1) Tal Ben Haim joins Beitar Jerusalem. Ben Haim was born in 1982 and grew up in the Maccabi Tel Aviv youth system joining the club as a six year-old. The central defender was an integral part of the 2001/02 Israel State Cup winning side as well as the 2002/03 Israeli League Championship team. In 2004 he began his European career with English side Bolton Wanderers where he would go on to make 88 appearances while scoring one goal. After three years with the club he moved to Chelsea for a season and then played for a number of English teams including Manchester City, Sunderland, Portsmouth, West Ham United, Queens Park Rangers and Charlton Athletic. He would also have a short spell in Belgium where he played for Standard Liege.
In 2015 Ben Haim signed a two year contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv and returned to his roots helping the club advance to the group stages of the Champions League. He played a key defensive role in overcoming FC Basel, Viktoria Plzen and Hibernians FC to ensure the Yellow-and-Blue’s participation in the premier European club competition. The central defender made 29 appearances across all competitions. In 2016/17, his second season since returning, Ben Haim made 48 appearances with five coming in the Europa League Group Stages. The following campaign, 2017/18, the central defender helped the club advance to the Europa League Group Stages and was part of a rotation that included Eitan Tibi and Jean Sylvan Babin. Ben Haim scored a goal against Hapoel Raanana in the Toto Cup and made 35 appearances across all competitions including 19 in the league. His contract ended at the conclusion of the season.
2) The Sports Rabbi welcomed Michael Roll of Maccabi Tel Aviv BC to talk about basketball and life. Kendall Kaut of the Our Daily Bears which covers Baylor Basketball also joined the program to discuss Hapoel Jerusalem’s signing of Jo Lual Acuil, Mike Jensen of Philly News looked at Holon’s JavVaughn Pinkston who played for Villanova and Nick Denning of At The Hive stopped by to talk about Maccabi Tel Aviv’s new forward Johnny O’Bryant III who played with Charlotte last season.
Quick Hits – Defender Ulrich Meleke signs with Hapoel Tel Aviv FC…Forward Karam Mashour heads back to Bnei Herzliya after a season with Maccabi Tel Aviv BC…Guard Jamal Shuler signs with Hapoel Tel Aviv BC after playing with Nanterre last season…