Israel’s three goals against Brazil were scored by Arab Israelis seemed almost like a taunt to Indonesia.

Authentically Israeli: It’s also a different success story from other sporting events that Israel has performed in, like this year’s World Baseball Classic, where many of the players on that team were American Jews. For Israel to defeat Brazil with a roster of American players would surely have also been a point of pride. “To do so in any manner would be enough. [But Israel is doing it] with a team that represents a cross section of Israeli society,” said Marshall Einhorn, CEO of Maccabi USA, adding: “How amazing is it to see that cross section of Israeli society come together in the name of sport?”

Read the full story here and sign up for Jewish Insider’s Daily Kickoff here.

Meeting kids where they are

Increasing gender diversity in STEM fields requires early educational investment. Are specialized camps the key?


“Being there at the moment when a young person comes alive and discovers a potential path for their future is inspiring. For generations, summer camps have been incubators that help mold the minds of young people to create future leaders. Among the many benefits of the summer camp experience are the expanding ways that specialized camps are helping young people who are underrepresented in STEM fields see a possible future for themselves in science, technology, engineering and math,” writes Jayme Mallindine, a director of the Union for Reform Judaism’s 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy, in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.

Why is that important?: “Because, despite the heightened awareness of the lack of gender diversity in the STEM fields over the past several years, the gap still remains very wide. Women make up roughly half of the workforce in the United States, but they account for only one-third of STEM occupations.”

Philanthropic investment: “At URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy we are working to contribute to that culture of inclusion in order to close the gender gap in STEM professions and change the landscape of gender diversity in STEM… During our camp’s first summer 10 years ago, the inaugural class of campers had only 27 girls out of a class of 159. Since the opening of our camp, the Women of Reform Judaism have been providing scholarships to our campers, and in 2019 we received a grant from Women of Reform Judaism that was matched by the Genesis Foundation with the goal of raising the average percentage of girls at Sci-Tech from 30% to 40%.”

Read the full piece here.

Worthy Reads

Losing Your Religion: In The New York Times, Jessica Grose draws conclusions from the 7,000 responses she received to her question: Why have you moved away from religion? “Though they don’t make up a demographically representative sample, reading these stories, what struck me was how much change some readers had gone through as they progressed through life. Part of their moves away from religion involved a change in circumstance, like births, deaths, moving to new places and taking new jobs… When I followed up with these readers, three trends emerged. Several had switched religious affiliation more than once; I’ll call them seekers. Others had an abrupt break from church in their youth, after which they became atheists or agnostics; I’ll call them skeptics. And there were others who drifted away from religion fairly late in life; I’ll call them slow faders, because their religious evolutions took time.” [NYTimes]

From Kristallnacht to Toronto: In The Globe and Mail, Marie Woolf profiles some of the artifacts that will be put on display at the new Toronto Holocaust Museum, which opens tomorrow. “It was November, 1938, and Nazi thugs in Germany were smashing and burning Jewish businesses, homes and synagogues to the ground, in what came to be known as Kristallnacht, the night of broken glass. In the town of Brand, a Catholic priest, seeing the synagogue ablaze, fought through the flames to rescue the Torah, a sacred scroll inscribed with the first five books of the Hebrew bible, and vowed to hand it to the first Jew he saw. It took until the arrival of American forces in 1945 for him to be able to keep his word. A young U.S. army chaplain called Gunther Plaut, serving on the front lines with the 104th ‘Timberwolf’ Division, transported the scroll across Europe and to the United States in a bazooka case. And when Rabbi Plaut moved to Toronto in 1961 to take the pulpit at Holy Blossom Temple, he brought the Kristallnacht Torah with him. It is among the exhibits that will go on display this week at the new Toronto Holocaust Museum.” [GlobeandMail]

Around the Web

Israeli-American Council co-founder and CEO Shoham Nicolet announced he was stepping down from his role after 16 years with the organization “to spend more time with my family while embarking on new horizons.” IAC has launched a search to find his replacement…

