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Just Shmooze / BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread
« on: October 07, 2020, 01:14:00 PM »
See above wiki

Just Shmooze / Athletes needed (bobsled)
« on: April 17, 2020, 04:10:27 PM »
Hey all,
Hate to ask again (asked last season,) but Israel Bobsled is looking for a couple of brakeman who would be interested in doing 4-man bobsled for the 2022 Olympic cycle.
This entails being on the "road" (Park City, Vancouver/Whistler, and Lake Placid) from October-March.  It's a serious push, just trying to line things up correctly, so if you or someone you know is an athletic, team-oriented, zionistic Israeli (or Jew looking to make Aliyah,) then please feel free to reach out.
Adam.edelman [at] olympian [dot] org, or whatsapp at 617-237-0242

This is the phase of getting a team lined up behind an already-experienced pilot in a program that has already made an Olympic debut, so we have the know-how and skill, but need teammates.  The skill necessary for recruits is being able to push something heavy quite fast, and a tolerance for discomfort, as it is not a thrill-ride by any stretch.  Good baseline metrics to go by would be a 30m sprint sub-4 seconds, a clean above 100+kgs (220+lb,) and a squat above 130kg (285lb.) There's time to train up so these are just for reference. Rugby, lacrosse, former track athletes and football players, etc. would make for promising candidates.

I am self-funding this thus far, and organizing it.  But as team members come aboard would need a sponsor.  If you know of any please also feel free to DM, though in the present economic climate, finding people is the number one priority.

Have a great shabbos!
AJ Edelman
Team Israel

On The Road / looking for car rental agent for ISR
« on: May 26, 2019, 02:44:34 PM »
Looking for a car rental agent for a car in TLV.  Saw that there were mentions on the forums that this would be better than PL/Orbitz etc.
Please feel free to DM.

General Discussion / Israel Bobsled needs a brakeman (only a few days)
« on: October 21, 2018, 03:11:13 PM »
Israel Bobsled is looking to do something really special but we're missing a brakeman to complete our 2-man minyan.  Our brakeman decided yesterday the sport wasn't for him and so we need a new teammate!

We have a really awesome pilot, Dave Nichols, who is a para-sport athlete.  He is looking to make history in the sport of 2man bobsled by competing in an able-bodied competition--starting in the sled seated.  Only problem is he needs a brakeman--someone to push a very heavy sled for the first 30-50 meters, and hold on as he navigates his way at 80+ miles an hour over a mile-long track.  We're looking for a brave Israeli athlete to push him a couple of times this season in competition.  If you feel the need for speed and would love to wear the white and blue in an unforgettable experience, PM me, or send Dave an email at

What do you need?  Israeli citizenship, athletic prowess (squat above 275lb preferred or power clean above 220lb), and ability to sprint (preferred 30m time sub 4 seconds).

What time commitment? A week in either:

Whistler, Vancouver (4th--8th November)--This race can be done completely shomer shabbos.

or Park City, UT (14-20 November)--Also completely Shomer Shabbos.

or Lake Placid, NY (26 Nov--1st December)--Friday/Saturday race.  Starts at 2:30pm Friday so likely would not be able to do this if you're a shomer shabbos athlete.  Dave is not S/S.

or Calgary, Alberta Canada (6th--11th January)--Can be done as shomer shabbos.

Unfortunately there is no financial assistance for the Israel Bobsled and Skeleton team, so we can't help with travel, food, and accommodations. Dave is a travel agent and so does receive travel agent discounts on hotels and flights. (No idea the fare classes or whether this would count towards your elite points/night credits.  Sorry guys.)

If you want to do this full-time, also feel free to message me.
P.s. despite the lighthearted tone, this is a dangerous and deadly serious sport. Our brakeman quit after one day so it really isn't for everyone.

In my travels in Europe I always made sure to visit Jewish locales.
When going through some pictures for a presentation I came across a trip to Prague that I had made to bring some bobsledders to, to teach them more about Jewish history.   Note: The images could be disturbing, as they are proofs of the terrible atrocities of the holocaust.  I have decided to post in the trip reports section some pictures of the locations, in case there are those who are not able to see them personally.

Prague is an hour-plus away from the Altenberg bobsled track, so it makes for an easy day trip.

Also in close proximity is the Theresienstadt camp.  I will try to find pictures from that trip as well.

