Browsing Tag



How a White Jewish Boxer Made African-American Sports History

By On August 9, 2017

He’s not a household name anymore, but in 1908, John Arthur “Jack” Johnson of Galveston, Texas, became the first African-American heavyweight champion of the world. And to whom did he credit his… Read More


This Jewish Immigrant Olympian Worked in a Chocolate Factory Before Winning Gold

By On July 11, 2017

In 1904, the Russian village of Yekaterinaslov (now Ukraine’s Dnepropetrovsk) marked the birth of a future Olympic athlete named Fania Rosenfeld to parents who would shortly move the family to Ontario, Canada… Read More


In 1936, Barcelona Was to Host the Anti-Nazi ‘People’s Olympiad’

By On February 17, 2017

In 1936, with Nazi Germany set to host the Summer Olympics, anti-fascist organizers in Barcelona decided to stage a parallel event: the People’s Olympiad. A hotbed of progressive and left-wing politics, the… Read More


This 15-Year-Old Orthodox Girl Is a Champion Powerlifter

By On November 10, 2016

When one thinks of a competitive powerlifter, a pretty standard image comes to mind: an enormous man in tights bulging with muscle. Not quite a petite Orthodox girl too young to have… Read More

The First Olympic Gold Swimmer Was This Hungarian Jew

The First Swimmer to Win Olympic Gold Was This Hungarian Jew

By On August 12, 2016

When Michael Phelps dives into a pool in Rio to grab his golds, he’s guaranteed calm waters hovering round 80 degrees Fahrenheit. But at the first modern Olympic Games in Athens, Greece,… Read More

The Surprising Nazi Origins of the Olympic Torch Relay

The Surprising Nazi Origins of the Olympic Torch Relay

By On August 4, 2016

The Olympics are supposed to be a time when the world unites to celebrate elite athletes, but it has long been a complicated event for Jews. The Munich massacre of Israeli athletes… Read More

Miguel Cotto

The Puerto Rican Boxer With the Kosher Tattoo

By On October 21, 2014

Pro boxers don’t usually wear their sponsorship on their sleeves – but Puerto Rican fighter Miguel Cotto wears his on his neck. Er, scratch that – the Orthodox Union hechsher tattooed on the light middleweight boxer’s trapezius… Read More


The Jewish Baseball Star Who Outran a Horse

By On October 23, 2013

Lipman Pike was not only the first Jewish American sports star and professional baseball player, he was the first pro baseball player altogether. Oh, and there was that time he outran a horse. Born in New… Read More


Wilt Chamberlain, Borscht-Belt Bellhop

By On September 30, 2013

In 1954, at 17 years old, 7’1″ Wilt Chamberlain was already a basketball phenom. But the summer before his senior year of high school he took a summer job as a bellhop at Kutsher’s Country… Read More


How to Play Jewball

By On October 26, 2011

Do Jews care about sports? The popular stereotype says no–Jews are too nerdy and bookish to chase after balls. But Neal Pollack, author, impresario, and occasional correspondent, has devoted the past two years… Read More

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