Skip To Content
Israel News

Tennis Players Serve the Community

Don’t tell Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich that Jews are a bunch of uncoordinated klutzes. The Israeli tennis duo — the No. 6 ranked doubles team in the world — is determined to prove that Jewish athleticism is no contradiction in terms. Earlier this week, the pair announced the formation of the Jewish Sports Foundation, an organization that will provide scholarships to young American Jewish athletes in need of financial assistance, allowing them to pursue and excel in sports.

Erlich and Ram, who formed their partnership in 2003 and are set to hit the courts in New York this week for the U.S. Open, have been a top-10 doubles team since 2005. Ram is the first Israeli in history to win a Grand Slam title, and both players have received support from American tennis programs in Israel.

“We wanted to give back to the Jewish community in the States,” Erlich told The Shmooze. “We’re starting in the States, and maybe [someday] we’ll be worldwide.”

In the beginning, the program will focus on providing scholarships to younger kids who seek to play on teams in schools, youth groups and summer camps, but as the program grows, Erlich and Ram hope to expand their reach to athletes in college. And the program isn’t exclusively for tennis players.

“We’re starting with tennis because… we know many coaches [and] people” in the tennis world, but “we want to include… all different sports. Definitely not only tennis,” Erlich said.

“As sportsmen traveling around the world, we don’t find many Jewish athletes,” Ram noted. “I want to see more Jews in the future doing sports and getting to the top.”


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.