Just Shmooze / Israel Bobsled/skeleton and parabobsled is recruiting!
« on: August 12, 2018, 06:38:30 PM »
Hey guys!
It's coming closer to rosh hashana which means another winter sports season is soon upon us (most seasons open around motzei Sukkot.)
Israel Bobsled and skeleton is currently recruiting! If you're interested in getting back at your overly protective Jewish mother, or just like throwing caution to the wind and have an itch to represent the White and Blue, hit me up.  Since pyeongchang 2018 we have recruited 5 new athletes to the program in bobsled, parabobsled, male and female skeleton! Join us.

Edit: it is possible to compete as a shomer shabbos athlete. Most lower-tier competitions are held on Thursday/Friday or another 2-day pair, where you only need to do one of the races.

What is needed:
Parabobsled: nothing! Just a love of Israel. We'll teach you the rest.  Help Israel qualify for the 2022 Paralympic games!

Bobsled: ability to push something big, willingness to lose a few brain cells.

Skeleton: same as bobsled, but if you're into doing things solo, this is the sport for you.

What support do we have for you?
Unfortunately we can't provide any shekalim right now, we rely on fundraising.
You will come into a program with the major advantage of having the advice and remote coaching of an array of athletes who all love Israel. We've made the Olympics once, be our next Olympian!

Preferred skills are sprinting and weightlifting. If you don't think you can be an Olympic athlete or are looking for a part time commitment, we can set you up as well in international races with the goal of achieving what it is you're looking to achieve.

AJ Edelman OLY
Dansdeals reader, Olympian, Head of Program and athlete development for Israel Bobsled/Skeleton

In December I took an award flight from YYC-ORD-MUC on LH.  Booked with UA miles.
The first leg was on UA, and delayed.  The delay of the flight was due to weather (so they claimed, but I suspect otherwise).  I arrived in ORD with no time to make the connecting flight to MUC and the flight had departed and I was stuck in ORD for the evening.
When looking for a hotel for the evening, UA claimed that I could not be reimbursed on their end for the hotel since the delay was "weather, outside their control."  Knowing that I had paid the taxes on the award ticket with a prestige (one of the reasons I keep paying the AF on the card is for insurance), I understood that my missed connection and rebooking for a next possible flight the next day would entitle me to make use of the trip-delay $500 insurance policy the card offers.

Come time to submit my claim for the hotel room, uber, meals etc., and it has been rejected.  I called up to find out why and it turns out that they will not cover the delay if the original leg of the trip was less than 3 hours delayed.  This seems to me to be a blatant mis-use of the policy and was not in the benefits guide as i read them at the time.

Anyone have experience with this?  I have seen a similar report online that went to arbitration after someone retained a lawyer, but I don't have funds to retain a lawyer, to recoup $500 no less (though that is significant money for me).

General Discussion / Baal Tefila looking for a minyan on RH/YK
« on: July 05, 2018, 03:35:25 AM »
For the last 5-6 years I have been a traveling athlete, davening from the amud wherever I was training come the Yamim noraim.
This year I find myself a geographic free agent, at a late date, so wondering if anyone has any ideas on a minyan/shul in need.  Feel free to PM.

Goods For Sale/Trade / Cathay Pacific 8x$50, selling for 300 (25% discount)
« on: September 28, 2016, 02:16:30 AM »
As title says, I got 8 $50 Cathay ($400 for the mathematically challenged) "Services vouchers", selling the lot for $300.  They expire in 10 months, 1 August 2017.  Can be used for flights and any other products from Cathay.

General Discussion / or other place to get tefillin?
« on: September 18, 2016, 07:32:17 PM »
I have unfortunately lost my tefillin on a recent trip (losing them likely in the UA lounge in Denver--Lost and Found reporting has not found them).  Which means i'm in search of a new pair.
I saw on that their Gassot tefillin ranges from lchatchilla to lchatchilla+ to mehudar 3-9*.  Does anyone have experience with hasofer or know of a good place to get tefillin that will last a long time but that im not losing an arm and a leg for?

Up In The Air / JAL F lounge at Haneda serves Yarden Chardonnay
« on: April 05, 2016, 08:53:53 AM »
I was just wondering when they started serving Yarden?  I was here 6 months ago and didn't see it?
Pretty cool in my opinion.  Never been in a lounge serving Kosher wine.

Hi guys,
Next month I am making Aliya officially.
Thing is:
a) I am based not in NY and the only flight in the timeframe is from JFK so i'd have to pay to get to JFK, and it'd cost me a bunch extra as well with my bags I need to check internationally.
b) The flight's on El Al which won't help me re-earn status on *A which I rely on to waive baggage fees year round on my sports-related travels.

I heard that you can be reimbursed under circumstances for flights you book yourself. Anyone ever have success with this?  Just confirming that el al also doesn't credit to anyone else really?


