As a child growing up on Long Island, Richard Markowitz would hear stories from his Hungarian-born grandparents about an illustrious, distant relative who had died three decades earlier. “I heard that I had a famous cousin who was a fencer,” says Markowitz, now an internist in Hewlett. “They may have said he was an Olympian.”
Frankfurt, Germany: Amsterdam has long been a place of education and remembrance of Anne Frank. But in her hometown of Frankfurt, Germany, Frank's life and death for years have been marked only with a plaque on one of her two former homes and an elementary school renamed in her honor. Annual ceremonies were held on her birthday from 1957 to 1970, but until now there has never been an ambitious permanent site dedicated to telling the story of one of the most famous and eloquent victims of the Holocaust.
Debby Hirshman, the indefatigable force behind what could be the largest Jewish community center in America (the $85 million JCC in Manhattan) was suddenly let go as its executive director last week, according to JCC officials.
"We asked for her resignation," said Peter Joseph, co-chairman of the JCC's board of directors. Joseph declined to discuss specifics whether the sudden departure was as a result of a particular incident.
Joseph said Hirshman's departure was effective Sept 29.
Black-Jewish tensions escalated this week following the selection of the first Jewish vice presidential candidate of a major party in American history. Even as the Rev. Jesse Jackson voiced strong support for Sen. Joseph Lieberman during a speech at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles Tuesday night, and as Lieberman met with the Congressional Black Caucus to assuage their fears about his stand on affirmative action, attacks on Lieberman came from other corners of the black community.
As a child growing up on Long Island, Richard Markowitz would hear stories from his Hungarian-born grandparents about an illustrious, distant relative who had died three decades earlier. “I heard that I had a famous cousin who was a fencer,” says Markowitz, now an internist in Hewlett. “They may have said he was an Olympian.” It wasn’t until Markowitz took up the sport in high school, becoming a skilled fencer by college, that he found out exactly who his cousin was.
The Rev. Abraham Lopes Cardozo, a descendant of a prominent Dutch Jewish family who served as a cantor for more than six decades and worked to preserve the musical traditions of Spanish and Portuguese Jewry, died Feb. 21 in Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan. He was 91, and had been in poor health since fracturing a hip last year.
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.