Where will Amare Stoudemire be for the Passover Seder?
Amare Stoudemire may be the most famous basketball player to grace the courts across Israel with Hapoel Jerusalem. This season after becoming a citizen of the country just last month, the NBA Star will spend the Passover Seder with the NAVAH Organization. What is NAVAH? It’s an organization that was founded in 2002 to help victims of terror and has held over 15 Passover Seders while hosting close to 4,000 family members who have experienced the tragic loss of a loved one. This year the Seder will take place in Rechovot and one special guest in Amare Stoudemire will be joining them!
“It’s for the loved ones who have lost significant others in tragedies of war and terrorism and acts of bravery,” explained the 14-year NBA veteran and 2003 Rookie of the Year as to the importance of the organization. “For me to spend some time with them and give them a sense of hope and encouragement during an important time such as Passover when you’re normally with your family, it’s the least I could do.”
The founder of NAVAH Tehilla Friedman began the project during the second intifada when she understood that so many people around the Holy Land needed support especially around the holiday time. After the Park Hotel Passover Seder bombing in Netanya, Friedman took action and the rest as they say is history.
How did the former New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns star find out about the organization? “A friend of mine spoke to me about what they are doing and what they are trying to accomplish by bringing joy to the families. I stepped right in and said mark me down for it and count me in. It’s going to be a pretty passionate Passover Seder.”
The organization is named after Nava Shan, an Israeli actress born in Czechoslovakia who survived the Holocaust and immigrated to Israel after the founding of the State. Shan was born in 1919 and passed away in 2001. This Passover will see more than 160 families get together for a powerful and meaningful Seder in the spirit of Shan.
Stoudemire has done plenty of Tzedaka, Charity work throughout his career and spoke about its purpose, “I’ve been doing a lot of charity work for a very long time, pretty much for my entire career and this is another notch in the foundation of what we try to do which is to provide hope for everyone of every background and any in situation try to provide hope for.”