Reali Gymnasium High School team 311.
(photo credit: .)
Madison Square Garden, home of the NBA’s New York Knicks, saw a
different type of basketball game last Sunday. Instead of professional
NBA stars playing for money and fame, the arena was host to a
fund-raiser match for cancer patients of Yad Tamar between the Reali
Gymnasium High School team of Rishon Lezion, and the Magen David
Yeshiva high school of Brooklyn.
The Brooklyn team had competed against other Jewish schools from the area for the opportunity to face the Israeli team.
a Knicks vs Rockets game, the Rishon Lezion team took the floor, and
led by coach Ziv Erez of Hapoel Yerushalyim, former coach of Israeli
basketball star Omri Casspi, beat the Brooklyn team 42-28.
event was attended by legendary Knicks Walt Frazier, John Starks, and
Alan Houston, who each signed basketballs donated to Yad Tamar, the
profits of which will go to supporting cancer patients and the medical
staff treating them, in both the US and Israel. Based on the success of
the event, Yad Tamar is already planning additional events in three US
cities, with three other NBA teams.
Yad Tamar, founded in the US
in memory of Tamar Lichtenstadt, who died of breast cancer, provides
medications, vacation outings, and support groups for cancer patients
and medical staff.
The 10 youngsters aged 16-18 who flew to New
York to participate in the game were given the rare opportunity of
watching the Knicks practice before their match against the Houston
Rockets, as well as forming a “fan tunnel” – a line of fans who greet
the players as they enter the arena at the start of the game.
their win, the Rishon Lezion team was awarded the shinning prize of 10
colored diamonds, donated for the event by Briza Color Diamonds of
Israel. Though the diamonds will be donated to Yad Tamar, the players
also received New York Knicks jerseys of their own. The Israeli players
enjoyed celebrity status in front of the hundreds of New York fans who
came to watch their game, and even signed autographs for the fans.
Yuval Orly, CEO of Yad Tamar, said: “This is first time an Israeli team
from Rishon Lezion met with the Jewish community of Brooklyn. The event
was extremely exciting, and the relationship forged between the players
and the community will remain in the future.”
chairman of Yad Tamar, added: “Yad Tamar usually operates modestly, and
this was the first time in a very long time, and after much hard work,
that we are presenting our labors publicly. The donation made by the
youth of Rishon and New York will continue to reverberate for a long
time in the hearts of Israeli children and adults who suffer from
Other highlights included Yad Tamar’s presentation of
a silver dome depiction of Jerusalem to former Knick John Starks in
recognition of his support of the event, and the extremely rare honor
given to Jack Anteby, a cancer patient from New York recovering for the
second time, who got to sit on the bench with the NBA players during
their match against the Rockets.