The “Jewish Jordan”: Tamir Goodman

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Tamir Goodman
10 Aug 2011

Basketball star and trailblazer Tamir Goodman, dubbed the “Jewish Jordan” by Sports Illustrated magazine, became the first observant Jew in recent history to reach the highest levels of his sport. More importantly to us, Tamir was also involved with NCSY since childhood. He experienced Jewish holidays and shabbatonim with his family and saw how the organization made Judaism come alive. He’s a big believer that “Hashem wants us to live in this world, in a positive happy way, NCSY understands that concept.” Tamir was rated among the 25 top high school players in America, and joined a rare list of athletes, including Michael Jordan, when he was awarded the MVP of the prestigious Capitol Classic all-star game. Tamir played division I ball on an athletic scholarship without playing on Shabbat, and was then recruited by powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Tamir played six pro seasons in Israel for some of the most competitive teams in Europe. His story received world-wide media coverage and Tamir has been featured on Fox News, ESPN, CNN, ABC and more. As a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces, Tamir was awarded the “Outstanding Soldier Award” for his service specializing in armored personnel carriers. Tamir is also a renowned public speaker who captivates and inspires audiences of all ages and affiliations with his one of a kind stories, passionate delivery, and powerful message.

Experiencing numerous injuries could be viewed by some as a career setback; however Tamir views everything in life as a full picture. He explained that “I don’t regret anything in my career; everything I went through prepared me for my life now, inspiring others. Going through setbacks and injuries were my biggest blessings to learn about how to overcome a challenge. How can you inspire people if you’ve never struggled in your life?” Additionally, Tamir has coached over 25,000 kids at his dynamic basketball clinics and camps that are in high demand across North America and Israel. Using his athletic, religious, and emotional experience Tamir has inspired a new generation of Jewish athletes, professionals, and youth to excel in the modern world while maintaining a strong Jewish identity.

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The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.