Los Angeles, California, United States
December 7, 2021
Organizer, author, athlete Joe Siegman is recognized for his decades of leadership and participation in Jewish-related and conventional sport activities.
Siegman founded the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1979, which he organized originally as a fund-raising vehicle for the U.S. Maccabiah team. Subsequently, in collaboration with then Maccabiah Games vice-president Alan Sherman, the concept took on a life of its own in 1981, when the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame Museum was dedicated at the Wingate Institute in Netanya, Israel.
He also assisted the establishment of five additional U.S. regional halls of fame.
The Chicago-born television producer-writer authored The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, published in 1992 (SPI Books). He has since published a series of four volumes titled Jewish Sports Legends, featuring Jewish sport history, biographies and photos of iconic Jewish sportsmen and sportswomen who have been elected to the IJSHOF. The books were published in 1997 (Brasseys), 2001 & 2005 (Potomac Books), 2017 (Nebraska Press).
Siegman was a member of five U.S. Maccabiah teams between 1973 and 1989: the 1973 Cricket team, and 1977 thru 1989 quadrennial Lawn Bowls teams. In succeeding years, in served as team chairman.
He organized a series of fund-raising events in the Los Angeles area to aid the participation of U.S. Maccabiah athletes and sports teams. These events featured performances by comedians Jerry Seinfeld, Billy Crystal, Bill Maher, Shelley Berman, Milton Berle, Dick Shawn, and many others.
1977 thru 1985, Siegman was Western Regional Vice-President of United States Committee Sports For Israel, sponsors/organizers of U.S. Maccabiah Teams. In 1982, he wrote and produced the documentary, Two Weeks To Experience – A Lifetime To Remember, the USCSFI's first promotional film.
In 1969, Siegman, representing the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation, served as publicity director of the second Special Olympics Games. He was responsible for bringing the Hollywood community into the project by creating a volunteer board of "celebrity coaches".
From 1964 to 2003, Siegman (and partner) produced "Hollywood Stars Night" at Los Angeles Dodgers Stadium, an annual Hollywood exhibition baseball event that preceded the evening's Major League game. Over 39 years, more than six hundred celebrities participated in the contest, among them: Dean Martin, Jackie Gleason, Jerry Lewis, Kevin Costner, Billy Crystal, Tom Selleck, Robin Williams, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Gene Hackman, Mark Harmon, Keanu Reeves, Bob Newhart, Ray Romano, Kevin James and numerous others. His coffee-table book, Bats Balls & Hollywood Stars – Hollywood's Love Affair With Baseball, a homage to the event, was published in 2015 (Educators International Press).
As a television producer, his resume of "reality" shows includes the popular Celebrity Bowling series, which aired seven first-run seasons, and Celebrity Tennis, three first-run seasons on American television. Both series aired originally during the 1970s.
On the bowling green, Siegman won the (American) National Open Pairs Championship in 1989, and 2004 U.S. Championships Pairs. He (and partners) qualified for four U.S. Championships finals. He also served as manager of United States men's bowls teams that competed internationally 1991-2006, including the 1992 World Bowls Championships.
Off the green, he served as president of the Southwest Division of the American Lawn Bowls Association, was publisher-editor of the quarterly BOWLS Magazine 1992-2002, and twice represented the United States on the World Bowling Board federation.
Joe Siegman is an elected member of the BowlsUSA Hall of Fame and Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
The Lifetime Achievement
Award is presented annually, honoring those individuals
who have made significant contributions to the State of Israel and society
Of Blessed Memory