Israel’s young hockey teams are thriving. Meet the Canadian who brought the sport there

Paul Shindman, all laced up. Shindman is the founder of the Israel Ice Hockey and Figure Skating Association, which gave way to the country's first national hockey organization. (Supplied photo)

In 1988, Paul Shindman founded an unlikely organization in the Middle East: the Israel Ice Hockey and Figure Skating Association. The Canadian expat became the country’s first “hockey madrich“, overseeing the development, recruitment and growth of the sport in Israel. Shindman joins the Menschwarmers to tell his story, describe how quickly Israeli kids laced up on the ice, and showcase how far the country has evolved—to the point that their youth teams are now winning competitions on the world stage.

Plus, Gabe and James recap Israel’s promising fall at the World Baseball Classic and the disappointing lack of Jewish basketball players competing in this year’s NBA playoffs.


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.