Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

2 Orthodox Women Aim for Boxing Glory

One Sunday evening last month, two 18-year-old girls were kicking punching bags at the Jerusalem sports center, located beneath the stands at Teddy Stadium.

Nili Block, whose family is American, long-limbed, lean and muscular, in a blue tank top and black sweatpants, was hunched over a red bag. Her ponytail waving wildly, strands of hair plastered to her perspiring face, she flayed it with her legs in a blur of furious precision. On the other side of the gym, Sarah Avraham, tall and athletic, ran to a punching bag, hugged it and leaned her head against it, then leaped up and kneed it ruthlessly.

“Careful! Careful!” the trainer, Eddie Yusupov warns him. “Come on, Nili − push, push, push!” Block is in fact injured and is not supposed to exercise her legs for another week, but when Yusupov shouts “Sprint!” she lowers her head and races for the wall.

Sarah Avraham is the 2013 Israeli champion in Thai boxing for women and also now the world champion in her weight class ‏(57-63 kilos‏). At the same time − at the 10th Amateur / Pro-Am Muay Thai Championships in Bangkok last March − Nili Block became the world champion in the flyweight class ‏(50.5-53.5 kilos‏), and afterward also in kickboxing.

Until about a month ago, on top of their training the two also attended an ulpana, a high school for Orthodox girls. Avraham immigrated from India four years ago with her family, who are converts to Judaism. Block’s dream is to take part in the Olympic Games of 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

For more go to Haaretz




    NY-12 Candidate Forum


    Aug 10, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    Will the last Jew left in New York’s congressional delegation be reelected? Will New York’s senior congresswoman receive another term? Or will one of the newcomers upend Manhattan politics?

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit the Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, images, and credit to the Foward. Have questions? Please email us at

We don't support Internet Explorer

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