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PAGE 14A New book focuses on seculari: as religious," says Ben-Porat, author and lecturer in BGU's Department of Public Policy and Administration in the Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management. "This is often occurring alongside those who describe themselves as the secular ones, in which they are the minority." In "Between State and Synagogue," Ben-Porat dis- cusses how a thriving, yet small, liberal component in Israeli society has frequently taken issue with the con- straints imposed by religious orthodoxy, largely with limited success. However, secularization has occurred in recent years, largely because of demographic changes and the influence of an increasingly consumer- oriented society. Israelis, who describe themselves as secular or non-religious have either begrudgingly accepted the rules and regulations imposed by the Orthodox, or attempted to defy religious authority in various ways described in this book as "secularization." Entrepreneurial activity and individual choices that make up this secularization HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 12, 2013 ! BEERSHEVA, Israel- Dramatic secularization changes have occurred in significant aspects of Israelis' public and private lives, according to a new book, "Between State and Synagogue" (Cambridge University), by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) professor Guy Ben- Porat. "Rather than adopt a coherent religious or secu- lar identity, the majority of Jewish Israelis continue to maintain at least some beliefs, identities and prac- tices that can be described By Bob Jacob Cleveland Jewish News The love 'affair between Naama Shafir and the city of Toledo, Ohio, began five years ago. That's when the 18-year- old girl from Hoshaya, Israel, packed her bags and went to the Glass City. She knew no one there and knew little English. Little did she know that she would emerge as the greatest player in Toledo women's basketball history. So, how did Shafir arrive from that tiny community of about 350 families halfway be'een Haifa and Tiberius to the city of Toledo, with its more than 250,000 residents, and the University of Toledo, with its more than 18,000 students? The year was 2008 and the Rockets were in desperate need of a point guard. That's when a friend of coach Tricia Cullop told her she needed to check out video of Shafir. The rest is history. "I talked to a lot of people," Cullop told the Cleveland Jewish News during the Mid-American Conference Women's Basketball Tour- nament two weeks ago at Quicken Loans Arena, where her top-seeded Rockets were upset by fourth-seeded and eventual champion Central Michigan, 66-61, in the semifinals. "We needed a point guard very badly. I called all around :ion in Israeli life proces.s are often unrelated to a secular worldview or identity and are not con- sidered to be political by those undertaking them. In addition, this process occurs outside formal po- litical channels and is not registered in formal changes. Yet, theyhave amounted to new secularized spaces that affect everyday life. "Even though these fis- sures often have more to do with lifestyle choices and economics than with po- litical or religious ideology, the demands and choices of a secular public and a For Naama and Toledo, it's the world, all around the nation, and we found out about Naama. She came to the unive'sity and into the United States for the first time ever on her official visit. Actually, itwas avisit to come to school. She trusted us that much with her father. We're very grateful that she chose Toledo and has been here for five years now." Cullop knew Shafir could play basketball, but she knew little, if anything, about Or- thodox Judaism. "I had to go through a learning curve, but we had plenty of people in the city of Toledo that educated us very quickly," said Cullop, a three-time MAC coach of the year. "We did a lot of home- work, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I'd take another Naama Shafir any day." Many coaches deal in wins and losses exclusively, but Cullop had to deal with more. What were some of the issues that confronted her and the Rockets? "I think the main thing is just making sure that she got to the site we were going to play at Friday before sundown and that we had transporta- tion for her after sundown " on Saturday, like we'll have to do today," said Cullop on March 15. It's also meant providing Shafir with kosher meals and the proper attire for her to cover her shoulders. "But to be honest, all those things are very minute Naama Shafir (4) was the first Orthodox female basketball player to receive an NCAA Division I scholarship. compared to probably all the adjustments she had to make to bearound us," C.ullop said. The stories have been told in Sports Illustrated, USA Today, The New York Times, CNN, The Associated Press and Countless others. Shafir keeps kosher-not an easy thing when traveling for road games. There was the time when a restaurant refused to heat up her meal, so the entire team took their meals out and ate with Shafir. Since she couldn't travel in a motorized vehicle on Shal- bat, she and a teammate or coach would arrive prior to sundown Shabbat. There were times she had to walk miles from a hotel to the arena for a Saturday after- noon game. And, of course, Shafir couldn't use a hotel room keycard, push an eleva- tor button or do anything else that required electricity. Over time, more Shafir stories will become legend. Others already are. AI FLORIDA Caring for you in your home or facility part.time or 24 hours 7 days a week. We always provide a C.N.A. I Like the time in 2011 when she erupted for 40 points to lead Toledo to the Wom- en's NIT championship over Southern California, 78-68. That game was played before more than 7,000 screaming fans at the campus' Savage Arena. For her efforts, she was rewardedwith the tourna- ment's most valuable player ' award-but thenwalked home without granting postgame interviews until after Shabbat. Then there's the story that legends are made of-literally. It's been reported that a rabbi told Shafir it's OK to take the court on Shabbat because it's considered play but that she couldn't practice because that's work. Shafir, the daughter of Shiomit and Itzik, has four brothers and four sisters and grew up playing basketball whenever she could. "I always loved playing sports with my friends, with the boys, my older siblings," Shafir told the CJN. "I just love basketball. "I learned how to be quick- er and be aware of what's go- ing on