Football season is back and now local yeshiva students have a league of their own in the Bergen Football League. Eight years ago, Rabbi Jonathan Kessel, rebbe at TABC, started the Passaic Sports League (PSL) for kids from first to 12th grade and it has grown into a very successful league. As time went on, kids from outside of Passaic drove there to get a chance to play in the intense atmosphere of the organized sports league. With Bergen County yeshivot dismissing early on Fridays or not opening at all, local yeshiva students have hours at home before Shabbos starts. Parents are often challenged to find productive activities for their children on Friday afternoon, and Rabbi Kessel, along with Rabbi Eytan London, an MTA rebbe who joined PSL last year, saw a need to find a way for these boys to fill this time in a healthy and fun environment. The two of them opened a new football league in Bergen County for boys from the local yeshivas.
One exciting component of the league will be the ability for boys to meet and play with students from different schools as well as their own. Rabbi Kessel noted that, “We have already registered students from four different yeshivas coming together to make this league. Guys are going to be mixed together on different teams; it’s not going to be school versus school.” The teams will be made by the league and will consist of kids from across all the schools, giving the players the unique opportunity to bond with people they otherwise wouldn’t necessarily befriend.
Rabbis Kessel and London look to bring the same energy and intensity to the Bergen County community that has been so popular in Passaic. As Rabbi Kessel puts it, “This is for the Bergen County guys to get together and enjoy themselves on erev Shabbos.” They feel this can help unite the boys in the area to see themselves more as one community than different schools. What better way to work to achieve that goal than through sports, a very healthy outlet for children to let out some energy, be themselves and exercise sportsmanship and good midot.
The league will have two divisions, one for seventh and eighth graders and one for high schoolers, and will create an exciting and intense atmosphere for the boys. It will run on Friday afternoons from 1:45 to 2:45 starting in October, with a six week regular season and two playoff games; all teams will play at least eight games. The league charges $150 for the season, with jerseys included. So if you or your sons are home looking for a fun and engaging way to spend your time, Bergen Football League is a great opportunity to get out of the house, stay active and, most importantly, have a good time. For more information, email
By Eli Rifkind