David Kufeld – The First Orthodox Jewish Basketball Player Drafted Into the NBA
In 1980, Dave Kufeld became the first Orthodox Jewish basketball player to be drafted into the NBA. He played college ball at Yeshiva University and was also a part of their renowned Maccabees basketball team.
His professional life has been completed with a career in marketing and an appointment at one of America’s premier law firms. However, whether religious obligations will prevent him from continuing his playing career remains unclear.
Early Life and Education
David Kufeld, the first Orthodox Jew to be drafted into the NBA in 1980, was the first Orthodox Jew to receive a professional sports scholarship. A four-year starter on Yeshiva University’s men’s basketball team, Kufeld earned All-American status and led the NCAA in rebounding.
At Yeshiva University, he studied business. After graduation, he pursued a career in marketing and advertising, eventually becoming director of advertising and client relations for a law firm in Manhattan.
He spent time playing professional basketball for Maccabi Ramat Gan, while wearing tefilin during his career and remaining deeply religious.
David Kufeld of Yeshiva University made history in 1980 when he became the first Orthodox Jewish man ever drafted into the National Basketball Association. He was selected by the Portland Trailblazers with the 205th overall pick in round 10 of the draft.
He was a 6-foot-8-inch center who led the nation in rebounding at YU, which is considered Division III college athletics. Additionally, he played for the YU Maccabees and won two national championships and two NCAA tournaments.
Kufeld pursued a professional basketball career in Israel, playing for Maccabi Ironi Ramat Gan. Following his international stint, he ventured into sports marketing and founded the Jewish Sports Congress to promote sport within the Jewish community – work which continues today.
Achievement and Honors
Dave Kufeld was an icon on the basketball court, as well as a well-rounded executive in the boardroom. His career spanned more than four decades, featuring professional stints in Israel’s premier league and several more years working for a New York City law firm as a marketing expert. Of all of his accolades, none quite compare to that bestowed upon him by Yeshiva College: its athletic hall of fame is named in his honor.
For the majority of his life, he has resided in Cedarhurst, Long Island with his wife Suri. As a proud and devout Jewish husband, father to two, and grandfather of five, he has made Aliyah with Suri recently.
David Kufeld is a renowned business executive and philanthropist, advocating for the harmony between commerce and charity. He has founded numerous nonprofit organizations.
Michael’s mother Lorraine Kufeld became ill with Alzheimer’s disease and required 24 hour care. The family attempted to contact Kufeld but he declined to offer financial assistance or release any funds.
Iuliano testified that Kufeld was an active individual who frequently traveled for work, doctor’s appointments and shopping – usually on his own. He rarely required assistance when traveling.
David Kufeld boasts a net worth of $300,000. He is an actor who has starred in multiple movies.
He has also featured in several movies such as 16 Times of Glory: Component II, Total Metal Coat and Dominick and Eugene.
His net worth is determined by his movie career.
He earns a monthly salary of $556,500 as an actor in Hollywood films.
He earned a considerable amount of money through his YouTube videos, with estimates placing the value at $145,000 as of June 2022.