Red Sox Hires Orthodox Jewish Executive as New Chief Baseball Officer
JNS.org – The Boston Red Sox on Monday officially announced the hiring of the Tampa Bay Rays’ senior vice president Chaim Bloom as its new chief baseball officer.
Bloom, 36, will be “responsible for all baseball operations matters” for the team. He previously spent 15 years with the Rays.
Bloom grew up in Philadelphia and went to Jewish day school before studying Latin classics at Yale University, where he graduated in 2004.
He is an observant Jew and as such will not work on certain Jewish holidays and Shabbat, despite the demanding schedule as a baseball executive. In 2011, he missed the Rays’ final game against the New York Yankees, which would determine whether the Rays would make the playoffs, because of Rosh Hashanah.
“Leaving town that morning to go to Boston to spend Rosh Hashanah with my in-laws was one of the more difficult things we’d done in my career,” he recalled in an interview with Tablet magazine.
Bloom, his wife Aliza, and their two sons, Isaiah and Judah, lived near Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., in part so he could easily return on Friday nights to celebrate Shabbat with his family before returning to the stadium to watch the Rays play at home games.
During his time with the Rays, Bloom also had a large jar of gefilte fish on his desk, part of an ongoing bet with an employee.
“The idea that your Judaism is an impediment to your career is something that I have not experienced at all, to my knowledge,” he said, “even as I’m aware that there’s plenty of antisemitism in the US at large. I’m fortunate. I don’t think my parents felt that growing up; I think they felt it was a strike against them.”