Scott Neiss, a Jewish-American who works as an executive at the National Lacrosse League, decides to start a lacrosse program on a Taglit-Birthright trip to Israel. He sends 20 sticks to David Lasday, who conducts a pair of clinics at Park HaYarkon in Tel Aviv.
Neiss recruits US Lacrosse Hall of Famer Bill Beroza as a Board Member & Head Coach of the men’s national team. Beroza & Howard Borkan serve as coaches for the first-ever lacrosse game in Israel, featuring teams representing Jerusalem & Tel Aviv at Kraft Stadium in Jerusalem, August 2011. The game is the culmination of a series of 20+ clinics throughout the country organized by Lasday. The organization receives associate membership in the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL), which later becomes World Lacrosse.
Weekly men’s and women’s practices begin at Park HaYarkon, under the direction of captains Mat Markman & Jesse Kane, a pair of Oberlin graduates who are living in Tel Aviv. Mark Greenberg joins the Israel Lacrosse board and Israel plays their first game, an exhibition in Istanbul against Turkey men’s national team. Israel Lacrosse receives membership in the European Lacrosse Federation (ELF) & competes in the Men’s European Championship in Amsterdam, Netherlands, finishing 8th. Israel’s first women’s team also makes their debut, winning the event’s festival tournament.
Israel’s Women’s National Team makes their debut at the World Cup in Oshawa, Canada, finishing 8th. The Israel men host Turkey in their first-ever home international in Ashkelon, Israel. A tryout for the Israel men’s world team is held at Wingate Institute in Netanya. Under the leadership of David Lasday, Matthew Cherry, Seth Mahler & Noah Miller, the first major lacrosse camp in Israel is held with dozens of young athletes in Ashkelon. Tel Aviv LC makes their debut at the Ales Hrebesky Memorial in Prague, Czech Republic.
Cherry, Mahler, Miller & Jacob Silberlicht make Aliyah becoming Israel Lacrosse’s first-ever full-time program directors. The men’s national team competes at the World Championship in Denver, Colorado, finishing 7th. The first-ever Lacrosse Birthright trip is held.
The women’s national team made up entirely of players who live in Israel, finish 4th at the European Championships in Nymburk, Czech Republic. The Israel U-19 women’s national team, comprised of almost entirely homegrown Israeli players, debuts at the World Championship in Edinburgh, Scotland. Israel makes their box lacrosse debut, finishing an astounding 4th at the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship at Onondaga Nation.
Israel debuts at the U-19 men’s world championship near Vancouver, Canada, finishing 6th. The men’s national team made up entirely of players who live in Israel, finish 2nd at the European Championships in Budapest, Hungary, securing the program’s first-ever medal. Israel secures the right to host the 2019 Women’s European Championship.
In a “shotgun” bid process, Israel secures the rights to host the 2018 Men’s World Championship which was abandoned by Manchester, England. Dan Kraft joins the Israel Lacrosse board to help manage organizational efforts to host what will be the largest World Championship event in history, featuring 46 countries. The women’s national team competes at their second World Cup, near London, England, finishing 6th.
Over 2,000 players & coaches and 10,000 spectators come to Israel for the World Championships, held at Netanya Stadium & Wingate Institute. Israel defeats Jamaica in the opening game of the tournament. Following intense diplomatic efforts, the Iroquois Nationals are able to travel to Israel to compete & ultimately secure the bronze medal. As a gift from Israel Lacrosse, 46 delegations visit Jerusalem on their day off from competition. Israel finishes 7th on home soil. Tel Aviv LC wins the Ales Hrebesky Memorial on soil previously used for Nazi training. Israel hosts the England men’s national team in a five-game tour. Israel competes at the first-ever U-20 Women’s European Championship in Poland.
Over 700 players & coaches come to Israel for the Women’s European Championship, held at Tubruq Field in Netanya. Israel defeats Germany in the opening game held at Kraft Family Sports Campus in Jerusalem. Israel finishes 2nd, the first-ever medal for the women’s program. The first-ever dedicated lacrosse field outside of North America is built in Ashkelon, named Mack Family Field at Dan Kraft Family National Lacrosse Center. Israel competes at the U-19 Women’s World Championship in Peterborough, Canada. Israel finishes fifth at the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship near Vancouver, Canada.
Amidst the COVID pandemic, Israel Lacrosse launches a large-scale Gap Year program under the MASA umbrella, giving dozens of college lacrosse players the opportunity to train & tour Israel. This was further expanded to create a COVID “bubble” through December 2020 allowing over 100 Jewish athletes high-level training opportunities when almost no other options were available.
Sara Greenberg and Lauren Norris join the Israel Lacrosse board. Engaged 40 Bar/Bat Mitzvah-aged kids and their families through our U13/U14 National Teams to create an exciting link between them and Judaism. Many of the participant families called it “the most engaging Jewish opportunity” their kids had experienced yet. Hosted Women’s National Team training camps in Baltimore and Boston in September. According to Women’s National Team Coach Kara Carlin, the talent pool at these tryouts was “exceptional and the future is very bright.” After the experience, many have been moved to join their local Hillel, volunteer in their community Jewish organizations, commit to taking a trip to Israel, and even make Aliyah.
With the restart of our National Team programs, our Men, Women, and U21 teams will be competing through the summer!