Ever thought of joining a local baseball league, but held back because many of the games fell during the Jewish holidays? Or perhaps you wanted to play with other like-minded individuals within the community, but couldn’t find any league that existed? That’s all changed, thanks to the efforts of a local determined baseball enthusiast.
Fortunately for us, Erwin Braha decided to create an official Jewish Amateur Baseball League. Braha believes that in many ways the league is a first for our community. The season begins Sunday, April 8, 2018, and already baseball fans are preparing to watch some great games, and players are busy gearing up to play with much excitement.
In launching this idea, Braha realized it was important that fellow community members had the same opportunities as everyone else.
Braha explains, “The reason why we started this league is because when I was trying to get my children into baseball leagues, there was always an issue with playing on Shabbat, or playing on a holiday. We just couldn’t get them to play. So, this compelled me to create the league.”
Playing on ball teams is a concept that Braha says he’s already personally familiar with, as he as well as his friends hadplayed in baseball leagues previously, but never with exclusively Jewish teams playing against other Jewish teams.
The new Jewish league provides competitive travel baseball for kids and adults of all ages in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The divisions are from 9-years-old to 18-years-old, from 18 to 25-years-old, and for older adults.
Once a team is formed, and a field (and a permit) is obtained from the local town or recreation department [the league can also assist in helping to find a field], the league can register on the website – JWABL.com.
The league is open to any Jewish team – as well as Jewish organizations who want to form teams, such as Jewish community centers, Chabads, camps, shuls, and Jewish charities. For those looking to play but do not have a team, the website serves as a resource to connect existing teams with players, and vice versa.
The website shows how the league is set up, and does all the scheduling, rosters, rankings, standings, and team organization. The league fees cover the costs of umpires, insurance (for game play and practice), and baseballs.
Many of our community boys and adults are interested in participating in competitive baseball, and enjoying the camaraderie. The league provides players with games scheduled so they do not conflict with Shabbat or Jewish holidays. The league is also designed so that each game is played relatively close by.
No team will travel more than 30 minutes from their home team’s field. Plus – each team will play half their games at home.
With tzedekahin mind, there’s also a fundraising element that Braha says is possible. Each team, if they so wish can raise funds for their organization by collecting a little more from players than the league fee requires, and keeping the difference for their charity of choice.
Meanwhile, not content simply to put together this endeavor that has brought together so much team spirit and Jewish pride, Braha is happy to say he’s looking to have the league compete more widely. He has his sights set on the league’s younger players entering the New Jersey High School Invitational Tournament, slated for May 20th.
May they hit it out of the park!
For more information, contact Erwin Braha at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
League Registration Fees
Day Camps – $875
Age Groups (9-18, 18-25, 25+) – $1,350
Synagogue Softball League – $1,450
A team of ten, for example, would pay about $87-$135 per player, but there is no limit to how many players are on a team.