Jews have often regarded themselves within the realm of American sports not unlike the Israelite scouts who imagined themselves as small and insignificant as “grasshoppers” in comparison to the Canaanites who seemed to them as giants.
At first, Mira Awad didn’t want to be thought of as a bridge between cultures. The Palestinian-Israeli singer and songwriter grew up in an Arab village in the Galilee, studied music in Tel Aviv and has written and performed with musicians of many backgrounds. She felt the weight of being an Arab in Israel who moved between cultures.
David Margalit, 11, gave the slightest of nods, and he and Nasif Francis, also 11, began playing a Mozart Sonata. Margalit and Francis, on piano and violin, made subtle music together, enchanting listeners in a house concert last week on the Upper East Side.
Like Yiddishkeit, baseball is never what it used to be, and what used to be is often different than remembered. Legend tells us that fans were most loyal and passionate in Brooklyn.
Did anyone love Jackie Robinson more, or Sandy Koufax even more? And yet, despite Brooklyn finishing first or second nine times, with four World Series appearances and a championship in the years after Robinson’s debut (1947), Brooklyn attendance plunged some 780,000 in the next decade. Meanwhile, Koufax, of course, the beloved Brooklyn Jew who was a well-known athlete in the borough, was the starting pitcher 13 times in Brooklyn home games, but the average attendance was a very modest 16,289, with several of his starts attracting anemic turnouts in the range of 6,000-7,000.