Many profiles of prominent athletes feature their “p.r.” That stands for personal record, the competitor’s best-ever performance in his or her sport, not for personal religion. So it’s often difficult to determine the religion of an athlete.
In this issue and next week’s, The Jewish Week highlights some members of the U.S. Summer Olympics squad competing in Athens who are known to be members of the Jewish community.
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.
In Olympic years, some People of the Book become people of the backstroke, the clean-and-jerk, and the high hurdles.
The Games, Summer and Winter, serve as a showcase for the best athletes, Jewish and non-Jewish. From A (Ruth Abeles) to Z (Eli Zuckerman), names like Mark Spitz and Kerry Strug are in the record books as well as Jewish history texts.
Beginning with 10 medals won by Jewish athletes at the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896, Jews have been a steady presence at the international competition.
Zion Ozeri, globetrotting photographer who lives on the Upper East Side, packs a few camera bodies, several lenses and lots of film when he sets off on a working trip.
But that’s not the most vital part of his job.
“I have a big smile,” says Ozeri, whose pictures of Israeli families, with roots in native lands around the world, are featured in these pages. “People have to trust you. You have to convince them to allow you into their homes.”
At 4 she became part of history as the patient in a medical experiment — the recipient of a then-rare cornea transplant.
At 16, she made history again, because of a medical experiment she had conducted.
Taylor Bernheim, a junior at Ramaz day school in Manhattan, last week was named winner of a $50,000 second prize in the annual Siemens Westinghouse science competition.
From deep in the political wilderness, from the “bluest” fringe of America, Rabbi Michael Lerner this week saw the writing on the wall.
“We have a tough fight in front of us” to influence American politics while being outside of many positions of power, Rabbi Lerner, editor of the San Francisco-based Tikkun magazine, told The Jewish Week.
Visitors to Salt Lake City during the Winter Games have seen the first signs of the city’s effort to change its public face — tree-lined mediums on major streets, a light rail system, more parks.
And some visitors have met the man behind the changes — Stephen Goldsmith, Salt Lake City director of planning and fourth-generation Salt Lake City Jew.
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.
A current dispute that grew out of an anti-bias civic program in eastern Massachusetts threatens to upset the already tense relationship between parts of the Jewish and Armenian communities in the United States.
Leaders of the Armenian community in Watertown have urged the town to suspend its participation in “No Place for Hate,” an 8-year-old diversity program sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League, and they have criticized ADL National Director Abraham Foxman for recent statements he made about the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23.