With Our Thanks:

-Former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz
-Former NY City Councilman Michael C. Nelson

Councilmembers: -Darlene Mealy, Stephen Levin, Chaim Deutsch, David Greenfield

-Jim Goldman, Charles Diker, Lloyd Handwerker, Hon Alice Fisher Rubin, Lowell Rubin, Raoul Felder bhs-logo2

Brooklyn Jews in Sports

By Joe Dorinson
A common fallacy–perpetuated in stereotype—is that Jews are inept in sports because they lack athletic talent as well as physical strength.  The Brooklyn Jewish experience gives the lie to this absurd view. In basketball alone, Jews from our borough dominated the game for decades. Their names are legion; their deeds, immortal.

In the early years of “Hoop” lore, one finds Nat Krinsky and Sammy Kaplan. Later, we encounter college greats at LIU-Brooklyn like Julie Bender, Irv Torgoff (pro-basketball’s first sixth man), Butch Schwartz, the Rader twins, Lou Lippman, and Ossie Schectman who scored the first basket in what is now the NBA. Even Catholic schools like St. John’s University recruited talented Jewish hoopsters like Jack “Dutch” Garfinkel, Harry Boykoff, the Gotkin Brothers (Hy & Dave), and Max Zaslofsky.

NYU, not to be outdone, summoned Donnie Forman, Sid Tannenbaum, Jerry Fleischman, Abe Becker, Boris Nachamkin, Mal Seeman, Bruce Kaplan, and Mark “Whitey” Reiner. Other luminaries attended CCNY, namely, Moe Goldman, William “Red” Holtzman, Jerry Domerschick (the only team captain for three consecutive years), Al Roth, and Mike Witlin to name only a few. Of course, we must now praise famous men such as Rudy LaRusso who went out of town to Dartmouth, an Ivy League sanctuary and stardom with the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and also praise famous women like Nancy Lieberman who pioneered women’s entry into a once exclusive male club in basketball.

Breaking barriers, Jack Laub, Abraham Lincoln High School grad, played six years of varsity basketball; two years at CCNY interrupted by World War II, and four years at the University of Cincinnati. In another forum, Normie Drucker set a very high bar as NBA referee in preserving law and order on basketball courts throughout America. Although Jerry Reinsdorf, an Erasmus graduate, did not play the game, he now owns basketball’s Chicago Bulls and baseball’s Chicago White Sox. Probably, basketball’s greatest coach and judge of talent issued from Brooklyn roots though he gained glory in Boston; his name: Arnold “Red” Auerbach.

Brooklyn football produced a superstar in Sid Luckman at Erasmus Hall High School, Columbia College, and the first prototypical T-Formation quarterback with the dynastic Chicago Bears, gridiron royalty. Another Erasmus alum, Al Davis became a coach, owner, and commissioner in pro football. As the owner/ general manager of the Oakland Raiders, he resurrected the career of a brilliant defensive end, Lyle Alzado, a Brooklyn native whose life ended prematurely due to steroids. Other players of note include Abraham Lincoln High School’s Sid Youngelman who excelled in basketball as well as in football. Allie Sherman, who played quarterback at Brooklyn College, went on to coach the New York Giants to several division titles. Finally, Sonny Werblin as co-owner of the New York Jets signed Joe Namath to a lucrative contract leading to a merger of two competing leagues and the transformation of professional football. Werblin later ran Madison Square Garden with the New York Knicks and the New York Ranger, local basketball and hockey teams, respectively, under his able aegis.

Media stars, from print journalism to raid and television, also deserve mention. They span two radical journalists, Lester Rodney and Bill Mardo who promoted racial integration in professional baseball before it was fashionable. The enormously prolific sportswriter, Maury Allen (Rosenberg) made sports stories accessible without sacrificing literary elegance. Howard Cosell, ne Cohen, raised a powerful Brooklyn if nasal voice for defending Muhammad Ali and “telling it like it is” when discoursing on controversial issues. Speaking of mellifluous voices, none did it better than Marty Glickman, a great athlete in football and track at James Madison High School and Syracuse University and legendary broadcaster of major events in football and basketball. Marv Albert (ne Aufrichtig) carved out a highly successful career along with his younger brothers, Al and Steve.

