Like most professional boxers, Dmitriy Salita spends hours each day training. Though he lost a junior welterweight championship fight last year, he is hoping for another title shot. Like some boxers, he spends hours each day studying. He’s a business major at Touro College.
Now in its 17th year, the New York Jewish Film Festival, which opens Jan. 9, is truly a fixture on the local film calendar, so much so that this year’s event includes one world premiere, 10 U.S. premieres and 12 New York premieres. If you subtract the seven retrospectives (see sidebar), that means that all but one of the 32 films in this year’s festival are so new that the prints are still wet from the lab.
This champ sees God in the speed bag, halacha in the heavy bag, and when he does his roadwork on the streets of Midwood, he feels the presence of the divine.
And like the more famous Champ that came before him, one Muhammad Ali, this smaller, very Jewish champ can turn a phrase and deliver some lip.
"Anyone who wants a good whuppin' from me is just going to have to wait until sundown [on Saturday]," says Dmitriy Salita, the "Star of David," as he's called in the boxing business.