Quebec City, Canada:
Number 45 charges into the corner of the hockey rink, beating the other players to the loose puck. Number 45 glides up the ice, a step ahead of his line mates. Number 45 takes a pass in front of the net, deflecting the puck past the goalie.
The Quebec Remparts are not wearing numbers or names on their jerseys this morning, but the small numerals at the rear of his helmet, and his grace on skates, mark Benjamin Rubin as a natural.
Andy Ram, a native of Uruguay, calls himself “a huge soccer fan.” But he was on an airplane during the World Cup final on Sunday, unable to watch Italy’s victory over France.
“I had the best excuse,” he said — he had made history the previous night.
Ram, 26, teamed with Vera Zvonareva of the Czech Republic to win the mixed doubles finals at Wimbledon, in England. His win marked the first by an Israeli in a tennis Grand Slam tournament.
A century after he was a standout major league baseball catcher, Johnny Kling has been bypassed by the national pastime.
When the Veterans Committee of baseball’s Hall of Fame made its last choices for long-retired players, in 2001, Kling did not make the cut. When Jewish Major Leaguers issued its initial set of Jewish baseball cards in 2003, and an updated version earlier this year, Kling wasn’t there.
Was it because Kling, who died at 71 in 1947, was too Jewish, or not Jewish enough?
Gil Bogen says it’s both.
The Jewish connection to the Olympic Games is as old as the modern Olympics movement. Unfortunately, some of the connections are tragic, like the murder of 11 members of Israel’s team at the Munich Games in 1972.
Last week The Jewish Week looked at some largely unknown parts of Olympic Jewish history. This week, the Olympics and the Holocaust.
Yossi Goldberg played soccer and basketball as a boy growing up in Israel, but figure skating was in his blood — his mother was a figure skater in Lithuania.
That, says Goldberg, founder and president of the Israeli Figure Skating Association, is why he has devoted a dozen years to a winter sport in a Mediterranean country.
Ruth Magied sits down at the piano in her Midwood apartment and dives into Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.” Her fingers lightly, fluently, dance over the keys.
The music stops after a few minutes and Magied stands up. She turns from the piano, the instrument that filled her childhood, to the topic that occupied her adolescence — pain.
“Pain,” she says, “can destroy your brain. It’s like having four root canals that never go away. It’s like having someone hitting you over your head with a frying pan.”
There was mixed news for Benjamin Rubin, a Sabbath-observant hockey player in Canada’s top development league, at the end of his first season the other day.
In a post-season talk with owner-coach Patrick Roy of the Quebec Remparts in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Rubin, 18, heard that he is one of the team’s “most talented players.”
Timisoara, Romania — Among the nearly 200 Jews who attended the pair of seders in the Jewish community building here last week were members of the local community, a visiting family of Israelis and one man with New York City roots.
Rafael Schwartz lived in Brooklyn and New Jersey for nearly 20 years.
On a Friday in January 1973, Jesse Perlstein retired from his job as a district manager for the Robert Hall men’s clothing chain.
The following Monday morning he walked to the Samuel Field Y, a few minutes from his home in Little Neck, Queens, and signed up as a volunteer.
The next morning he walked to the Marathon Jewish Community Center, his synagogue a few minutes away, again to volunteer.
Thirty years later, Perlstein is still donating his time.
Chapel Hill, N.C. — With 11 minutes left in the first half of a recent University of North Carolina home basketball game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, the giant TV screens above the Dean E. Smith Center flash the image of a graying, bespectacled septuagenarian Jew from the East Bronx.