The Israel Lacrosse Association has honored Brad MacArthur and Emily Brodsky, 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 2015.
MacArthur has been the driving force behind the success of Israel’s national box lacrosse program, culminating in a fourth-place finish for the blue-and-white at the 2015 FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championships. Israel’s No. 4 world ranking in box lacrosse is the highest achieved in any team sport in the country’s 67-year history. MacArthur, as head coach of the indoor team, has contributed countless hours over the past three years to ensure the successful launch of the indoor program, going above and beyond the necessary responsibilities of a coach to take on myriad logistical tasks as well. Since 2013, MacArthur has trained and developed Israel’s inexperienced field lacrosse player pool, making multiple trips to Europe to Israel’s annual box lacrosse training camps in Czech Republic. MacArthur recruited a world-class coaching and support staff, and, under his leadership and direction guided our young men to our program’s first World Championship Medal Game. As a goyim, MacArthur has embraced the culture of Israel and traditions of Judaism with a sense of inquisitiveness, even joining the team in observing the fast on Yom Kippur, which broke mid-Championship at WILC2015. MacArthur is an exceptional ambassador for both the State of Israel and the sport of lacrosse.
Brodsky was an unsung hero for Israel Lacrosse during 2015. After making Aliyah in 2014, she devoted herself to tirelessly develop the sport through coaching youth around the country as well as recruiting and training the first U-19 Women’s National team, which competed at the World Championships in Scotland this past summer. As an assistant coach of a first-year program, she played a huge role in recruiting and training each player on the team, pushing them to work harder than they ever realized they could. Brodsky helped introduce the sport to more than 2,000 Israeli youth and forged strong bonds with young players all over the country. Her passion for the development of lacrosse was no more evident than through her efforts to raise funds and awareness for the programs in Israel. Brodsky planned and coordinated all aspects of four major international showcase events and spearheaded our record-breaking Giving Tuesday campaign, in which Israel Lacrosse raised $85,000. In addition to her selfless contributions to the growth of the sport, Emily played an integral role on the Women’s National Team, helping Israel earn an astonishing No. 4 European ranking in their debut on Europe’s biggest stage.
The Israel Lacrosse Man and Woman of the Year Award is named for the late Mort and Judi Beroza, whose contributions to the sport, their family, and their community in Hempstead and Long Island as a whole are immeasurable. The parents of Bill Beroza, who has served as head coach of Israel’s World Team since 2012, Mort and Judi have been a mainstay for Long Island Lacrosse Club for over 34 years, attending every game, scrimmage and practice in support of the team and history of the club. Mort, a WWII Veteran who was awarded the Purple Heart, as well as The Legion of Honor Award by the Chapel of the Four Chaplains, has been involved in the sport on Long Island since 1978. His and Judi’s support for the Long Island Lacrosse Club — financially, emotionally and physically — extended well beyond the norm, as Judi was well known for helping sew and repair uniforms, launder clothes as well as chauffer and host athletes at their home for meals before and after games.
The Beroza family 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.