Sports

Hank Greenberg in extra innings

A memorial statue for Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg stands in Detroit's Comerica Park. (JMR_photography via Flickr)

(Washington Jewish Week) — “I think Hank Greenberg was the great American hero,” Washington filmmaker Aviva Kempner says. “What he did on Yom Kippur. What he faced. He was our Jackie Robinson.” Thirteen years after the debut of “The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg,” her documentary about the… Read more »

Israeli Paralympian Pascale Bercovitch eyes 2016 Games in Rio

Pascale Bercovitch, an Israeli handcyclist who competed in the 2012 London Paralympics, has overcome the loss of her legs to become a world-class athlete. (Courtesy Pascale Bercovitch)

TEL AVIV (JTA) – Pascale Bercovitch has a firm handshake and a ready smile. She’s hard to keep up with as she takes an elevator to a cafe on the ground floor of her gym in northern Tel Aviv and talks about her hopes to compete in 2016 in… Read more »

Inspired by past Jewish stars, champion skater Max Aaron eyes Sochi Olympics

Max Aaron skates his way to a gold medal at the 2013 U.S. Figure Skating Championship in Omaha, Neb., January 2013. (Courtesy USFSA)

NEW YORK (JTA) — With consecutive quadruple jumps at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Max Aaron launched himself not only to a gold medal and a national championship. The 20-year-old Arizonan also joined the ranks of Jewish athletes who have made it big For Aaron, that was even more… Read more »

Cavs’ Omri Casspi courting his opportunity to contribute

Omri Casspi of the Cleveland Cavaliers, atypically on the court rather than riding the pines, driving against the Chicago Bulls, Jan. 7, 2013. (NBA Photos)

BALTIMORE (JTA) — Even as he sits on the Cleveland Cavaliers bench, watching yet another game proceed without him, Omri Casspi is working to improve. He studies his teammates and his opponents, focusing on the player he’d likely be defending if he were on the court. Casspi uses the… Read more »

Fans and family of Art Modell praying for Ravens Super Bowl victory, Hall of Fame entry

Left to right, Baltimore Ravens' coach John Harbaugh, late owner Art Modell and general manager Ozzie Newsome at the Ravens training facilities, 2008. (Courtesy Baltimore Ravens)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Every Sunday during the football season, a group of 30 diehard Jewish Baltimore Ravens fans suit up in purple pants, jerseys, socks, face paint and special Ravens tzitzit to watch the game together. If the game falls on a Saturday, the club gathers for a… Read more »

Jewish glory, frustration mark London Games

Israeli-American men's basketball coach David Blatt led the Russian national team to the bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games. (Christopher Johnson via CC)

(JTA) – The London Olympics may have “lit up the world,” as organizing committee head Sebastian Coe put it, but for Jews the 2 1/2 weeks offered healthy doses of frustration and glory. On the plus side, new medalists such as America’s Aly Raisman gained the spotlight with her… Read more »

SUMMER OLYMPICS: Aly Raisman, Australians are Jewish stars in London

The New York Post uses its Aug. 8, 2012 cover to shine a light on gymnast Aly Raisman after she told reporters that she would have taken part in a moment of silence in memory of the Israeli athletes and coaches killed at the Munich Olympics in 1972. (The New York Post)

U.S. gymnast Aly Raisman confirmed her status as one of the stars of the London Olympics Tuesday, winning an individual gold medal in the floor exercise as well as a bronze on the balance beam after helping the U.S. women’s team take the gold last week. Raisman’s bronze came… Read more »

Six decades later, fibbing ex-flying ace really sees the London Olympics

Mitchell Flint standing in front of his P51 Mustang fighter plane in Israel in 1948. (Courtesy Tom Tugend)

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — After a 64-year detour, Mitchell Flint, a former fighter pilot for the United States and Israel, has finally landed for the London Olympic Games. In the summer of 1948, Flint, with a four-year wartime stint as a U.S. Navy fighter pilot in the Pacific under… Read more »

Aly Raisman leads U.S. to gymnastics team gold

Alexandra "Aly" Raisman performing a leap on the balance beam at the 2010 World Championships. (John Cheng)

