January 31, 2024

21 Shevat 5784

Tanzman is a basketball tournament that is so much more than a basketball tournament. It is a celebration not so much of basketball but of community. If you looked at the stands on the first night of the tournament, you saw ECC students and high schoolers, current parents and alumni parents, teachers, former coaches, and alumni, grandparents and even four generations of Tanzmans!

There is always great energy when the Farber team does well, and during the first three games of the tournament, they did well enough to secure a spot in the finals. The fans were raucous (but appropriate), the energy was magnetic, and the camaraderie was palpable. But the success of the tournament went so much further than just cheering on the Farber team. The entire high school was involved in one or another aspect of planning the tournament, including three student co-commissioners in senior Micah Adler and juniors Elianna Jacobs and Gideon Lopatin. The entire Young Israel of Southfield community was involved in hosting the six teams and 90 players and coaches. Southfield kids rooted on not just Farber but also the players who stayed at their homes, in one of the more adorable parts of the tournament. Alumni, alumni parents, teachers, rebbeim, current students and current parents all came out in large numbers to celebrate together. The tournament showed the Detroit Jewish community at its very finest, which is why we get such tremendous interest in the tournament from other schools. Every small school wants to be a part of this!

There is another part to the tournament that makes it special. Most basketball tournaments have an aspect of tribalism to them - teams stick with each other and try to show up one another. There may be some united sense of purpose around Israel, but not as much camaraderie and personal interaction among players as one might hope. Not so of Tanzman - one of the hallmarks of this tournament is the extent to which the players get to know each other (or renew acquaintances), how much they form friendships, enjoy spending time together, davening together and supporting each other. Competitors on the court, they are comrades off of it in a special testament to the small, midwestern day schools.

The tournament also shows what an incredible asset Naomi Gardin is to the school. She takes care of so many of the details and makes it look effortless, even as it requires a massive effort. The whole event went so smoothly, and that is in large part due to Naomi’s incredible planning. It was very poignant that members of the community anonymously dedicated the lead sponsorship to the memory of Moishe Goldstein, z”l, on the occasion of his shloshim, which was yesterday. 

There are so many people to thank - hopefully, I have actually thanked everyone directly - but I want to end by thanking the community as a whole for embracing the concept of a basketball tournament and for being such great and willing hosts, great fans, and wonderful supporters.

Final Standings:

Mazal Tov!!

1st place - Mizrachi Mayhem (Cleveland)

2nd place - Farber Fire (Detroit)

3rd place - YOC Knights (Toronto)

4th place - Hillel Heat (PIttsburgh)

5th place - DAT Wolves(Denver)

6th place - CTA Lions(Columbus)

Mazal Tov to the All Star Team

Sam Bernzweig - CTA

Daniel Fiedler - DAT

Nathan Greenbaum - Or Chaim

Yona Itzkowitz - Hillel

Jonas Singer - Farber

Coby Marocco - Fuchs

Sportsmanship Award

Boaz Harrow - CTA


Nate Jacobs - Fuchs

Skills award winners

Hot shot - Ari Schon and Micah Adler - Farber

Shooting Stars - Yoyo Bindell - CTA

Three point shooting -(in crocs! )- Nate Jacobs

Thank you Aaron Pergament and Elianna Jacobs (and her team) for the wonderful pictures and to Amy Hager for organizing all of the pictures!

Click here to look at pictures taken throughout the tournament

Thank you so much to our host families and to our sponsors!

Our host families

Solomon and Gabrielle Benaderet
Dr. Daniel and Molly Brystowski
Dr. David and Ayelet Ellenbogen
Josh and Jessica Faber
Ari and Monica Fischman
Naomi Gardin
Dr. Craig and Miri Gertner
Asher and Brittney Goldberg
Adam and Estee Goldberg
Dr. Nathan Gonik and Dr. Liz Dubey
Dr. Bernie and Cookie Gonik
Dr. Ari and Shirli Gotlib
Moshe and Naomi Gottesfeld
Dr. Eliot and Carrie Husarsky
Daniel and Hunny Khodorkovsky
Rabbi Ira and Mrs. Rachel Kosowsky
Dr. Steven and Rachie Lefkowitz
Ari and Vicki Mendelson
Randy and Rebecca Modell
Rabbi David and Dr. Mindy Polsky
Dr. Jon and Sarah Prostak
Joey and Chaya Selesny
Erie and Rebecca Skoczylas
Dovid and Elisheva Walz
Ephraim and Dr. Marganit Weinberg
Joseph and Atara Wolfson
Farber Hebrew Day School - Yeshivat Akiva | 21100 West 12 Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076