Seven Jewish fun facts about the 2019 Women’s World Cup!

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Seven Jewish fun facts about the 2019 Women’s World Cup!

 There aren’t any Jewish players at this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, but there are still plenty of fun kosher facts about the tournament!

Claudia Winkleman takes a selfie as she meets the Lionesses!
Claudia Winkleman takes a selfie as she meets the Lionesses!

 There aren’t any Jewish players that we know of at this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, which runs from June 7 to July 7 in France.

The top-ranked U.S. team is looking to win its second Cup in a row and fourth all time.

But there are still plenty of fun Jewish facts about the tournament, which we’ve rounded up for you below.

  1. Telemundo’s Jewish team 

Two of the three main play-by-play announcers for Telemundo, the Spanish language network, are Jewish: Andrés Cantor, an Argentine Jew, and Sammy Sadovnik, a Peruvian Jew. Football fans around the world know them for their famous “goooooooooooal” calls.

They’ll both be calling the action for Telemundo, the U.S.’ second-largest Spanish-language channel (behind only Univision).

Sadovnik, who visits Israel yearly, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency there’s no difference between calling the men’s and women’s world cups.

“The sport is the same, the players, it’s 11 versus 11. I mean, 99 percent [of the time] we call men’s games, but it’s the same sport and the same passion for the football.”

  1. Israel didn’t qualify, but an Israeli player will be in the tournament.

Israel women’s national football team, established in 1997, has never qualified for a World Cup. However, there is one international player who plays on an Israeli club in the tournament this year: Sashana Campbell, a Jamaican midfielder. Campbell currently plays for the Israeli club Maccabi Kishronot Hadera FC.

“Playing in Israel is amazing; there are a lot more girls in Israel who want to play and I think the support is substantial for the leagues over there when compared to here,” the 28-year-old told the Jamaica Observer, comparing Israel to Jamaica. “I have never felt left out. The team is like a family to me and, yes, we do get homesick at times, but thankfully I am in the beautiful part of the country, so there is not much concern about violence.”

  1. Carli Lloyd’s high school coach was a Holocaust survivor.

Star Carli Lloyd has played for the U.S. since 2005, and she will be a co-captain of her country’s team for the tournament. She isn’t Jewish, but her high school coach was. In fact, Rudi Klobach was born in the Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1944. He survived and moved to the U.S. when he was only four years old.

“That’s my girl,” he would say while watching Lloyd play. He passed away in January 2015.

“He was never surprised at her success because she had always been so driven,” Barbara Klobach, his wife, told The New York Times in 2015. “He liked coaching her because she was so serious about the game.”

  1. A former Jewish U.S. national team player heads a players’ association.

Yael Averbuch, a Jewish football player who previously played for the U.S. women’s national team, announced she was suspending her playing career prior to the 2019 season. However, she remains very involved with the National Women’s Football League (the top women’s league in the U.S.).

In 2019, Averbuch was named executive director of the National Women’s Football League Players Association (NWSPLA), an association she helped form in 2017. The players in the National Women’s Football League who don’t make the national team make far less than those representing the U.S. in the World Cup. Averbuch’s association advocates for those players, making her a big part of the larger fight for equality in U.S. women’s football.

Another Yael fun fact: her husband, Aaron West, a football writer, will host a daily show from Paris called “FIFA Women’s World Cup Now” on Twitter for Fox Sports.

“You get my crazy football thoughts directly to your phone in real-time — this time live on video in front of the Eiffel Tower,” West explained.

Averbuch and West married in a Jewish wedding on April 27, 2019.

  1. A Jewish TV host stars in a World Cup ad.

There’s a host of amazing World Cup-themed ads this year, including an epic Nike one. Another one involves a famous Jewish TV personality. Claudia Winkleman — reportedly the highest paid woman at the BBC, where she has been a presenter for multiple shows — stars in a fun advertisement for the Head & Shoulders shampoo brand with players from the England team.


  1. Volkswagen, a new ally in the fight against antisemitism, has a major presence.

Volkswagen’s logo will be prominently displayed on all the training jerseys for the U.S. team, as part of a major partnership between U.S. Football and the German car company. Why is this a Jewish story? Well, it’s kind of an antisemitic one. Volkswagen was founded as “the People’s Car” during the Third Reich. (Here’s a solid history.)

However, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said this week that the company is dedicated to fighting antisemitism, particularly in Europe.

“Volkswagen has because of its history, and our history in the Second World War, we have an obligation to care about antisemitism and racism,” Herbert Diess told JTA. “We have more obligation than others. The whole company was built up by the Nazi regime.”

  1. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a big fan of the U.S. women’s squad.

At the SheBelieves Cup, an invitational tournament, earlier this year, the U.S. women’s team players put the names of inspirational women on their jerseys. Defender Becky Sauerbrunn chose Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

View this post on Instagram

Note-orious RBG

A post shared by U.S. Soccer WNT (@uswnt) on

The team sent the jersey to the Jewish justice herself, and Ginsburg responded. In a letter to Sauerbrunn, Ginsburg writes, “I am so proud to be among the women chosen for recognition.”

She concluded: “The jersey will be my favourite for the biweekly workouts that keep me in shape.”


Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: