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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Fontana on Jewish athletes

David Fontana (GW) has a piece at HuffPost on The Return of the Jewish Athlete, discussing some sociological and demographic causes for the recent revival (relatively speaking, of course) of Jewish athletes. These include increasing intermarriage, new Jewish immigration, and increasing populations in suburban and exurban communities and growing areas such as the Southwest. He also pays note to Northwestern's Aaron Liberman, a 6'10" center who wears a yarmulke and played high school basketball at a Yeshiva, earning the nicknmae "The Jewish Dwight Howard."

Posted by Howard Wasserman on January 15, 2014 at 03:18 PM in Howard Wasserman | Permalink

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Go ogle "Nathan Frieman" 6'8" first baseman for the Oakland Athletics!

Posted by: Beverly buck | Jan 15, 2014 8:25:17 PM

I liked a placard I once saw claiming a local singer was the Jewish Danny Kaye.

Posted by: SAH | Jan 15, 2014 9:33:11 PM

Do you feel the "Famous Jewish sports legends" gag from Airplane! was anti-Semitic?

Posted by: Jack | Jan 15, 2014 10:55:42 PM

SAH, it must have been David Kaminsky performing.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Jan 15, 2014 11:23:54 PM

No, because it was obviously a joke given the context and was not done in a way to demean. And the fact that the makers of the movie were Jewish helps.

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Jan 15, 2014 11:43:02 PM

Great joke. Glad it came up!

Posted by: Paul Horwitz | Jan 15, 2014 11:46:15 PM

What many american jews fail to grasp is that the general reputation of jewish people being "bookish" and "scholarly" as opposed to muscular and athletic is nonsense. It may be have been historically somewhat accurate as to american jews whose ancestors landed on the american shores from eastern europe (ie ashkenazy jews). However, these same folks who immigrated to Israel have extremely different (ie athletic) children. The typical Israeli is very sports oriented and athletic. Moreover, half of the jews in the world (and they are mostly in Israel) are sephardi - jews who immigrated from the middle east such as morocco, yemen, iraq, etc. They are very athletic and dominate Israeli sports teams. The lesson is not to draw conclusions from american jews regarding the athletic prowess of jews.

Posted by: Mister | Jan 20, 2014 8:30:07 AM

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