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Archive for Saturday, March 6, 2010

Jew Ball! KU students put their own spin on Shabbat

March 6, 2010

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Jew Ball

KU students participate in a weekly game of basketball at KU's Robinson Gym, Friday, Feb. 26, 2010. The activity they've named Jew Ball was founded in 2008 to bring Jewish students together in an organized social activity. Enlarge video

Bagels and Basketball

Want to watch the big game and help the victims of the Haiti earthquake at the same time?

Check out Bagels & Basketball: Hoops for Haiti, a watch party KU Hillel is holding for today’s Jayhawks’ game with the proceeds from the event going to the American Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund.

When: Doors open at 12:30 p.m. today

Where: Abe & Jake’s Landing,

8 E. Sixth St.

Cost: $2 for students, $5 non-students; activities are $1 each.

Jew Ball.

The phrase sounds like something you shouldn’t say. Like it’s not right for polite company or un-PC or something that could get you fired if you Googled it at work.

It’s so cringe-inducing, in fact, that despite uttering the phrase every week, Katie Coppaken gets nervous just talking about it in public.

“If you replaced it with another religion it would be really weird, too. Like if you called it ... you know, I don’t want to say it because I’m in public, but you know, any term,” says Coppaken, a Kansas University junior who must say the phrase each Friday night when she walks into Robinson Gymnasium on campus. “When you go into Robinson, you have to say like, ‘I’m here for Jew Ball.’ And then it’s like, ‘Oh God, I just hate that.’”

Well, she hates the name, but she loves the game.

Each week, Coppaken and 40 or so other Jewish students file onto a basketball court and celebrate the Sabbath in the most unusual way — with lay-ups, jump shots and maybe a post-game Shabbat dinner of challah and pizza in a Friday night ritual that has become known as Jew Ball.

Yes, that’s what the players call it.

It’s OK for anyone to call it that, too. The group even has “Jew Ball” emblazoned on T-shirts — accompanied by a kippah-wearing Jayhawk. Not that Coppaken wears the shirt out in public.

“Never! Never! No — it’s a sleeping shirt only,” she says, laughing.

Jew Ball started last year as a project spearheaded by a few interns at KU Hillel, including Coppaken and Aaron Price. The interns were athletically oriented, and Price found inspiration in a Saturday staple at home in Overland Park.

“The basketball league kind of came about (because) back home at the Jewish Community Center on Saturday mornings there would just be pick-up basketball and it not only would be Jewish kids, it would be some of the top high school kids from around the city,” Price says. “It would always be competitive games, and you’d have teenagers all the way up to grownups playing. I thought we’d bring it here.”

And Jew Ball was born in Lawrence.

The league started out on Wednesday nights and was so popular the students decided to bring it back this school year. The only problem? All the Wednesday night court slots were taken — the only night with open courts was Friday night. Only after cementing a 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday spot did Price realize he’d planned Jew Ball for the Sabbath and that it might conflict with weekly Shabbat services.

“I realized it was on Shabbat — Shabbat’s a weekly holiday for Jewish people — and I didn’t know if that would go well with the administrators at Hillel,” Price says.

Turns out that the folks at Hillel actually loved the idea, says Amanda Gropper, program director for the group.

“We don’t feel it’s competition because it’s our students, and so if they feel that they’re recognizing Shabbat by playing basketball, then we think that that’s a great opportunity for them to be a part of the community,” she says.

Indeed, Coppaken says that for her, Jew Ball is often her “Jewish thing for the week” — though she says at its heart, the league is all about the basketball.

“We don’t really do anything Jewish there — I mean, there’s no prayers or anything like that,” Coppaken says. “Everyone being Jewish there gives you the sense of doing something religious, even though we don’t talk about anything.”

That seemingly secular nature has been attractive to some students who have told Price they wouldn’t normally attend religious events at the university.

“It brings a lot of kids to this event weekly that would never go to another Hillel event. So, for Hillel, it helps them out a lot, because it’s getting more students involved that wouldn’t be,” Price says. “KU is a basketball school, so a lot of the students like playing basketball.”