all the time. It's better competition." Watching her in the MAC semifinals, one could see why she has been the heart and soul of the Rockets. As the four-time all-league player goes, so go the Rockets. And it's easy to see why Toledo's Jewish community fell in love with this 23-year- old, a pony-tailed, scrappy kid whose smile can light up a room, "We fell in love with Naa- ma." said Sharon Ravin of Sylvania, a Toledo suburb, who displayed an Israeli flag inside The Q. "We met her at our (Orthodox) shul, Congregation Etz Chayim. We got two to three dozen people from the synagogue to buy season tickets to make Naama feel like home." It worked. "They've been very sup- portive and they made me feel like I'm home," Shafir said of Toledo's Jewish community. With a heavy Israeli accent, her father said, "From the Laundry Range of Motion Exercises Walking Assistance Companion Services Light housekeeping Meal prep and clean-up Medication Reminders burgeoning religious pres- ence in the government are becoming ever more difficult to reconcile," Ben-Porat observes. The evidence, which the author has accrued from numerous interviews and a detailed survey, is nowhere more telling than in areas that demand/religious sanction, such as marriage, burial, the sale of pork, and business op- eration on the Sabbath. This book makes an important and timely contribution to the study of contemporary Israeli society as new alli- ances are being forged in the Bathing/Transferdng/Toileting Get 10 hours of care FREE/ Call us TODAY for details... ww ftor00da hom ec ompa o:coo o 0 State of FL.AHOA Lioen.o,e # NR 3021146? State of FkAHCAticense# 231012 Insured and bonded political arena. It discusses the impact and limitations of this secularization process in regard to the liberalization of Israeli society. Ben-Porat has been with the Department of Public Policy and Administration at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev since 2001. He is also the author of "Global Liberalism, Local Populism: Peace and Conflict in Israel/ Palestine and Northern Ire- land;" a co-author of"Israel Since t980;" and co-editor of "The Contradictions of Israeli Citizenshipi Land, Religion and State." en a love affair beginning, they are very sup- portive. Everyone we asked here, helped us. They really loved her." Ravin and her husband, Beryl, have seen attendance double to more than 4,000 on a regular basis when the women take the court. Many of them come. to see one person-co-captain Shafir, the 5-foot-7 sparkplug who was granted a fifth year of eligibility after tearing her anterior cruciate ligament in November 2011. Shafir rarely disappoints the crowd, skillfully find- ing an open teammate for an easy shot, diving to the fl6or for a loose ball, taking a charge, reaching in to make a steal, swishing a 3-pointer or calmly sinking a tough layup. She can do it all, She's the main reason the Rockets were 26-3 during the regular season and top-seed- ed for the MAC tournament. "It's great. I love it. I wish I had a better ending, but I loved it," Shafir said of her collegiate career following Toledo's heartbreaking loss to-Central Michigan. She was looking forward to a MAC championship and automatic bid to the NCAA Women's Tournament. That dream ended as the Rockets struggled against Central Michigan, with Shafir scoring 15 points in 39-plus minutes of play. She made her first two shots but finished just 6-of- 21 from the field, including 2-of-6 from 3-point land. She grabbed seven rebounds but had only one assist and one steal while uncharacteristi- cally committing five turn- overs. Despite all that, the Rockets trailed 62-61 with 34 seconds left, and had a few chances to win the game. "We still have more games to play," an optimistic Shafir said. "We lost today, but had a great season. We lost three games and won 27. "It's hard, because I want this so bad for five years," she said as she fought back tears. "I mean it's not going to be easy because that's not the way we want to finish this tournament, butwe know we have more games to come, and I mean every game with this group will be fun to prepare for, and it's going to take a little bit of time, but. we're going to be excited for what's next." Shafir hoped for-a better ending in the MAC tourney, especially with a personal cheering section that in- cluded her parents and her brother Eliezer. After seeing only a handful of games in person-they watched all by Internet except those played on Shabbat-they spent about two weeks in the states and saw Shafir's emotional final home regular-season game at Savage Arena the previous week. Her mother said in broken English "It's very difficult. But we saw her with the In- ternet, the games and Skype. "She's stay Naama. She's stay Naama, but she grow up. She's now 23 years old. When she came here, she was 18 years old. She learned English." Shafir, who speaks English well, returns to Hoshaya every summer, and last year the entire Rockets team took ,an educational and bonding trip to Israel. Meanwhile, her- parents keep her up-to-date on the latest developments in the Middle East. "Every time I .talk to my family, they tell me what's going on," said Shafir, who has spent holidays in Univer- sity Heights with  the Gold- berg family. "And everything sounds a lot worse when you're not there, so they kind of keep me updated; and it's fine. Despite everything that she has accomplished on the hardwood, Shafir doesn't see herself as a role model for young, Jewish girls. "That's not my intention," she said. "I'm just playing basketball. If younger kids looking up to me, and see, oh, I can play basketball as Jewish ... I'll be happy. But that wasn't my goal." Cullop, meanwhile, knows replacing Shafir won't be easy. "Naama's been the heart and soul of our program," she said. "She's an outstanding player, but even more so, she's a classy kid and an outstand- ing leader. I'm very grateful and honored that I've had the chance to coach her." Shafir, who is expected to graduate in May with a degree in business manage- ment, hopes to continue her career as a professional in the WNBA, in Israel or in Europe. "I'm waiting 'til t.he season is over to make decisions," she said. "I just know I want to keep playing basketball." The season continued March 21 when the Rock- ets beat Butler, 63-49, in a Women's NIT game af- ter being snubbed by the Women's NCAA Tourna- ment. The Rockets then beat Youngstown State, 61-43, to advance into Round 3 against Illinois, where they lost, 63- 55, in Toledo on March 28. Bob Jacob is the manag- ing editor of the Cleveland Jewish News