Now Available!  Rabbi Mitchell Smith's Inspiring and Entertaining Book:


Baseballs, Basketballs and Matzah Balls:

What Sports Can Teach Us About the Jewish Holidays ... and Vice Versa


Called “compelling and entertaining” by CBS Sports Final Four guru Seth Davis, and “insightful and inspirational” by former NFL player and Fox TV analyst Tim Green, Baseballs, Basketballs and Matzah Balls: What Sports Can Teach Us About the Jewish Holidays … and Vice Versa explores the world of sports – of contests and heroes, of triumph and adversity – and examines how they relate to the festivals that Jews have celebrated for thousands of years.

Baseballs, Basketballs and Matzah Balls was written by Rabbi Mitch Smith, the founder of the Center for Sport and Jewish Life, who is the Director of Sport Psychology Services at Florida Atlantic University.

In the pages of Baseballs, Basketballs and Matzah Balls, you will hear from Moses, Michael Jordan and Mordecai Kaplan, Phil Jackson and Philo Judaeus, Hammerin’ Hank Greenberg and Theodor Herzl, Rabbi Moses Maimonides and Reggie Miller. You will hear, too, from Bill Bradley and Boris Becker, Gary Player and Grant Hill, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Abraham Joshua Heschel, Rafael Nidal, Red Auerbach and Rabbi Akiba.

Among the chapters:

Sukkot: Remembering Simpler Times: Why a central message of Sukkot is enthusiastically espoused by winning college coaches.

Miracles of the Spirit: What quality led the Maccabees to victory over the Syrians and explains why some athletes make it in the world of professional sports and other, equally gifted athletes do not?

A Purim Perspective on Competitive Anger: Why do so many athletes lose their cool – just like the villainous Haman did – and become their own worst enemies?

Coach K and the Meaning of Passover: How Mike Krzyzewski’s success helps us to understand the fundamental message of the Exodus.

The insights that emerge in this unique volume will not only give the reader a greater appreciation of the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat,” but also of the Jewish people’s remarkable journey through the ages.


Here is what some individuals have had to say about Baseballs, Basketballs and Matzah Balls:

”A compelling, entertaining and ultimately illuminating work that will stir the hearts and intellect of Jews and non-Jews alike.  It will, above all, remind you that God is indeed everywhere, as long as you know where to look.”         

 – From the Foreword by Seth Davis, Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports

“Rabbi Mitch Smith has written a book that gives all sports fans occasion to think about the meaning of sacrifice, teamwork, leadership and other virtues in a different light.”

–  Bud Selig, Commissioner, Major League Baseball

“This book is a great read!  In exemplifying how athletic performances and Olympic dreams can relate to everyday concerns and challenges, it offers all of us a roadmap to becoming more productive and fulfilled human beings.”

– Lenny Krayzelburg, 4-time Olympic Gold Medalist

“Informative, insightful and inspirational… Mitch Smith scores on every level with this tonic for the soul.”

Tim Green, former defensive end, Atlanta Falcons, Fox Sports NFL analyst, and author of 18 books

“A MUST-READ! Mitch Smith brings age-old traditions and texts to life, and conveys how concepts like team work, resilience, and the refusal to succumb to defeat -- mainstays in sports -- have not only allowed the Jewish people to weather history’s storms, but to constantly engage in self-renewal.  To paraphrase the old Levy’s Rye Bread ad, you don’t have to be Jewish to love this book.”

 – Dr. Richard Lapchick, Director, Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, University of Central Florida




To order your copy, send a check or money order payable to "Center for Sport and Jewish Life" for $20.95 per paperback copy, or $26.95 per hardcover copy, plus $4.95 shipping/handling for 1 copy (shipping for 2 books is $6.95 and for 3 books is $7.95)*,  to:

Center for Sport and Jewish Life    

255 NE 3rd Avenue # 408

Delray Beach, FL 33444

Rabbi Smith will autograph copies with  a personalized message on request.

*For more than 3 copies discount information, contact Rabbi Smith at