Newspaper Archive of
Heritage Florida Jewish News
Fern Park , Florida
February 13, 2009     Heritage Florida Jewish News
PAGE 15     (15 of 20 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
PAGE 15     (15 of 20 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
February 13, 2009

Newspaper Archive of Heritage Florida Jewish News produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2019. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.

HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, FEBRUARY 13, 2009 PAGE 15A By Ron Kaplan New Jersey Jewish News If at first you don't suc- ceed... Where the Israel Base- ball League failed after one season in 2007. the Israel Association of Baseball be- lieves a new group, headed by Marvin Goldklang, might have a better shot. In addition to Goldklang--a part owner of the New York Yankees and principal owner of several minor-league teams the group includes Jeffrey Rosen. owner of the Mac- cabi Haifa Heat Professional Basketball Club of the Israeli Premier League and chair of Triangle Financial Services. and other prominent individu- als involved in Major League Baseball and other sports. The initial agreement would permit the group to conduct due diligence regarding both marketing and facility objectives to determine the long-term economicviability ofaprofes- sional league. As part of the arrangement, the group also would provide financial and other support for the Israeli and international amateur baseball programs operated by the lAB. With their deep sports backgrounds. Goldklang and Rosen, who were involved in the short-lived IBL. seem like naturals to head up the new enterprise, which is not expected to begin play for at least another year. Baseball in Israel is at-bat again "The IAB is very excited about working with Marv Goldklang and his partners." said Haim Katz, chair of the lAB, in a statement. "We feel the concepts that he promotes in sports, includ- ing unique entertainment features designed to appeal even to non-baseball fans, can revolutionize not only baseball in Israel but other sports as well." Katz also praised Rosen as "committed to promot- ing sports in Israel and has a proven record of success by taking the Maccabi Heat basketball team in just one year from the doldrums of the lower league to prime- time recognition in the Israel premier basketball league." Why does Katz believe this new venture will succeed when the previous attempt failed? "The IAB has learned many lessons from its experience with the IBL, and our decision to move forwardwith this new group was not taken lightly," he said. "We feel this group is composed of high-caliber, professional, experienced and very reputable individuals. They are.., investing their own at this point and performing all the necessary groundwork required to protect their potential investment and develop a viable structure for professional baseball in Israel. We have no doubt that there is no better group to carry out this task and we look forward to building baseball in Israel with them." Miles to go "Obviously. there's work yet to be done." said Goldklang in a telephone interview with NJ Jewish News from his business headquarters in Florham Park. N.J. "We'll have the funding that may not have existed in the case of the old IBL, and certainly I thinkwe have the operational background and experience. "There's no question it's a challenge certainly to make this a financial success, which we certainly intend to do. but I think we have the ingredients to make it work." Goldklang said the first issue involved creating a fan base. "The focus is to appeal not only to olim or people who are there in tour groups from the U.S. and Canada. but to the native Israeli lopulation, and I don't think that's something the old IBL really did." he said. "That's the one major dif- ference. We're going to have a fairly heavy emphasis on creating an atmosphere inside the ballpark that is attractive and enjoyable to people who are not baseball fans." The other component. which he said would be more challenging, was developing facilities. The original IBL played at three locations the Yarkon Sports Complex at the Baptist Village in Petach Tikva; Gezer Field, just out- side Jerusalem; and Sportek Baseball Field in Tel Aviv which Goldklang descried as "not suitable for [NCAA] Division III college, or perhaps even high school." The new venture will look into eight possible locations, including Tel Aviv. Jerusalem, Ra'anana. Modi'in. Beit Sh- emesh, Netanya, Haifa. and Sha'ar HaNegev region near Ashkelon. "If we can develop a suc- cessful strategy to build two or three ballparks among those eight markets. I think it's a go," he said. "I would be reasonably confident that combined with marketing strategies that we'll be devel- oping, that we can create a