ASHKELON, ISRAEL – The Israel Lacrosse Association has honored Andrew Gelman and Lauren Paul Norris, naming them the winners of the Mort and Judi Beroza Award for Man and Woman of the Year in recognition of their outstanding individual contributions to the development of lacrosse in Israel in 2021.
In 2021, Lauren Norris was named the Chair of the Women’s National Teams and has continued to play a monumental role in growing the Women’s player pool. She spearheaded the evaluation process for the upcoming World Championships and World Games teams, including over 80 players from all divisions of the NCAA and the Athletes Unlimited League, the preeminent women’s professional lacrosse circuit in the United States. Norris’ dedication to growing Israel Lacrosse and continuing the success of the Women’s National Team is second-to-none.
Norris has been a crucial part of the development and success of the Women’s National team since the first international debut at the 2013 World Cup in Ontario, Canada. The four-time Jewish All-American at Franklin and Marshall was named the head coach, leading the way to many more years of success for the Women’s National Team. That year, Norris pushed Israel to a seventh-place finish in the world rankings in Canada ending with a 5-3 record in the tournament.
In 2017, Norris was again named the head coach for the 2017 FIL Women’s World Cup in London, England, where she led the team to 6th place finish which ranks as their highest finish in the World Cup, with a record of 6-2.
Before her coaching career with Israel Lacrosse, the Baltimore native served as the head coach at Franklin & Marshall from 2009-2012, where she was named the IWLCA Coach of the Year in 2009. She became the first-ever coach to win a national championship in her first season. Later in her career, she joined the coaching staff at High Point, Dickinson, and Lafayette.
As a player at Franklin & Marshall, she became a two-time All-American, three-time first-team All-metro, and three-time All-Centennial Conference. She became the player for Franklin & Marshall to score 100 goals and record 100 assists.
The highly decorated collegiate player and coach has continued to pave the way for Israel Lacrosse through her ceaseless commitment to the growth of the Israel Women’s Lacrosse at both the grassroots and international levels
“LP is an amazing person. When I first met her, she was genuine and loved our mission at Israel Lacrosse,” said Bill Beroza. “Her commitment to our program is undeniable and that is why I am so proud to not only have her win the award named after my parents. She is not only a great coach but a passionate person that truly has the love and care that reflects the type of person that the Mort & Judi Award is all about.”
In 2022, her dedication to Israel will be on full display as the women compete in both Alabama and Baltimore. Her continued hard work has paved the way for the women’s national team to return to the field to compete at the highest level.
Andrew Gelman has been an enormous behind-the-scenes force in the success of the Israel Masters program. In October, Gelman created and ran the first International Masters Classic in New Jersey with masters teams representing Israel, Ireland, and Italy. The three teams met for a night of games with Team Israel having over 35 players.
Gelman brought together a group of men who truly represented what the Israel Masters program is about. The dedication, commitment, and preparation for this event show the real importance of Israel Lacrosse to Gelman and the Masters community. To be able to have that many people join at the master level is exceptional and speaks to their deeply held passion.
“Working with Gelman is an absolute pleasure,” said Ian Kadish, Israel Lacrosse’s Executive Director – North America. “He understands the various priorities of our organization in a truly unique way and is always looking to find a way to be of service. He is deeply committed to both growing the game and creating opportunities for Jews of all ages to enjoy engaging with our culture.”
Gelman brought together a community of Jewish lacrosse players that proudly represented both their sport and heritage. With Andrew’s continued guidance and support, this program has continued to grow.
“Through his tireless efforts organizing our Masters program, Gelman has without a doubt, made a significant impact on the continuation of Jewish life and allowed many in our community to wear the Blue-and-White proudly”, added Kadish.
He first competed for the blue-and-white in 2014 for Israel’s inaugural Masters team at the World Lacrosse Festival in Denver, Colorado. He has also led many efforts for Team Israel over the last eight years in competitions and exhibitions.
Andrew Gelman embodies being a Jewish lacrosse player. He has brought communities together, allowed Jewish lacrosse players to compete for a country they are proud to represent, and connected them to something bigger than themselves. His hard work and dedication to Israel Lacrosse and the Masters program in 2021 is just a stepping stone to the future of international masters lacrosse.
The Beroza family’s support and generosity extended to create a pair of scholarships for students at Hofstra University, which still exist in perpetuity, as well as the LI Metropolitan Lacrosse Hall of Fame Dinner, the Greenport Shootout, New York Saints games, and many other regional lacrosse initiatives. Mort was serving as the Baldwin-Hempstead Post 312 Commander of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA, as well as the Nassau-Suffolk District Council Deputy Chaplain at the time of his death. Judi previously served as National President of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA.
Mort and Judi, who were active members of Hempstead’s Temple Beth Israel for over 60 years, exemplify the passion for the sport of lacrosse, as well as the commitment to service, family, and community – values on which the Israel Lacrosse Association is based.
2020: Reuven Dressler, Iris Hahn
2019: Marcelo Burdman, Lielle Assayag
2018: Bill Beroza, Jessie Kraft
2017: Seth Mahler, Moran Sasson
2016: Jim Gottlieb, Nancy Berkowitz
2015: Brad MacArthur, Emily Brodsky
2014: Rob Berkenblit, Julia Szafman
2013: Matt Glaser, Katie Mazer