Athletes Of Year
Handling religious, cultural differences.
relationship with our rabbi,
the cantor, the director of
f I could snap my fingers
education and the rest of the
and change anything that I
synagogue staff. As a family,
wanted, I would probably
we feel a part of thiS commu-
go crazy with the enormous
responsibility. I suppose that I
While my daughters are
would have to spend at least a
learning about Judaism, I am
year compiling a list of things
making a concerted effort to
that needed altering.
keep pace with what they are
On a grand level, Of course,
discovering. As a parent, it is
world peace would be at the
imperative for me to help in
top along with ridding the
world of hunger. On a more
In addition, I'm filling in gaps in my
personal level, I think I'd like to be able
to fly, turn invisible on occasion, breath own religious knowledge. It's actually
made me somewhat of an expert on the
underwater and play hockey for the
Torah, or "Old Testament;' with my side
Red Wings. There are so many things
of the family.
that I can think of that would be fun to
One drawback, I must say, is that I do
change. Then, there are those parts of
not get double the amount of presents
my life that I would leave as they are.
at Christmas and Chanukah (rats!)
What got me thinking about such a
Before we were married, my wife and I
magical power was an innocent, but
determined that the Jews in the family
loaded question from a friend. We had
been discussing issues of interfaith life. would just receive Chanukah presents,
and the Christians, Christmas presents.
She knew that I was a Protestant dad
Hbwever, I do get to help my wife and
helping my Jewish wife to raise our
daughters celebrate their holidays by
daughters to be Jewish. After a few
moments, she asked, "If you could snap giving them gifts, singing traditional
songs and helping them eat plenty of
your fingers, would want to change
delicious food (can't let it go to waste,
your wife and daughters to your reli-
So far, our interfaith game plan is
It was funny, I thought. In the 19
functioning well. I do not recommend
years that I had been involved in an
this lifestyle for everyone. I have never
interfaith relationship, married.for 14
been an advocate of purposely inter-
of those years, with kids for nine of
marrying. But, when it does happen,
those years, no one had ever asked me
people can work around their religious
that question. I had to think for a
and cultural differences and live to tell
minute before I responded. It wasn't
that I didn't know the answer. It was
I feel that my life has been exquisite-
that I was unsure of the right way to
ly enhanced. How often do we get a
explain the reasons behind the answer.
chance to learn about, moreover,
"No," I finally said. I knew that she
was looking for me to expand on it, so I become a part of another culture?
Many people view that as a chance to
continued. "I won't say that it hasn't
broaden their minds, build under-
been difficult; it has. My wife and I
standing, and breed tolerance.
spent a lot of energy in the beginning
After I repair the world, I think I'll
negotiating a good game plan so we
save snapping my fingers for improving
could make it all work. But, the fact of
my hockey skills.
the matter is, I love the life I lead right
now with my family."
Jim Keen is author of the book "Inside
Although it may have. been easier if
Intermarriage: A Christian Partner's
everyone in my family were Protestant,
I can no longer picture what that would Perspective on Raising a Jewish Family" (URJ
Press, forthcoming) and a contributor to the
look like. I am too deeply involved in
book "The Guide to the Jewish Interfaith Family
my daughters' Jewish upbringing.
Life: an InterfaithFamily.com Handbook"
I really do enjoy going to temple with (Jewish Lights publishing). He is a columnist for
them. I am fascinated as they explore
InterfaithFamily.com. His e-mail address is jck-
Judaism through both religious and
Hebrew school. Our family has a great
Jewish Sports Foundation
seeks high school nominations.
Special to The Jewish News
eth Sanders was a power hitting
first baseman for the Ann Arbor
. Pioneer High School baseball
team. Rebecca Nyquist was a swimming
star for Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-
So what are the 2005 Jewish News
High School Athletes of the Year
doing these days? They're college
freshmen, members• of powerhouse
Sanders is a first baseman for
Ohio State, which haS won three of
the past four Big Ten baseball tour-
naments and made 11 NCAA tour-
ney appearances since 1988. Nyquist
competes in backstroke and butter-
fly for the Princeton women's swim-
ming team. The Tigers are pursuing
their sixth Ivy League
title in seven years.
Nyquist are the latest •
in a long line of out-
standing male and
female Athletes of the
Year. The program
began in 1991, with
Ed Wolkind of
Detroit Country Day
and Heather Davis
of Berkley earning
the inaugural honors.
The Michigan Jewish Sports
Folmdation is seeking nominations for
the 2006 Athletes of the Year awards.
Nominees must be in good standing at a
Michigan high school, compete in a rec-
ognized sport, and exhibit the values held
by the foundation and the Jewish commu-
The foundation also presents $2,500
Bill Hertz Memorial Scholarships each
year to male and female high school ath-
letes based on athletic and academic
achievement and financial need. Last.
year's winners were Sanders and West
Bloomfield grad Meredith Milstein, now
a freshman soccer player at Brandeis
The Athletes of the Year awards and
Hertz scholarships are presented annually .
at the foundation's Michigan Jewish
Sports Hall of Fame induction banquet,
held in November. For application
information, call Steve Simons, (248)
Cydney Seigerman and Debbie Gross
are having stellar seasons for the West
Bloomfield High junior varsity volleyball
team. Seigerman, an all-around player, is
one of just two freshmen
on the .11-member
squad. She's the Lakers'
As of last week,
Seigerman had a 92 per-
cent serving success rate
(180-of-190), along with
Coach Dana Gray raves
about her potential.
"Cydney doesn't have a
lot of volleyball experi-
ence, but she's a great ath-
lete who is level-headed, mature and
confident. She's a quality kid:' Gray said.
Seigerman also plays basketball and
Gross is a sophomore middle hitter
who has stepped tip her play after the
starter at that position was moved up to
the varsity. "Debbie is starting to blos-
som," Gray Said.
Gross was averaging seven kills and
two blocks per match as of last week.
She also was an 85 percent server with
West Bloomfield's JV was 13-8-3 overall
and 7-3 in Oakland Activities Association
• Ari Kotzen Reich and Eli Weiner con-
tributed to recent victories recorded by red-
hot Berkley High teams.
Kotzen-Reich scored a goal for the hockey
squad in its 9-1 drubbing of Bloomfield
Hills United. The win gave the Bears a 16-1-
1 overall record and a 7-1 mark in Oakland
Activities Association Division II.
Weiner had 16 points for the boys basket-
ball team in its 79-48 victory over
Bloomfield Hills Andover. The Bears
improved to 12-2, 6-0 in OAA Division
Please send sports news to
February 16 • 2006