Short Article Archive


Who's Jewish at the 2014 Sochi Olympics?   Feb 2014


Young American figure skater Gracie Gold is not --- but here are some athletes who have been to a Jewish summer camp or a synagogue .... Click here for story:


Bob Costas to honor Israeli Olympians   

July 2012

NBC Sports lead Olympic broadcaster stands up for the Israeli Olympians the International Olympic Committee continually refuses to honor 40 years after their murder.  Click here for story.



My Father The Jewish Athlete        June 2010


With Father's Day just past, the following article offers a wonderful tribute to a father remembered for - among other things - his athletic feats, written by Helen Epstein, author of Children of the Holocaust and Where She Came From: A Daughter's Search for her Mother's History (


A longer version of this article is available on Kindle as "Swimming Against Stereotype."


Glasser leads ASU to win at the Garden

27Nov'09 Congratulations to Derek Glasser, Arizona State senior guard, who led his team to a 71-52 defeat of LSU to take 3rd place honors in the pre-season NIT at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Sun Devils trailed 34-27 at the half, but held the Tigers to a paltry 2-for-17 shooting coming into the second half.


Glasser put in a career high 24 points, and received high marks from TV color analyst Bobby Knight, who praised his intelligence, determination, and concentration. He observes the game and it sinks in to what he is doing, noted Knight.


Arizona State coach Herb Sendek is a member of the Center for Sport and Jewish Life advisory board.


In a contest for first place honors, Duke's Jon Scheyer (also previously highlighted here at had 19 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists to help lead Duke to a 68-59 win over UConn. Scheyer was named Tournament Most Outstanding Player. Mazel tov to Derek and Jon, and our best wishes for a great and memorable senior season to both!

Mazel Tov, Josh Pastner                Apr '09

The Center for Sport and Jewish Life extends best wishes to Josh Pastner, a member of our National Advisory Board, on his recent appointment as Head Men's Basketball Coach at the University of Memphis. Pastner, who spent the past year as an assistant to head coach John Calipari at Memphis after 6 years as an assistant to Coach Lute Olson at Arizona, was named to the position by the Memphis athletic director within days of the departure of Calipari, who has been named the new head coach at Kentucky. For the skinny on the making of the newest Jewish coach to join the head coaching ranks, click here.

Israel to Semi-Finals in Davis Cup Play!

2009 Israel stunned Russia in Tel Aviv to a quick 3-0 score, advancing to the semi-finals in Davis cup play where they will face either Spain or Germany.

Following wins in singles by both Dudi Sela (currently ranked 35 on the ATP Tour) and Harel Levy, the doubles team of Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich beat the Russian team of Marat Safin and Igor Kunitsyn 6-3, 6-4, 6-7, 4-6 and 6-4 to i-make history by advancing to semi-final play for the first time in the history of Israeli tennis.

Dudi Sela Advances to Fourth Round of Wimbledon Play

2009 Israel tennis player Dudi Sela beat 15th seeded Tommy Robredo of Spain 7-6 (8), 7-5, 2-6, 7-5 to advance to the fourth round of Wimbledon, where he faces world no. 4 ranked Novak Djokovic.

For Sela, this is the first time in his career to reach the 4th round of a Grand Slam event - As the Jerusalem Post noted, Sela credited both the crowd which gave him a good deal of support, and former Israeli great Amos Mansdorf for his help. "Last week Mansdorf gave me a lot of tips - like take the ball early, come in more. I think I came in to the net a lot and that was the key to the win."


Mazel Tov, Omri                             Jan 2010


Omri Casspi, Sacramento Kings' Israeli rookie, was named to the 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend rookie team that will match off against league sophomores. The Rookie Challenge game will be played in Dallas on February 12.


The Israeli forward, who has surpassed expectations with a strong first-half season with the Kings, will be joined - among others - by teammate Tyreke Evans, whom many consider to be the league's best rookie, along with Brandon Jennings (Milwaukee), Stephen Curry (Golden State), and Sweden's Jonas Jerebko (Detroit).


Through the first 42 games this season, Casspi has registered just over 12 points per game while playing 27 minutes. He has grabbed nearly five rebounds per game while shooting 47 percent from the floor.


An Israeli in the NBA... Finally?                  '09


When the NBA holds its annual draft on Thursday night June 25, one more Israeli player wonders if he might be the first Israeli to actually play in the NBA. Doron Sheffer, Lior Eliyahu and Yotam Halperin have all been drafted, but to date, no player has ever worn an NBA uniform. Jerusalem Post writer Allon Sinai explores the possibilities that Omri Casspi might be the first.  Click here. 

Israelis Help UCLA Men to NCAA Tennis Quarterfinals                                                    '09

Israelis Amit Inbar and Har'el Srugo teamed up on the no. 2 doubles court to defeat their counterparts from the University of Miami helping the #7 seeded UCLA men win the doubles point. Then Srugo won his singles match to help UCLA to a 4-1 win in opening round play of the top 16 Division 1 men's tennis teams. UCLA advances to the quarterfinals for the 33rd consecutive year.


As a doubles team, Srugo and Inbar are 14-0 for the year.

UCLA will face second-seeded Mississippi on May 16.


Well-known Holocaust heroine Miep Gies dies at 100


Miep Gies, the woman who worked for Otto Frank, the father of Anne, who played a pivotal role in hiding the Frank family in a hidden annex above the company's offices in a building on a canal in Amsterdam during World War 2, passed away on January 11, 2010 at age 100.  Shortly after the Nazis found the Franks and other Jews who were in hiding with them and took them away to the concentration camps, Gies returned to the attic where she found the diary that Anne kept, a gift for her 13th birthday. After the war, she gave the diary to Mr. Frank, the only member of the family who survived.  The diary has been translated into over 70 languages and read by millions of people around the world.
Israeli President Shimon Peres sent condolences to the people of Holland. Gies has been honored by Israel's Yad VaShem Holocaust Memorial as a Righteous Gentile.
Gies later wrote that she was not special and not a hero.

"More than 20,000 Dutch people helped to hide Jews and others in need of hiding during those years," she wrote. "I was only willing to do what was asked of me and what seemed necessary at the time."
For full coverage, click here.

Israeli archaeologists recently uncovered a shard which has been identified as the earliest example of Hebrew writing dating to the 10th century BCE (about the time of King Solomon and the earliest days of the First Temple). For the full article, click here.