The making of a Jewish sports pro


When the Alliance’s Dwares Jewish Community officially reopens on May 24, the featured special guest will be U.S. Olympic Rugby player and new England Patriots Second Team All-Pro and Special Team Player Nate Ebner.

Jesse Bernstein wrote an inspirational story about Ebner that appeared online at  We learn that “Ebner’s father was a religious school principal at Temple Shalom, in Springfield, Ohio. From a young age, Ebner’s parents taught him ‘the importance of being Jewish.’ ”   

Ebner played rugby in high school and became one of the best young rugby players in the country. Ebner’s father was killed in a robbery during this time.

As Ebner’s career grew, he won a Super Bowl ring and led the special teams unit. In his article, Bernstein offers a quote about Ebner  from coach Bill Belichick: “His development has really been outstanding. I would probably put him in the, not the all-time top, but maybe in the top 5 percent  all time of players that I’ve coached, from where they were in college to how they grew in the NFL.”

So what makes a profession truly a professional? Here are my five steps:

                •             Have a strong vision and desire to make that vision a reality.

                •             Find the right support to help you make your vision a reality.

                •             Take the necessary steps to make the vision happen, and do them consistently. This takes discipline and commitment.

                •             Honor each success and turn mistakes into lessons.

                •             Look for opportunities to expand and grow and immerse yourself in learning.

As important as Ebner’s amazing success is, it is equally important to understand how he got to where he is and how he overcame the obstacles along the way.

Ebner’s career and achievements are an inspiration for young Jewish athletes.

PATRICIA RASKIN hosts “The Patricia Raskin Show” on Saturdays at 3 p.m. on WPRO, 630 AM/99.7 FM, and on Mondays at 2 p.m. on Raskin is a board member of Providence’s Temple Emanu-El.