April 1, 2023 2:03 am

Baseball players from the David Posnack Jewish Day College pose with nearby Dominican teens at an Israel-Dominican Republic friendship ceremony held at the Globe Baseball Classic in Miami, March 14, 2023.(Jacob Gurvis)

By Jacob Gurvis

March 14, 2023

MIAMI (JTA) —  Hours prior to Israel and the Dominican Republic have been to take the field as competitors in the Globe Baseball Classic, players and management gathered at a nearby park to market friendship involving the two nations and to raise awareness for the popular fight against hatred and antisemitism.

Hosted by the Israel Association of Baseball and the Philos Project — a U.S.-primarily based nonprofit organization that promotes Christian relations with Israel — the ceremony brought collectively players and coaches representing each nations, along with a group of nearby teen baseball players, which includes from the nearby David Posnack Jewish Day College.

Earlier in the day, Israel and the Dominican Republic also signed a memorandum of  understanding to emphasize the friendship involving the two nations.

The occasion was a comply with-up to an Israel trip a quantity of Dominican players took final fall, with the Philos Project. And later this year, there will be a charity softball game in the Dominican Republic involving Dominican and Jewish-American players.

“We are however living in a time when antisemitism and racism are nevertheless in vogue, maybe extra common now than ever in the U.S.,” IAB president Jordy Alter mentioned in his remarks. “It is crucial that young men and women such as yourselves internalize the message you hear now and develop your personal nonviolent resistance against all types of hate and racism.”

Alter mentioned the gathering was inspired by the White Rose Holocaust resistance movement, a group of non-Jewish German healthcare students who spoke out against the Nazi regime. The leaders have been at some point executed by the Nazis. Organizers of Tuesday’s occasion handed out white roses.

The crowd heard from Alter, Philos’ director of Hispanic affairs Jesse Rojo, as effectively as Israel manager Ian Kinsler, Israel player Dean Kremer, the Dominican team’s basic manager, MLB star Nelson Cruz and Dominican player Jeimer Candelario.

Israel manager Ian Kinsler and Dominican players Jeimer Candelario and Nelson Cruz answer concerns from nearby teens. (Jacob Gurvis) Image by

Rojo, who grew up in New York’s Washington Heights, spoke about the historic partnership involving the Jewish and Dominican communities, from his neighborhood in Manhattan all the way back to 1938, when the Dominican Republic was the only nation to welcome in Jewish refugees fleeing Europe.

“Today extra than ever, we want to bring that back,” Rojo told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “When there’s so substantially hate, so substantially polarization. Exactly where we currently have the historical heritage, and take that from our ancestors and take it to the subsequent generation.”

For Kremer, the initially Israeli player drafted into Big League Baseball, the occasion was a sign of baseball’s energy as a platform for unity.

“It represents a lot for each sides, involving the peace and the developing of the game, and antisemitism and all of it collectively,” Kremer told JTA. “It indicates a lot possessing a further ally. That, I assume, is the largest point, in not only developing the game but also generating pals with nations that might not know about our history.”

Cruz, an 18-year MLB veteran with nearly 500 profession residence runs, spoke about the value of spreading like.

“Right now, what’s connecting us is baseball, and a like of baseball,” he mentioned, addressing the teens. “God designed us all equal, it does not matter what colour, what gender you are coming from. We should really all remain collectively.”

Maor Elbaz-Starinsky, Israel’s consul basic in Miami, has been supporting Group Israel all through the WBC, and was also at this morning’s ceremony.

“Israel is a major nation in technologies and agriculture and safety, but now to study from [the Dominican Republic] about baseball, and absolutely to function right here with children on fighting racism, antisemitism, all the virtues that sports brings — tolerance, sportsmanship — that is a excellent occasion,” Elbaz-Starinsky told JTA.

Following the opening remarks, the teens had a likelihood to ask concerns — largely about baseball.

Baltimore Orioles and Group Israel pitcher Dean Kremer indicators an autograph for a player from the David Posnak Jewish Day College. (Jacob Gurvis) Image by

“I assume it is truly meaningful to see Group Israel at the Globe Baseball Classic,” mentioned Ryan Novick, a 17-year-old player on the Posnack School’s varsity baseball group.

Novick, who functions in information analytics with the Miami Dolphins and will quickly attend Vanderbilt University, added that it is excellent “to see that Israel’s relations across the planet are beginning to flourish,” and that it is an added bonus when baseball can serve as a automobile to that finish.

Wayne Stofsky, the athletic director at the Posnack college, and a gold medal-winning Maccabiah baseball coach, highlighted how specific it is for his players to meet Jewish players like Kremer and Kinsler.

“It’s not each and every day they get the chance to see qualified athletes, and athletes that are Jewish, just like them,” Stofsky told JTA.

Following the Q&ampA, the complete group gathered on the field to take images, pose with the two countries’ flags and hear the national anthems for Israel, the Dominican Republic, and the United States.

This report initially appeared on JTA.org.

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