reality of a league of at least six teams, a league that people would view as being success- ful in all its dimensions, not simply on the field." Goldklang also said the new venture had to do a better job working with the Israeli media. "There's no question we will need to establish credibility that this will be a league that will not only be well funded, will not only be operated by people who are experienced and who have been successful in sports, but also a league that is in its own right successful. That's not going to happen overnight, but I believe given what we have to work with--we can make it happen." Looking down the road, Goldklang said he dreamed of a day when Israel. comprised of Jewish major leaguers, Ron Kaplan Marvin Goldklang (right), with his son Jeff, managing director of the Goldklang Group, is heading a new initiative to examine once again the viability of professional baseball in Israel. participated in the World Baseball Classic. Andrew Wilson, a spokes- man for Triangle Sports, told the NJJN the new project was already on better footing because of the reputations of Goldklang and Rosen. "Jeff's No. 1 passion is base- ball," Wilson said. "Triangle Sports was never meant to be just basketball, it was to be involved in multiple sports. "We have a significant staff in Haifa. Right now it's going to be the due diligence that never took place" the first time around. "We're pretty excited about it now that the IAB has granted us this opportunity." Ron Kaplan is the features editor of the New Jersey Jewish News from which this article was reprinted by permission. Read the Jewish News online at Be a PresentTense fellow and change the world Got an idea for a project? A tech project that will trans- form Jewish communities? Or do you or someone you know have the itch to launch a new social venture in Jewish education, technology, social action or environmental justice? The PresenTense Institute. the leading center for early-stage social entrepre- neurs who seek to impact the Jewish people and the world. is accepting applications for its 2009 cohort. The PresenTense Institute's six-week Jerusalem-based bootcamp for social entrepre- neurs held annually (and this year from June 15 to July 26) is geared for those individu- als who seek to change the world with their projects. Its perfected program teaches the practical skills social entrepreneurs need to suc- ceed in launching new ven- tures-and the mentorship and coaching relationships it develops can last past one's project, for a lifetime. Special scholarships are available in Online Commu- nity Organizing, Educational Technology, Israeli Civic En- gagement, Education Innova- tion, Organizational Greening and and Israel Education. Sponsored chairs include the Covenant Foundation, Josh and Rena Kopelman Foundation, Sheldon andAnat Wipranik and Israel Center. Fellows accepted receive scholarship to cover tuition-- and can apply for residency for the course of the summer. And for all those Jewish hackers, PresentTense asks: "Are you one of the People of the Code?" Do you have a project you've been dying to launch? Check out the PresenTense Institute. a six-week summer institute running from June 15 until July 26 in Jerusalem. "Dedi- cated to transforming the way the Jewish people think, pro- gram and work. PresenTense runs a research and develop- ment shop for social pioneers inspired by a fusion of the best of contemporary hi-tech busi- ness practices and the vision of Zionist thinkers across the ideological spectrum such as Ahad Haam. A.D. Gordon and Zeev Jab0tinsky.'" "We're seeking innova- tors on the cutting edge of creativity," says the or- ganization's press release. "Programmers and design- ers. informal educators and school vice principals. nonprofit managers and biotechvisionaries anyone with a vision and a portfolio of innovation. Know any of these? Are you one? Join us now! Institute fellows are in- troduced to the best and the brightest of Israel's hi-tech, social and political circles-- giving birth to a network of Zionist thinkers and doers: Chalutz 2.0." Learn more on www.pre- or e- mail institute@presentense. org to set up a conversation. First round applications are due Feb. 15. FEATURING OLYMPIC, WORLD & NATIONAL CHAMPIONS Special Guest KIMMIE MEISSNER, U.S. & World Champion SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 3 PM AMWAY ARENA Tickets: 407-839-3900 Groups(10+): 407-849-2014 Kids and Senior Discounts 4 DIAMONDSHARK" an Ii0000tG event t(cketmaster THE J\\;'ELKY DEALA PA' ,FF: Boys & Girls Clubs of America will receive a donation for every ticket sold. Date and skaters subject to change. Smucker's is a registced trademark of The J.M Smucker Company Stars on Ice and logo ere trademarks of International Merchandising Corporation. 2009 All Rnts Reserved.