Just thought I should mention that Shay Doron who is a starter and one of the leaders on the Maryland women’s team that beat North Carolina’s dominant basketball team last night to advance to the finals, is Israeli born and definitely Jewlicious…even if she did attend high school at Christ the King high school.
Tonight, UCLA plays Florida for the national championship, and it turns out that one of their leaders, Jordan Farmar, had a bar mitzvah and is born to a Jewish mother. I have no idea whether he considers himself Jewish or not, but apparently he has visited Israel growing up.
He stood in Temple Judea in Tarzana, Calif., a 13-year-old reciting all the prayers he had memorized in Hebrew school. He ignored the 600 people who had come to his bar mitzvah. He focused only on the prayers.
But at the end of the ceremony, when Farmar’s mother joined him to offer congratulations, she froze when she tried to speak. Tears were all that came out. As the crowd began to stir, young Farmar remained steady.
“I just remember him putting his hand on me,” said Mindy Kolani, Farmar’s mother. “He told me: ‘It’s O.K. We’re doing fine. We’re going to be all right.’ “
EDIT: thanks to Ofri, I went and googled Farmar. First, I don’t think there are better photos. Second, it appears that while not observant, his Jewish identity is important to him.
â€œI’ve been around success in sports my whole life,â€ Farmar said. â€œMy father is a professional athlete. I don’t want to be any different. I don’t want to hear you’re not as good or athletic or talented as your father,â€ said Farmar.
Farmar’s parents divorced when he was young. His mother, Melinda Kolani, and stepfather, Yehuda Kolani, raised Farmar in a Jewish home, took him to Israel and sponsored his Temple Judea bar mitzvah. Farmar doesn’t consider himself observant, but identifies himself as part of the Jewish people.
â€œThat is part of me, of who I am,â€ said the 2004 Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame High School Athlete of the Year. â€œPeople are watching the game, the way I carry myself on and off the court, and I know that all reflects on my community and my people.â€