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Cincinnati, OH - Chabad Rabbis Recruit Rookie Player To Help Raise Awareness For Pediatric Cancer

Published on: August 31, 2015 09:26 PM
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Jon Moscot, a rookie pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, wrapped tefillin with Avi Newhouse, who is undergoing treatment for a rare form of lymphoma in a Cincinnati hospital.(Chabad.org)Jon Moscot, a rookie pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, wrapped tefillin with Avi Newhouse, who is undergoing treatment for a rare form of lymphoma in a Cincinnati hospital.(Chabad.org)

Cincinnati, OH  - For 13-year-old pediatric cancer patient Avi Newhouse, it was the first time he had smiled in a week. So says his mother Leah of the surprise visit by Jon Moscot, 23, a rookie pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, to the young Avi in his room at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. And it was all thanks to the efforts of two Chabad rabbis, Yisroel Mangel of Cincinnati and Eli Baitelman from Pacific Palisades, Moscot’s hometown.

Chabad.org reports, that “It all began when I saw a post on social media from Avi’s mother. . .asking if anyone knew of a professional athlete who would be able to visit her son, an avid Yankees fan who could use a bit of cheering up,” Rabbi Mangel explained. “I immediately thought of Jon, whom I had been introduced to by his rabbi, Rabbi Eli Baitelman.”


Moscot readily agreed to the visit, noting he had learned the importance of visiting the sick during his years in Hebrew school at his local Chabad in Pacific Palisades.

“Chabad shaped my character to do mitzvahs,” Moscot says. “The atmosphere of love and kindness is bound to have an effect on you, no matter who you are. So as soon as I heard there was a Jewish kid in the hospital—knowing that there aren’t many Jewish athletes out there–his plight was immediately relatable to me.”

While Avi and Moscot talked baseball stats and the Yankees, they also bonded over putting on tefillin which was provided by Rabbi Mangel. While donning tefillin daily is part of Avi’s regular repertoire, Moscot admits he has failed to put on tefillin since becoming bar mitzvah. The two also recited the Shema prayer together.

Since their initial meeting, Moscot and Avi have become fast friends and keep in touch via text messaging. They are also working jointly to raise awareness for pediatric cancer, and are trying to get athletes to wear special bracelets and dress in the color gold as a show of support.

“Going through chemo tires you out, makes you nauseous, makes you weak,” Mrs. Newhouse wrote on Instagram. “Most people just see pediatric cancer as the ‘cute, bald kids running around in Disneyland,’ but trust me, it’s really not like that.”

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Read Comments (4)  —  Post Yours »


 Sep 01, 2015 at 12:17 AM Innerperspective Says:

Chabad is incredible. No words to describe how indebted I am to chabad for what they have helped me with- although I had no connection to them beforehand - rather on the contrary.
People don't admit it but how many of you don't know of anyone who was helped by chabad one way or another?

Anyway, just sharing my feeling.


 Sep 01, 2015 at 12:24 AM lazerx Says:

It is good to hear about people giving of themselves to help others. This helps and protects the Jewish people. May HaShem send the boy a refuah Shlaima b'korov...


 Sep 01, 2015 at 08:26 AM Shimon Says:

This young pitcer is already the Koufax of mitzvot.


 Sep 01, 2015 at 02:55 PM FLATBUSHMOISH Says:

May Avi have a complete refuah shelaimah, and may Hashem repay Jon a thousand fold!


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