YU Hockey Player Inspired to Do Mivtzoim in the Locker Room

A short film by OneMitzvah tells the story of Sol Feder, a freshman YU hockey player, who took the courage to ask a player on the opposing team to put tefillin after spotting the name “Cohen” on his jersey.

The Yeshiva University Maccabees roller hockey had just beat Syracuse University 12-5. As the teams shook hands and left the rink, Sol Feder, a freshman YU player, spotted the name “Cohen” on the back of an opposing jersey. A simple question, “Are you Jewish?”, sparked a positive response. 

Daniel Cohen, a 21-year-old on the Syracuse team, followed Sol to the locker room to fulfill a lifelong dream. He’d never had an official bar mitzvah or worn tefillin before. With Sol’s guidance, the black straps were wrapped around Daniel’s left arm and the shel rosh on his head. Placing his hand over his eyes, he recited the Shema. The locker room erupted in cheers and both teams formed into a dance circle. That Sunday in the locker room, Daniel Cohen finally celebrated his Jewish rite of passage with a public display of Jewish pride and unity.

Just weeks after October 7th, the moving video of this spontaneous act of Jewish pride struck a chord and quickly spread on social media, inspiring countless others as well. “That moment in the locker room was the biggest triumph of the day,” Sol says. “No hockey wins can compare to the privilege of giving Daniel Cohen his first opportunity to put on Tefillin.”

“Sol stood up as an ambassador of mitzvot, seeking opportunities to reach out to a fellow Jew,“ said Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Vice Chairman of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch and founder of OneMitzvah at Merkos 302, “His act of kindness triggered a ripple effect of positivity and truly embodies how the Rebbe taught us to react in difficult times like these.”

OneMitzvah at Merkos 302 is an online platform that facilitates turning every occasion into an opportunity for mitzvahs. Personalize your campaign today at onemitzvah.orgFollow @OneMitzvahOffical on Instagram 

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