May 23, 2024
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Teaneck Doghouse Sportstar of the Week: Zev Kinderlehrer

The Jewish Link of New Jersey and Teaneck Doghouse would like to recognize 16-year-old Zev Kinderlehrer as this week’s Sportstar of the Week. The Teaneck High School 11th grader has been enjoying the gym program at Yachad’s Mendel Balk Community Center at Heichal HaTorah—Jewish Center of Teaneck. While he doesn’t play ball as often as his basketball loving brothers do, his family and his friends from Yachad all know that when Zev is shooting the ball, he usually scores, even when he isn’t looking at the basket. As his parents and friends know, Zev has tremendous mazel both on and off the court. Zev’s mother, Dena, explained that although Zev likes basketball, he is always focused on the people around him and who is in the room with him. “He will run off the court in the middle of a free throw shot to say hi to someone he likes and knows.”

Zev, we are so happy to see you shooting around at this special program. Who do you look up to?

(Editor’s Note: Our editors made the decision to allow Zev’s parents to respond below to the Sportstar questions on Zev’s behalf.)

Zev’s role models are rabbis—even ones who don’t play sports. He has a special fondness for his shul’s rabbi, Rabbi Larry Rothwachs, who he has dressed up as on Purim at least twice over the past decade, but he loves and looks up to any and all rabbis, or at least those who look like a rabbi. If pressed, Zev will definitely say he favors his community’s rabbis over rabbis in other communities.

Who is your favorite athlete?

Although Zev normally prefers non-athletes (see answer above re: rabbis), he does also have an affinity for Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia. His family is not sure why this is so.

What is your greatest sports accomplishment, so far?

Zev played on a Challenger League baseball team in Bergenfield for a number of years and got a hit every time he went to bat—in line with league policy. In truth, Zev’s main sports accomplishments have occurred at smachot where he loves to dance uninterrupted for hours, outlasting friends, family, the baalei simcha and sometimes the band as well.

What do you like to do when not playing sports?

When Zev is not at school or the after-school Mendel Balk Center programs during the school year, he likes going to Yachad shabbatonim and being around teens his own age. He also loves going on his tablet and watching his favorite Jewish musicians and singers on YouTube. His current favorite singers are: Nachas (Nachi Baldinger), Mordechai Shapiro, Benny Friedman, Mordechai Ben David, Avraham Fried and many others.

Another of Zev’s favorite activities is reading the Jewish Link which he will do 4-6 times over the course of every week. While reading the paper, Zev will also let his parents and friends know if they or people or organizations that he knows well are being featured in the paper. (Although Zev does not read, he has an incredible memory for faces and logos for organizations such as Yachad’s and the OU and many others.)

What is the best thing about being a Sportstar?

For Zev, the best thing about being a Sportstar is that he (and his parents) know that a good number of people in the community will appreciate reading this about him. Zev’s parents are also happy to publish these great pictures of Zev playing ball with Yachad.

The Teaneck Doghouse Sportstar of the Week will receive a $15 gift certificate to Teaneck Doghouse. Please send nominees for an upcoming Jewish Link of New Jersey and Teaneck Doghouse Sportstar of the Week to [email protected].

 

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