Israel’s new women’s hockey team lost badly in their international debut—but they’re ready for more

Israel's brand-new national women's hockey team. (Photo courtesy Esther Silver/Facebook)

It’s estimated that about 50 women currently play hockey in Israel—at any level. There are no professional women’s leagues. But despite these challenges, last summer, Esther Silver decided to try to get a national women’s team together. The Toronto native used to play goalie in amateur games before moving to the Holy Land. She organized tryouts, and the Canadian embassy came through with financial support for some of the equipment.

Last week, the fledgling national team arrived in Belgrade, Serbia, to lace up for a three-day tournament against other European countries. Israel scored just a single goal in the entire round robin, compared with 21 goals they allowed. But the team hopes their international debut will serve them well in their next challenge: competing in this summer’s Maccabiah Games.

To talk about their struggles and successes, we’re joined by manager Esther Silver, 16-year-old centre Pnina Basov and team captain Chen Kotler.

What we talked about:


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Victoria Redden is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To learn how to support the show by subscribing to this podcast, please watch this video.