TIB Newsletters

June/July 2013 TIB Newsletter

Dan Aronovic - Thursday, August 01, 2013
    A Letter from the 19th Maccabiah Games   



By Dan Aronovic, The Israel Bridge 

On Thursday, July 18th, I had the honor of participating in the Opening Ceremony of the 19th Maccabiah Games. This is my 7th Maccabiah Games in a row representing Israel. Athletes from over 70 countries are here in Israel for basketball, baseball, tennis, soccer, swimming, squash, shooting, track and field, volleyball and many other sports. The games run from July 18 - 31.

The Israeli athletes (more than 2,000 of the total of 9,000 participants) took a train from Tel Aviv to Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem for the Opening Ceremonies last Thursday night.  I naturally was able to find a number of athletes interested in college scholarships, speaking to athletes in the swimming and women's soccer delegations.  I met Tamir Hershko, who will start school at NCAA Men's Volleyball Champion University of California-Irvine this September.  He is one of the top volleyball players to come out of Israel in the last few years.

Another athlete I met was from the Israeli shooting team, and he had a sad story to tell.  He one of Israel's top shooters and in training for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.  Thinking that he could find a scholarship at a US college as one of the top  shooters in Europe, he talked to the coaches at two of the top-ranked NCAA schools, West Virginia and Alaska-Fairbanks. Realizing his talent, both schools offered this young man full scholarships after he successfully scored high on his SAT test and sent in his high school transcripts. But as many people know, the road to college athletics goes through the NCAA Eligibility Center and you must know how to answer the questions that they give you at the end of the process. Without our guidance, this young man was declared ineligible by the NCAA and lost his chance for a degree at a US university.

My favorite part of the evening was meeting with athletes from the US, excited about being in Israel and participating in the games.  The sport with the largest amount of participants is the master's tennis, and as I will compete in the 55 and over doubles, I searched around for the older athletes.  The age groups go up to 80 and over.  I met a few men from the US team in the 70 and 75 and over age groups from Florida, very excited to be a part of the festivities.   When you see older Jewish men getting excited about being a part of such an event, you know that it is something special. Marching into a stadium with 35,000 screaming fans is an experience that overwhelms the senses.  We were welcomed by the President of Israel and Prime Minister, and even had video welcomes from the US President and England's Prime Minister.  After a fantastic display of singing, dancing and fireworks, we took the train back to Tel Aviv. On the way to the train, a nice guy from the US Masters Ice Hockey team offered me his USA team shirt in exchange for my Israeli team shirt.  How could I refuse?  I took the shirt off my back, and so did he in order to exchange. The end of of a successful evening!



Who We Are: 

Ross Greenstein, Scholarship for Athletes President and Founder of The Israel Bridge

Dan Aronovic, Head of Operations, The Israel Bridge

Our Vision:
The Israel Bridge will work to be the largest resource for connecting and developing relationships between Israelis and Americans.

Current activities:
Finding athletic scholarships for deserving Israeli athletes in the US and assisting them while they live in the US. We have placed over 80 athletes in the US attending schools like Ohio State, UCLA, Northwestern, UNLV, Arizona, Duke, Tulane, Temple, the University of San Francisco and many others.

Visit our website for more info:



                  Coming NEXT MONTH     

      We get to meet the athletes that will enter the class of 2017 after having been helped by The Israel Bridge.  Don't miss it!  




Congratulations to the 2013 Graduates! 


  This is our 10th year of operation of finding athletic scholarships for Israeli athletes, and we celebrate the dedication to academics and sport of our graduates in the class of 2013.

                                Karin Sendel, UNCG


     Karin started school at Ohio State University, transferring to the University of North Carolina Greensboro where she was an outstanding athlete and student.  Karen graduated with a degree in Psychology with a 3.67 GPA.

                                         Hila Elster, Tulane

       Hila Elster played both singles and doubles for Tulane University, winning letters in all 4 years of her college career.  She graduated in May with a 3.5 GPA, majoring in  Legal Study Business.  Hila started working at Tachlit Indices in Tel Aviv in June.

                                     Kosta Blank, UNCW

        Kosta was a top tennis player and team leader at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, reaching a national ranking of 11 in doubles.  As a student, Kosta had an outstanding 3.90 GPA in Management Information Systems. 

                               Natalie Handler, Xavier



         Natalie played on the Xavier women's tennis team for four years and graduated in June.  She completed her degree in Marketing with a 3.5 GPA (Williams College of Business at Xavier University).  She started working in Israel in June at Ankori as Assistant to the Marketing Manager.



                            FIND OUT HOW TO SPONSOR AN ATHLETE

                          Join The Israel Bridge on Google Plus and Facebook                             
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