Frum Israeli Player Will Be Banned in Europe Because of Desire to Dress Modestly


basketballEurope’s basketball governing body will not make allowances for an Israeli player’s religious observance in the upcoming European women’s championship, a spokesman said Friday.

University of Toledo and Israeli national team point guard Naama Shafir is an Orthodox Jew who wears a T-shirt under her jersey in keeping with Jewish modesty rules.

European basketball regulations say all players must wear precisely the same uniform. Despite appeals by Israel’s national team for an exception in Shafir’s case, Munich-based FIBA Europe told the AP early Friday that none would be made.

The decision on Shafir is “final,” FIBA Europe spokesman Sakis Kontos said.

“The global rules of the game clearly state that a team must be uniformly dressed, and the rules must always be upheld,” he said.

The decision means the 21-year-old Shafir will not compete at the tournament, which opens June 18 in Poland. Shafir said Thursday that she cannot compromise on her religious beliefs and would not play with her shoulders bare.

Shafir pointed out that officials from the NCAA, where she has competed for Toledo since 2008, have always let her play with a T-shirt.

Her college team has also made sure Shafir does not have to drive or practice on Shabbos.

{Star Tribune/ Newscenter}


  1. “The global rules of the game clearly state that a team must be uniformly dressed, and the rules must always be upheld,” he said.

    Call their bluff – let the WHOLE TEAM wear tee shirts under their uniform!

    Just a thought – what if an observant Moslem from, say, France, wanted similar religious accomodation…

  2. That is actually a very good think. We always need to remember who we are “children of Hashem” and we are not to be contending in these places. On the other hand, she also did a great thing by not compromising on Yiddishkeit, good for her.

  3. this is the most ridiculous piece of “Frum” news. She wears shorts and doesn’t cover her elbows when she plays, how is this “Frum” news?

  4. While I applaud herstance on modesty, I’m troubled that she should be competing in such a competition altogether. This is definitely not an arena for an Orthodox Jewish girl!

  5. you clearly don’t know the difference between halacha and hanhagos. there is a large debate about what beis hashachi means…

  6. I don’t see how she would be modestly dressed even with a T-shirt. That said, Kol Hakavod for not compromising her standards.

  7. May this be a possitive turning point for her to find Hashem and her people more and more, and live on solid ground, not on a fence…

  8. #1 has a very good idea. Several US women’s college teams, including Stern College for Women where all the young women are frum, and the very successful program at Louisiana Tech, use t-shirt tops.

    Regarding the shorts, it would be FAR less tzniut for the women to be wearing skirts. Womens’ gasketball uniform “shorts” are extremely baggy, go all the way to the knees, and show nothing — unlike skirts when used in athletic activity. I salute Ms. Shafir for her commitment to Judaism.

  9. Good news finally. Maybe she will wake up & realize that we ARE (despite having good steak’s – see article above) in Galus! She doesn’t belong playing with & against people who hate us!

  10. although obviously not from ultra orthodox circles, what she is doing is incredible, think of your sacrifices and think of hers, can you compare? So although you are right that “this is no place for a bas yisroel”, lets just focus and cheer on what she DOES have convictions to. (and its not like the streets of flatbush and boro park are an ideal place for girls either in the fashion which they are used today). Eternity is built with love, destruction, with anger and hate.

  11. to Naama shafir,
    i was struggling and gave in, and was planning to go do real untznius stuff
    this article gave me the strength to stay home and chiill.
    if you can put so much on the line, i was embarrassed.
    i owe you

  12. She is shomer shabbos and keeps mitzvot..we might not agree with her practices..such as she plays games on shabbos..but when her team won the Womens NIT championship (Toledo over USC) while the other teammates celebrated by the traditional cutting down the nets..she just used her fingers to mimick cutting down the net, because it was shabbos… she also refused to be interviewed on TV even after scoring 40 points in the final game and was awarded MVP honors.

    If Joe Lieberman is frum..Naama is as well.

  13. Charlie Hall oh vay you found this site to comment on also. Keep your radical leftist obama liberal ideology somewhere else don’t belong here. Liberalism is sheker and against all Torah value.

  14. @#6–No, all Orthodox poskim agree that elbows need to be covered at all times.

    Unfortunately while it’s easy to commend Naama on sticking to her guns, it’s people like this who make those of us who keep real hilchos tznius look like “fanatics”. People will read things like this and think she is Ortho bc she wants to wear a little t-shirt, which makes those of us who cover elbows, knees and collar bone (basic halacha) look like we’re going way beyond the law and possibly leaving us unable to get our own religious dress accommodations as our standards are “too much”.

  15. #14, what does the issue of how girls dress on the streets of Flatbush and Boro Park have to do with this issue? What does it have to do with love, destruction, anger, or hate?

    If a Jewish woman or girl is dressing immodestly in Flatbush or Boro Park, there’s one thing wrong.

    If a Jewish woman or girl is playing basketball in public and dressing immodestly, there’s two things wrong.

    So what does one issue have to do with the other?

    This issue is that this girl should not be playing basketball. Period.

    Wearing a T-shirt under her jersey doesn’t make a Jewish girl’s playing basketball, Modest, Kosher, or Orthodox.

  16. “If Joe Lieberman is frum”

    I saw him at a mincha minyan in an Orthodox synagogue just this past erev Shabat! He was very friendly and shook my hand.

  17. “She is shomer shabbos and keeps mitzvot..we might not agree with her practices..such as she plays games on shabbos.”

    Besides the fact that what she’s doing is immodest,

    how is she Shomer Shabbos if she plays games on Shabbos? How does this make her Frum?