The Jewish Link and The Humble Toast would like to recognize Jude Shankman as this week’s Sportstar of the Week. Shankman, a senior at the Frisch is the captain of the varsity robotics team at Yeshivat Frisch. The varsity robotics team is a selective group. Any Frisch student can be on a JV CIJE VEX robotics team, but only 15 total applicants are chosen for the varsity team based on their demonstrated skill and commitment to the program. The Frisch varsity robotics team is highly ranked. In last year’s season, they were the highest ranked yeshiva in the North East and have advanced to the New Jersey state championships for the past two years, with their goal being to reach the world championships in Houston this year. The team participates in the FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) Robotics League, an international league that exists outside of the Yeshiva League. Competitions are held once every two months.
Jude, congrats on being recognized as this week’s Sportstar of the Week! Who is your role model and why?
My role model is my dad, Jon Shankman. When he’s not asking me what I’m currently reading, he’s always pushing me to pursue my passions and speak my mind unless it offends someone. He’s also the funniest man I know.
What is your favorite sport?
I think every single one of my friends is gonna come at me for this, but my favorite sport has to be robotics. My varsity team participates in the FTC Robotics League, which is an international competition. Students on the team each have different positions and responsibilities depending on their abilities and must work together. In a competition, the robot must complete various tasks like hurling big foam rings through narrow slots in a goal and depositing balls accurately into a basket-shaped goal. There’s no better feeling in the world to me than working on a component of my robot for months on end and seeing it work flawlessly with all the components my teammates designed. It’s also just awesome that I’m able to connect with so many people from all over the Jewish and STEM communities because of it.
What is your pregame routine?
Every robotics competition starts with a couple hours of prep and testing, usually accompanied by a whole lot of last minute repairs to the robot. So I guess my pregame routine is putting in my ear buds, playing some music (usually AJR, Jon Bellion or Half Alive), and getting to work before we start.
What is your greatest sports accomplishment?
Probably becoming senior captain of varsity robotics at Frisch. I put a lot of work into the team, and, honestly, my GPA probably took a hit because of it. But it was 100% worth it.
What is your earliest sports memory?
Playing T-Ball in the park for the first time with my dad. I’m pretty sure we went to go get ice cream at a convenience store afterwards. Major shoutout to my Dad, he’s a real one.
What is your favorite thing to do when you are not playing sports?
I’m always a big fan of video games, movies, etc., but my absolute favorite thing to do when I’m not working on robotics is cooking. My specialties are cinnamon buns, guacamole and crispy rice cakes with spicy salmon and avocado.
What is your favorite sports memory?
When my teammates and I advanced to the FTC State Championships last year. We were the only Jewish team there, and it was a really fun dynamic playing with and competing against teams from public and Catholic schools.
What is the best thing about being a Sporstar?
Being able to advertise Frisch robotics (and robotics in general), and to share my love of it with the rest of the Jewish community. A lot of people don’t know about what we do, and I like to think if they did, they’d be as excited about it as I am.
The Humble Toast Sportstar of the week will receive a $25 gift card to The Humble Toast. Please send nominees for an upcoming The Humble Toast Jewish Link Stars of the Week to [email protected].
By Jewish Link Sports Desk