Because baseball remains our national pastime, “attention,” to echo the wife of Brooklyn salesman Willy Loman, “must be paid.” Present at the creation, Lipmann Pike, of Dutch Jewish origin not only is regarded as baseball’s first professional; he also earned the distinction of being baseball’s initial home-run hitter. Later local favorites emerged: they include Sid Gordon, Goodie Rosen, Harry Eisenstat, Cal Abrams, Saul Rogovin, and Sandy Koufax,  According to Hall of Famer Bob Feller‘s expert assessment, Koufax ranks as the best pitcher in modern baseball. And lest we forget, Sandy’s teammate at Lafayette High School, Fred Wilpon owns the New York Mets.

Cal Abrams

CAL ABRAMS On November 20, 1980, Eli Wohlgelernter interviewed Cal Abrams and his wife, May. Now housed in the Jewish Division of the New York Public Library, the record of this interview goes beyond statistics, to which British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli disdained in a pungent remark, often quoted and wrongly attributed: “There are lies, [more …]Cal Abrams

Nets to Host Chanukah Jewish Heritage Night at Barclays Center

Originally published on The Jewish Voice by JV Staff

The Barclays Center is the home arena of the Nets in Brooklyn, New York.

As the Nets gear up for the third season in their new home in Brooklyn, CTeen, Chabad’s global teen network, is planning its 2nd Annual Jewish Heritage Night [more …]Nets to Host Chanukah Jewish Heritage Night at Barclays Center

Jewish Hall Of Fame: Mikhail Prokhorov

At 49, the renowned entrepreneur, politician and Brooklyn Nets owner is one of the wealthiest men in the world By: Caitlin Marceau

Published: August 27th, 2014 in Business » World

Since the dawn of time, Jewish people have contributed greatly to various fields, from sports to entertainment to politics to porn. With our Breakthrough [more …]Jewish Hall Of Fame: Mikhail Prokhorov

Brooklyn Dodgers, The Ghosts of Flatbush

When Walter O’Malley—author Pete Hamill’s choice for the third most evil man in history—pulled the Dodgers out of Brooklyn with the bibulous Horace Stoneham in tow, this baseball tycoon drove a dagger deep into our city’s heart. Our borough minus the Dodgers is like Romeo bereft of Juliet, corned beef on white bread, Abbott less [more …]Brooklyn Dodgers, The Ghosts of Flatbush

Marty Glickman’s Stolen Medal

Perhaps the most famous of all modern Olympics was the 1936 “Nazi” Olympics, held in Berlin. Hitler tried to use the Olympic Games to demonstrate the superiority of “pure Aryans” over nations that allowed Jews, blacks and other “mongrel” races to compete on their behalf. Jesse Owens and other African-American track stars embarrassed the Fuhrer [more …]Marty Glickman’s Stolen Medal


By Dr. George Eisen – published in International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame

The following list of Jewish Olympic medalists was compiled by Dr. George Eisen, Executive Director and Associate Vice-President at Nazareth College of Rochester, New York.

Dr. Eisen is the author of many books, studies and articles, including the award-winning Children [more …]JEWISH OLYMPIC MEDALISTS

Jewish NBA player who scored league’s first basket dies at 94

Posted on July 30, 2013 by Jewish News – JNS.org. (Jewish News – JNS.org) Oscar “Ossie” Schectman, a Jewish player who scored the first basket in the history of what evolved into the National Basketball Association (NBA), died Tuesday at age 94. Schectman’s historic field goal came on Nov. 1, 1946 for the New York [more …]Jewish NBA player who scored league’s first basket dies at 94

Marvin Miller

On Tuesday,November 26.2012, a great Bronx-born but Brooklyn-bred American Jewish hero, Marvin Miller died. The Malach Hamoves (Angel of Death) claimed him at age 95. His daughter Susan cited liver cancer as the cause but, denied elevation to Baseball’s Hall of Fame, Miller, an outstanding economist and labor leader, may have succumbed to a broken [more …]Marvin Miller

Sandy Koufax

Just in: Koufax was a baller of more than one kind

Sandy Koufax, 1961

Apparently Brooklyn Jewish baseball legend Sandy Koufax had short legs but also ups. He played basketball for Lafayette High School in Bath Beach, Brooklyn in the early 1950s, setting himself apart as an extraordinary player on the court [more …]Sandy Koufax