The school held its third annual basketball tournament in honor of Tanzman.

Featured photo courtesy of Farber Hebrew Day School

Basketball teams from Ohio, Denver, Pittsburgh and Toronto converged at Farber Hebrew Day School Jan. 30-Feb. 2 for the third annual David Tanzman Memorial Basketball Tournament.

Tanzman was a founder of Akiva Hebrew Day School — which later became Farber Hebrew Day School — in 1964. Tanzman is remembered for establishing the only Modern Orthodox Jewish day school in Metro Detroit.

After Tanzman’s passing in 2016, students from Farber pondered potential ways to memorialize a man who meant so much to their school and the Jewish community. They decided to combine his love for basketball with his devotion to Jewish day schools and began a weekend-long basketball tournament in his honor.

“My brother, Ari Eizen, and his friend, Ari Ershler, were the ones who spearheaded the tournament and really devoted this to Tanzman,” Farber senior Micah Eizen said. “Naturally, I inherited the tournament from my brother and eased right into the leadership aspect of it.”

Eizen, alongside other students and faculty, worked for months to prepare for the tournament. They coordinated fundraising, contacted schools about participating and helped with housing for the teams.

“The Eizen family was very close with the Tanzman family, and their boys were fixtures on our basketball team,” Farber’s high school principal Rabbi Noam Stein said. “They were the ones who coordinated with some of the Tanzman family members to sponsor the tournament. That sponsorship was really instrumental in allowing us to put on this tournament.”

For four days, teams competed in skills competitions and basketball games. Since the tournament fell over Shabbat, the teens were able to participate in Shabbat dinners at the Young Israel of Southfield community host homes they were staying in.

Fuchs Mizrachi from Cleveland defended its title and was the David Tanzman Memorial Tournament’s champions for the second year in a row.

“It was a great turnout this year, and I know Mr. Tanzman would have loved it if he was here,” Eizen said.

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