Games We Play - Women's Basketball: Shiraliga opens to smash success

On Sunday, December 28th, the last day of Hannuka, history was made in Jerusalem as 10 basketball teams, all from religious girls high schools, gathered to compete against each other in Shiraliga, a new basketball league for girls. Organized by Shira Amsel, the Director of Physical Education in "Pelech" High School, the new league is aimed at introducing young orthodox girls to the world of organized sports. For young women in seventh to twelfth grade, Shiraliga has organized new basketball teams in the following schools: Pelech, Tzviya Yetziratit, Bnei Akiva Pisgat Zeev, Tehilla, Neve Chana, Hartman (two teams), Ramot and Ohr Torah Stone (two teams). For many of the girls, Sunday's tournament marked their first-ever basketball competition. The excitement in the gymnasium was palpable. Each team played two full-court games. Friends and family members cheered the players on with great enthusiasm. Bnei Akiva Pisgat Zeev, Tzviya Yetziratit and Pelech were all victorious in both their matches. At the conclusion of the event, each participant received a special medallion. The next mega-event of Shiraliga with multiple competitions will take place in February. Shira Amsel graduated from Givat Washington College with honors in 2006, from their Physical Education teaching program. She also is the starting center on the Hapoel Jerusalem women's basketball team. Further information and highlights can be viewed online at