Indeed, freshman Cory Gutovitz says that Jew Ball has been an outlet that has helped him acclimate to the strain of college life by combining two things he loves — basketball and his Jewish heritage.

“I showed up to my first week of it, and it was a lot of fun, good competition,” Gutovitz says. “It was a good outlet at the end of a long, stressful week at school to just go and play some basketball.”

Comments

Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 1 month ago

http://www.adn.com/iditarod/

Thanks Roe for the reminder! The link above is a good one to follow the race.

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Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 1 month ago

TheEleventhStephanie No it would be called Jesus Ball. Your remark was vulgar. None of the comments was about the actual article. This is a group of students who get together to do something good and positive. We all need to get more exercise. Something along this line would be a good thing for all of us.

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 1 month ago

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood...

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RoeDapple 4 years, 1 month ago

On another note...

The 38th annual Iditarod Dog Sled Race started today..

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/07/sports/07sportsbriefs-iditarod.html

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Boston_Corbett 4 years, 1 month ago

I should have figured that it would be too hard for the one-who-can-not-be named to avoid a race/religion baiting opportunity. That is part of his DNA.

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justfornow 4 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Boston_Corbett 4 years, 1 month ago

This is funny. My comment got pinked? Looks like the one-who-can-not-be-named or his architect buddy has a new handle: CyberKnight. And they are out there doing their censorship thing.

In the spirit of the humor in which the original article was written, all that Boston Corbett posted was three lines of humorous script from the movie The Big Lebowski. The actual riff went on for much longer, and reappeared in the movie multiple times. I am sure many here immediately recognized it. Obviously CyberKnight doesn't watch Coen brothers movies too much.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118715/quotes

Is the LJW really censoring cult-classic movie scripts? What's next, censoring Monte Python lines?


Walter Sobchak: I told those fks down at the league office a thousand times that I don't roll on Shabbos! Donny: What's Shabbos? Walter Sobchak: Saturday, Donny, is Shabbos, the Jewish day of rest. That means that I don't work, I don't get in a car, I don't f-ing ride in a car, I don't pick up the phone, I don't turn on the oven, and I sure as st [shouts] Walter Sobchak: don't f-ing roll! Shomer shabbos!

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bearded_gnome 4 years, 1 month ago

worth noting: when James Naismith invented basketball, he called it physical Christianity. he was a very scottish Presbyterian by the way.


coments are screwed up here! some random reposting and added numbering of preior posts! man, I think something went tilt!


Cyberknight: Surprised that Boston_Corbett is not scereming holocaust denial! over this one!

---that you Marioni? I knew they should've used garlic, a cross, and a wooden stake, all at the same time!!! dernit.

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bearded_gnome 4 years, 1 month ago

Bearded Gnome's comment is a belly buster too-"holy roller ball". Reminds me of an ex-boyfriend many years ago who dressed up as Haman for Purim one year, and the next year went dressed as a Jewish man of Biblical times, with roller skates on. Yes, Gnome, a Holy Roller! ROFLOL Cheesehead: Bearded Gnome's comment is a belly buster too-"holy roller ball". Reminds me of an ex-boyfriend many years ago who dressed up as Haman for Purim one year, and the next year went dressed as a Jewish man of Biblical times, with roller skates on. Yes, Gnome, a Holy Roller! ROFLOL

LOL!

maybe the jewish students could play basketball on rollerskates: roller jew ball?"

methodist kids: "sprinkler ball."

ranch kids: "cowball?"

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Christine Anderson 4 years, 1 month ago

Hey, I think this is a great idea. One of the previous posters has me snickering with the thought of "kosher balls". I'm sorry, I love Judaism, but just couldn't help myself. Bearded Gnome's comment is a belly buster too-"holy roller ball". Reminds me of an ex-boyfriend many years ago who dressed up as Haman for Purim one year, and the next year went dressed as a Jewish man of Biblical times, with roller skates on. Yes, Gnome, a Holy Roller! ROFLOL

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puddleglum 4 years, 1 month ago

jew ball.