American Jewish Committee CEO Ted Deutch and U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt spoke yesterday at the Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy in the United Arab Emirates about religious tolerance. From there, Deutch and Lipstadt will travel to Israel for AJC’s Global Forum in Tel Aviv next week…

Rabbi Jonah Steinberg was hired as the Anti-Defamation League’s next New England regional director. Most recently, Steinberg served as the director of Harvard University Hillel

Gratz College outside Philadelphia is launching the Rebecca Gratz Digital Collection, in memory of professor Dianne Ashton, who died last year. The digital collection will include “scans and searchable transcriptions of over 800 letters to and from Rebecca Gratz, the leading Jewish woman of nineteenth century American Judaism”…

Lisa Harris Glass was named the next CEO of Rutgers Hillel. Harris Glass will be stepping down from her position as chief operating officer of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey

Jewish groups denounced former Fox News broadcaster Tucker Carlson after he called Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky “rat-like” and a “persecutor of Christians” on his new Twitter-based show, with the ADL calling the remarks “antisemitic” and the AJC and B’nai B’rith International both accusing Carlson of trafficking “in antisemitic tropes”…

Pic of the Day


Dina Gidron of the Pears Foundation in Israel visits a center run by the nonprofits SmartAID and STEMpower in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, today, where the organizations provide STEM education to young people from ages 13 to 27.


Courtesy/Jewish Agency for Israel

Head of North America for the Jewish Agency and president and CEO of Jewish Agency International Development (JAID), Daniel Elbaum… 

Hebrew University mathematics professor and 2005 Nobel Prize laureate in Economics, Robert Aumann… Partner in the Cincinnati-based law firm of Aronoff, Rosen & Hunt, he was a member of the Ohio State Senate for 30 years, Stanley J. Aronoff… Guru of alternative, holistic and integrative medicine, Dr. Andrew Weil… Founder of the Paloma Funds, Selwyn Donald Sussman… Detective novelist, best known for creating the character of V.I. Warshawski, Sara Paretsky… Founder and CEO of Sitrick and Company, Michael Sitrick… Classical pianist, teacher and performer at the Juilliard School and winner of a Grammy Award, he is the child of Holocaust survivors, Emanuel Ax… Community affairs advisor at the Phoenix-based Yeshiva High School of Arizona, Miriam Pinkerson… Former member of Knesset from the Zionist Union party, now a professor at Ben-Gurion University, Yosef “Yossi” YonaBarbara Jaffe Panken… Senior advisor at O2 Investment Partners, Rob Orley… Journalist, stand-up comedian, author, cartoonist and blogger, Aaron Freeman… CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, Stacy Ritter… AVP for campaign at the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago, Patti Frazin… Co-founder and CEO of the Genesis Prize Foundation, Stan Polovets… Winner of many Emmy and SAG awards, star of the long-running TV series “The Good Wife,” Julianna Margulies… Actor, screenwriter and producer, Dan Futterman… Former congresswoman (D-AZ), she is a survivor of an assassination attempt near Tucson in 2011, Gabrielle Giffords… Actor who starred in USA Network’s “Royal Pains,” he also wrote and created the CBS series “9JKL,” Mark Feuerstein… Executive director at Consulate Health Care in New Port Richey, Fla., Daniel Frenden… Former deputy chief of staff for Charlie Baker when he was governor of Massachusetts, Michael Emanuel Vallarelli… Senior educator at Hillel Jewish Student Center at Arizona State University, Suzy Stone… Art collector and founder of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Dasha Zhukova… Executive director at Hillel 818, Matt Baram… Fourth generation supermarket executive at Klein’s ShopRite of Maryland, Marshall Klein… Corporate litigation associate in the Wilmington office of Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, Daniel Kirshenbaum… Broadway producer, Eric J. Kuhn… Rabbi Shayna Abramson Kovler.. CEO of the Bnai Zion Foundation, Rabbi Dr. Ari Lamm… Offensive tackle in the NFL for nine seasons, he started in 121 straight games in which he played every offensive snap, his Hebrew name is “Mendel,” Mitchell Schwartz