April 13, 2024
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April 13, 2024
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MTA JV Wins Rubenstein Basketball Tournament

This past week saw the eyes and hearts of the Jewish JV Basketball world focused on the Emunah/Rubenstein Memorial JV Basketball Tournament.

This 9th annual basketball event was organized by Avi Borenstein, head of basketball operations at JEC’s RTMA as well as Varsity and JV head coach at RTMA, with the assistance of Ronnie Faber of Emunah, and brought together 12 JV basketball teams for a week of great competition and excitement.

The tournament, held from December 9-11, is not only the premier Jewish JV basketball competition in the U.S., but is primarily is a memorial event remembering Rabbi Jacob and Deborah Rubenstein, a’h and benefits the fund established in their memory to support the children and beneficiaries of Emunah’s Bet Elezraki Children’s Home in Netanya, Israel.

Bet Elezraki, led by Director Yehudah Kohn, is home to 240 children ages infant to 18 years old. The children are placed at Bet Elizraki by the Israeli Ministry of Social Services, some by social workers who know that Bet Elezraki has experienced outstanding success with the many children it has serviced, and some being brought by the police, in cases of abuse or domestic violence.

The children come to Bet Elezraki from home situations which give rise to a need for the protection, placement and education of these Israeli children in a sheltered and nurturing environment. Bet Elezraki provides that healing environment with a wide variety of services. Social workers, psychologists, art and occupational therapists, teachers and loving caregivers combine to save the lives and neshamot (souls) of the many endangered children placed there.

The history and success of Bet Elezraki is ongoing, exemplary and legendary.

Rabbi and Deborah Rubenstein, z’l, were larger than life individuals who led the Young Israel of Scarsdale as rabbi and rebbetzin until their tragic death in a Friday night fire.

On August 13, 2009, the Rubenstein Campus of Bet Elezraki was dedicated as a tribute to their love, devotion and fundraising on behalf of Bet Elezraki.

With this in mind, Emunah of America, with important support from EllKay Healthcare Connectivity Solutions and Cedar Market, has been sponsoring the JV basketball tournament for nine seasons, the last eight spearheaded by Borenstein and Faber.

The tournament participants have grown to 12 schools, 11 from the Yeshiva League in the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan area and one from Israel, Otzma Modi’in. The Yeshiva League teams represented are the cream of the basketball crop: DRS, Flatbush, Frisch, HAFTR, Heschel, JEC/RTMA, Magen David, MTA, SAR, TABC and YDE. This year saw MTA emerge victorious.

MTA played a dramatic and intense four games against tough competition to win their first JV Rubenstein tournament, beating HAFTR on Tuesday night 64-61 on some clutch shooting and sinking free throws in the final minutes. The team was led by Eitan Warburg’s 18 points; Yoni Rothberg, who went five for five from three point range, scoring a total of 15 points and Eitan Pfeiffer, who also had 15 points.

In the second game on Thursday night, MTA won an exciting game against DRS. DRS led 59-57 with seven seconds left when Eitan Pfeiffer (30 points) drained a three pointer to give MTA the win. Avi Wolk had a monster game on defense along with David Saginor’s active play. Yoni Rothberg hit three more three pointers and Isiah Anderson had some clutch drives to the hoop.

In Sunday’s semifinals, MTA beat the Modiin team in an aggressive showdown by a score of 67-57. Eitan Pfeiffer led the scoring with 29 points, while Eitan Warburg and Isiah Anderson also scored in double digits.

In the championship game on Sunday night, MTA beat Frisch 50-48 with some great defense and clutch shooting by Eitan Warburg, Isiah Anderson and Eitan Pfeiffer, who each had more than 14 points. Point guard Hudi Weiss had an amazing 15 assists and Avi Wolk crashed the boards for more than 20 rebounds. Warburg and Anderson were named tournament all-stars, while Pfeiffer was awarded the MVP moments after he calmly sank two free throws in the final seconds to put MTA ahead for good.

Yasher koach to Emunah, Bet Elezraki and the tournament directors for a fabulous event of competition, achdut and excitement. Once again, the organizers and participants were given the opportunity to showcase an extraordinary tzedekah and make a true kiddush Hashem, while playing some amazing JV basketball.

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