I used to call people "jew boy" all the time, not knowing what the hell it meant...I just saw it on T.V. has a nice ring to it. Jihad ball....now that would be an interesting game.

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bearded_gnome 4 years, 1 month ago

or for the KU students from crazy charismatic christian churches: holy roller ball?

"tongues ball?"


I must admit that "jew ball" kinda hit me too and the first thing I wondered if this was somebody's offensive blog posting, based on the title!
oh gee, as I write I think of a now disappeareded one [MSL] ...he would be all over this thread! thank God he's gone for this one!

you kids at Jew Ball" have a great time and play hard! Rock Chalk!

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BorderRuffian 4 years, 1 month ago

I think Anna_Undercover should get in on the action. How 'bout the Stripper Ball? The team uniform could be g-strings and they could play with blue balls.

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mr_right_wing 4 years, 1 month ago

So can we call Coppaken the 'Jewess' on the team? Or is 'Jew ball' ok, but 'Jewess' is still off-limits for gentiles? I wonder if this message will get removed? I didn't intentionally commit a 'hate crime' mr. online editor! I thought it was a valid question............. I know, I know....bye bye account........... The liberals will be soooooo disappointed to see me go.

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CyberKnight 4 years, 1 month ago

Surprised that Boston_Corbett is not scereming HOLOCAUST DENIAL! over this one!

Kinky Friedman And The Texas Jewboys1

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CyberKnight 4 years, 1 month ago

As usual, Boston_Corbett is quite wrong.

Sabbath, Shabbos; Saturday to the rest of you is both the Hebrew(Jewish) and Christian Seventh Day:

20:2-20:17

8 Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.

9 For six days you shall labour and do all your work.

10 But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns.

11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and consecrated it.

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Boston_Corbett 4 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Boston_Corbett 4 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Graczyk 4 years, 1 month ago

I don't see anything hateful here, Irish. It's a silly story that lends itself to silly responses - that's all.

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TrooGrit 4 years, 1 month ago

How about Gay Ball? I mean, c'mon equal time, right?

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Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 1 month ago

Thanks Roe for the link. I found this and think it is very appropriate to posting on the Journal World.

To quote the great Arnold Palmer, “The toughest 6 inches in the game of golf is between a player’s ears”. When we realize this we can see that the fastest way to lower your score is to master your mental game.

And the toughest thing is to not let the remarks of others get to you. Does every comment on every subject have to be hateful and negative. This is just a group of kids having fun. Deal with it.

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Phil Minkin 4 years, 1 month ago

I think matzoh ball would have been better.

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TheEleventhStephanie 4 years, 1 month ago

I think this is a great way for a group of students to stay connected with their religious community. If it was called "Balls of Jesus," you'd be all over it.

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 4 years, 1 month ago

Can non-Jews say "Jew Ball" or is it only for people on the inside to call themselves that? What if they added other sports? Might there someday be a Jew-lympics?

I think they should have called it Kosher Ball, or Zion Ball. But my opinion doesn't matter since I'm not on the "inside".

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swan_diver 4 years, 1 month ago

How about Jihad Ball? Takes the competition up a notch.

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WHY 4 years, 1 month ago

I can't wait for the Muslims to start Mohamed Ball. Then they could play nicely together or have a little rivalry.

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WHY 4 years, 1 month ago

I can't wait for the Muslims to start Mohamed Ball. Then they could play nicely together or have a little rivalry.

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WHY 4 years, 1 month ago

I can't wait for the Muslims to start Mohamed Ball. Then they could play nicely together or have a little rivalry.

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Sarah Henning 4 years, 1 month ago

Cheeseburger- You're right about the different spellings. The spelling in the story is correct. I'm unable to change the graphic — the designer who created it has to do that — but I'll see if it can be done on Monday. Good catch!

Sarah Henning

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cheeseburger 4 years, 1 month ago

Katie's last name is spelled one way on the card, and another way in the story. Perhaps the writer would care to be consistent and accurate and make a correction!

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toe 4 years, 1 month ago

What a ridiculous name. What is next, anti Jew Ball?

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