Up In The Air / PQMs earned on Air New Zeland
« on: September 01, 2015, 04:33:04 PM »
Hi guys,
I need UA PQMs and I purchased a flight through an OTA on air new zeland. one of the flights is operated by UA, but the ticket has the NZ flight number. The ticket number does not begin in 016.

My itinerary looks like this:
YYC-->LAX, Westjet, Booking class D
LAX-->SYD, NZXXXX, operated by UA, Booking Class G
SYD-->AKL, NZXXX, Booking class V
AKL-->YVR, NZXXX, Booking class G
YVR-->YYC, NZXXX, Operated by AC, Booking class W

I have been trying to discern the amount of PQMs I will earn but i'm getting a bit confused. I was just matched to premier status and am trying to hit the PQM requirements.


Hi guys,
Shameless but necessary plug.
My name is AJ Edelman, Israel's national skeleton athlete and longtime DD user.  I am training to try and qualify Israel for the 2018 Olympic winter games.
My indiegogo campaign just launched, and if you've been trying to hit some spend on your CCs while getting a tax deduction this might be a good opportunity.
Check out the campaign and videos:

Any suggestions on making the campaign a success would be most appreciated as well.
AJ Edelman, #HebrewHammer

Credit Cards And Finance / Amex Biz Gold denied--advice?
« on: January 05, 2015, 12:17:10 PM »
I started getting cards in May of 2014.  I have 4 so far and my last application was a few months ago.  I applied about 12 hours ago for the Amex BizGold and was denied.  Credit Score of 727.  I called the recon line and they mentioned that submitting a recon request would pull the credit again in case anything positive had changed.  That's not going to be the case, it'll have stayed the same, but  is there any advice on recon for the  Amex Business Gold, or any Amex card for that matter?

Hi all,
Long, long, long time reader (amateur poster).
Anyways, onto my main point:
I am a skeleton athlete (think luge but headfirst, or if you don't know what luge is then bobsled, but headfirst, and without the big bobsled, just a board), training to represent Israel in the 2018 or '22 Olympics. Well, given that most Jews and Israelis know little to no background about winter olympic sports (and things are difficult without donations and publicity) I wanted to solicit feedback from the DDF guys on the best ways to advertise the federation, a 501c.
Has anyone ever advertised on the DDF site?  was there a good ROI for it?  Any other suggested places where other yids might care about sports?
Thanks for the useful help!

Up In The Air / Need to find negotiated fares
« on: November 25, 2014, 06:10:38 AM »
I am a skeleton athlete, sliding for Israel.  Skeleton is a winter sliding sport.
Basically for the next few months i'm going to be making 13 or so roundtrips from SFO to SLC, a couple of these will be multi-segments SFO-SLC-SEA-SFO, bringing along with me a heavy, irregular-shaped skeleton sled (67pounds or so). The scheduling works best by flying Delta from SFO to SLC.
The costs of this would be otherwise intensely high.  I believe taking business class would allow me to "check" the skeleton sled.  However, published fares for SFO-SLC range from 650 or more.  I can't be spending 7k on airfare in a few months--skeleton's an expensive sport and that's simply too much cost.  Taking economy and spending $150 on an oversized package per segment would be devastating costwise as well.
Someone recommended that I try to find an agency that negotiated fares/rates/upgrades when buying in quantity.  Anyone got any ideas?  I am part of a national federation so it could be considered as traveling as part of a corporation.

Up In The Air / BOS to LHR for my parents in J
« on: October 27, 2014, 09:35:28 PM »
I signed up my rents a few months ago for the Citi AA cards (100 and 60, so now we have 110 and 85 between them (and I can transfer my own to get mom to 100)), and I want to get them on an award ticket to see my brother in LHR on MLK jr. Weekend.
They'd like to depart on the 14th, return the 19th.
They're willing to change planes once, but more than that would probably be too much for mom.
Problem is, BA is what's showing on the AA search, and the fuel surcharges are immense.
Any ideas on how to get them there cheaper?  We also have about 150k amex points and a good deal of UR points.
Preference to AA though.

Up In The Air / Can fuel be dumped for LHR?
« on: October 27, 2014, 07:12:18 PM »
I searched the DDF but haven't come up with an answer.
I'm trying to get my parents award flights using their AA miles to LHR from BOS in January but they'll end up paying 1100 in fuel surcharges or something like that.

I have been reading about 3rd strike, etc, but have really hit a wall in my understanding.
Can anyone please PM me as to what the best solution would be for this?

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