More than 120 Jewish high school students had the opportunity to meet with Auburn University men’s basketball Head Coach Bruce Pearl at a NCSY Shabbaton earlier this month.

At Alabama-based Auburn, Orthodox Jewish teens from the international youth group spent the weekend enjoying activities such as a basketball clinic with Pearl and the Auburn Tigers, and cheering them on at the team’s opening game against George Mason University.

Other activities included volunteering at a food bank and visiting a facility that offers animal therapy for children with special needs. The weekend was organized in partnership with Athletes for Israel.

The NCSY/Athletes for Israel Auburn Experience was held in part to show appreciation for Pearl’s pro-Israel efforts. Last summer, he sent his team on a 10-day Birthright-style trip to Israel. The team toured Israel and played against three Israeli basketball teams. His courtside pro-Israel speech when the Tigers played against the Jewish state’s national team in Israel was widely shared on social media.

Pearl is a co-founder of the Jewish Coaches Association and coached in the 2009 Maccabiah Games.

NCSY, the youth movement of the Orthodox Union, is dedicated to connecting and empowering Jewish teens.

JNS

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