Akiva aid Hillel team players form a
high-five tunnel for the Haifa players.
Haifa team takes on the Pistons during Jewish Community Night at the Palace.
ewish Community Night was held at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Oct. 8 to
welcome Maccabi Haifa, the Israeli League 2013 Champions to the D.
The exhibition game against the Detroit Pistons (final score: 91-69 Pistons)
was just one of four events held with the Haifa team, which was in Detroit for the first
It was a celebration of the Jewish community all the way — community members were
selected to be "honorary captains:' people were part of two "high-five tunnels" as the
players took the court, five cantors sang "Hatikvah" for the first time at the Palace and a
half-time game featured Hillel Day School and Akiva Hebrew Day School basketball play-
ers on the court.
"I'll never forget playing on the same floor as the Pistons:' said Yossi Nadel, an Akiva
eighth-grader. "It was so much fun:'
More than 500 community members attended the memorable evening.
The next day, Maccabi Haifa ran two student clinics involving students from Hillel in
Farmington Hills, Akiva in Southfield, Frankel Jewish Academy (FJA) in West Bloomfield
and Kenny Goldman League participants.
"My experience with Maccabi Haifa was incredible said Paul Schmitz, a ninth-grader
at FJA. "I learned and played basketball with professional basketball players from the
home of the Jewish people. The players told us they were both in the army and were
always underdogs. They were never told that they had a chance to make it in the big
leagues. They used determination and hard work and became some of the best basket-
ball players in Israel. Their story is so inspiring to me, and I appreciate that I was able to
take part in this opportunity."
All events raised money for their charity, "Haifa Hoops for Kids," which enables at-
risk, disadvantaged children in Israel to learn about basketball and attend games at no
cost. The two clinics were held at the Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield.
Haifa players also participated in an adult scrimmage organized by Michael Fishman.
The game was close, with the American/Israeli mixed teams ending with a 95-91 score.
Fishman has been the starting point guard on the United States Maccabi Masters team
since 2001, and has competed in Israel, Australia and all over South America.
All events were organized through the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.
Hillel vs. Akiva game at halftime
Akiva players are announced before
October 17 • 2013
Pistons Chauncey Billups and Haifa's
Hillel players are announced before their