8 crazy Jewish sports stories to recap 2023

Israeli MMA fighter Natan Levy, right, agreed to fight a right-wing troll who posted antisemitic comments online in a match that became one of the highlights of 2023 in Jewish sports. (Screenshot courtesy of Natan Levy/YouTube)

Hanukkah is a festival of light, hope, gambling with dreidels (maybe a sport?) and remembrance—and so, this week, in the final episode of our Jewish sports podcast Menschwarmers for 2023, we remember eight crazy Jewish sports stories from a great year.

Our list includes shout-outs for the historic Canadian Open held at the Oakdale Golf & Country Club and Israel’s triumphs in baseball and soccer; individual mazel tovs for rising stars like the Blue Jays’ Spencer Horwitz, the three hockey Hughes brothers and MMA fighter Natan Levy; and breakdowns of more recent stories, like Mark Cuban selling the Dallas Mavericks.

So grab a latke, gather round the hanukkiah and settle in for a candlelit recap of the year 2023 in Jewish sports.


Menschwarmers is hosted by James Hirsh and Gabe Pulver, and produced and edited by Michael Fraiman. Our intro music is by Coby Lipovitch, and our outro music is “Organ Grinder Swing” by chēēZ π. This show is a member of The CJN Podcast Network. Follow the Menschwarmers on Twitter @menschwarmers or TikTok @menschwarmers. Support the show by subscribing to this podcast or donating to The CJN.