(JTA) — Aly Raisman, a Jewish American, won the floor exercise in helping the U.S. women’s team to the gold medal in the gymnastics competition at the London Olympics. The Americans on Tuesday won their first team gold medal in women’s gymnastics since the Atlanta Games in 1996,  finishing… Read more »

LONDON OLYMPICS: Australia’s Steven Solomon takes fast track to Olympics

Sprinter Steven Solomon, the only Jewish member of the Australian Olympic team, playing for the Australian junior soccer team at the 2009 Maccabiah Games in Israel. (Peter Haskin)

SYDNEY (JTA) — Moments after Steven Solomon walked into Ramat Gan Stadium for the opening of the 2009 Maccabiah Games in Israel, the Australian teenager sent his parents a photo with a message describing how amazing it was to be at his first “Jewish Olympics.” On July 27, Solomon,… Read more »

SUMMER OLYMPICS: With special prayers and kosher food, Jewish London embracing Olympic spirit

Leslie Lyndon, former cantor of the Masorti New North London Synagogue, carrying the Olympic torch in London, July 25, 2012. (Ian Ellis)

LONDON (JTA) — For Leslie Lyndon and the London Jewish community, it was a minor miracle. When Lyndon carried the Olympic torch through a north London neighborhood last week, it was more than representative of how Jewish Londoners have embraced the Olympic spirit. This was five years since Lyndon,… Read more »

SUMMER OLYMPICS: Judokas Alice Schlesinger and Arik Ze’evi power Israel’s medal hopes

Israeli Olympian Alice Schlesinger practicing her judo moves with her coach, Olympic bronze medalist Oren Smadja, July 9, 2012. (Noam Moskowitz/Flash90/JTA)

TEL AVIV (JTA) — One is nearing the end of his career, already has an Olympic medal and is eyeing another. The other is a decade younger, an up-and-comer who has enjoyed  some success but is aiming for her first medal at the Games. Ariel “Arik” Ze’evi, 35, and… Read more »

SUMMER OLYMPICS: America’s Jewish Olympians head to London with Jewish pride

Jason Lezak, second from right, after winning the gold medal for the U.S. 400-meter medley relay team at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, August 2008. (Creative Commons)

BALTIMORE (JTA) – Jason Lezak — no newcomer to Olympic glory — recognizes the difficulty in returning to the medal stand at the London Games. “I definitely would hope to … get onto the podium there and win a medal for the USA,” Lezak, a seven-time Olympic medalist, told… Read more »

How the Munich 11 petition went viral

WASHINGTON (JTA) – It began two years ago as an idea by volunteers at a suburban Jewish community center and turned into a major international campaign, galvanizing everyone from President Obama to the mayor of London. And in case you haven’t heard yet about the movement to get the… Read more »

SUMMER OLYMPICS: Palestinian Olympic participation brings conflict to the fore

Graphic from the official Palestinian Olympic Facebook page, featuring the five Palestinian Olympians for the 2012 Summer games in London. (Palestinian Olympic Facebook page)

RAMALLAH, West Bank (JTA) — A portrait of the two most prominent Palestinian leaders — current Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and former President Yasser Arafat, who died in 2004 — hangs in the conference room of the Palestinian Olympic Committee headquarters. The background of the portrait is a… Read more »

Israel’s Olympians heading to London thinking medals, remembering slain countrymen

Israeli President Shimon Peres, seated second from right, with his country's Olympic delegation for the London Games, July 9, 2012. (Noam Moskowitz/Flash90/JTA)

TEL AVIV (JTA) – Israelis and their Summer Olympics athletes are eyeing the upcoming London Games with excitement and disappointment. The athletes are hoping that for the sixth straight summer Games, at least one of them will come home with a medal. Yet they are well aware that the… Read more »

Munich 11 widow Ankie Spitzer keeps up her fight for a minute of Olympic time

Ankie Spitzer, right, with David Kirschtel, CEO of JCC Rockland, in front of the JCC's recently installed memorial sculpture dedicated to the 11 Israelis who died at the 1972 Munich Olympics. (Marla Cohen)

WEST NYACK, N.Y. (JTA) — The room was splashed in blood, the walls riddled with bullet holes. Ankie Spitzer stood amid the chaos and made a vow. “If this is the place where Andrei spent the last hours of his life, he and his friends, I am not going… Read more »