We Now Accept Online Donations
The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame can now accept credit cards for donations or for purchases of dedication plaques through Citizens Bank and Swipe Simple.
Please visit to make a donation.
2023 Class of Inductees
With great pride we present to you the 2023 class of Inductees for the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. This is now public information so please feel free to share this good news. Each of the honorees was very touched and felt honored.
Our next induction ceremony is slated for July 8, 2025 just before the next Maccabiah Games in Israel. I hope you are able to join us. As part of the ceremony, we will be honoring those great Jewish athletes that were lost in the Holocaust plus those who survived and went onto sports greatness. Some amazing and inspiring stories.
Our inductees are as follows: Rudi Ball, Germany - Ice Hockey; Chris Berman, USA - Media; David Blatt, USA/Israel - Basketball; Deena Drossin Kastor, USA - Track & Field; Ilona Elek-Schacherer, Hungary - Fencing; John Frank, USA - Football; Merrill Moses, USA - Water Polo; Moran Samuel, ISR - Rowing; Mordechai Spiegler, Israel - Soccer; Dwight Stones, USA - Track; and Ariel "Arik" Ze'evi, Israel - Judo.
For 2023 our Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient is Stuart Weitzman USA (NYC) and our Award of Excellence Recipients are Ephraim Moxson USA (LA) and Shel Wallman USA (NYC).
Please visit their bio pages from our honoree directory to learn more about each recipient. These pages will be posted by January 27, 2023.
Chris Berman, ESPN Broadcaster Among 11 Honorees for 2023 at the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame
"(JTA) — Renowned broadcaster Chris Berman and a German Jew who once said hockey "saved me and my family from the Holocaust" are among the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame’s annual class of inductees."
"Jed Margolis, president of the hall of fame, told JTA that the 11 inductees were selected from a list of 150 nominees submitted through an open process throughout the past year. A confidential election committee of around 20 athletes, past award winners and sports experts voted on a smaller list of approximately 30 finalists."
Read the full article online in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency archives.
July 12, 2022 Induction Ceremony Highlights
The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame/Yad Le'ish Hasport Hayehudi celebrated its 43rd year with our Induction Ceremony on July 12, 2022, with hundreds in attendance and many more on Zoom, because of Covid. The original Hall of Fame, founded in May of 1979 included only American honorees but took on an international flavor in 1981 when it became housed at the world-famous Wingate Institute. The International Hall of Fame has honored 437 athletes from around the world of which 64 are women. To date, 31 countries are represented.
Photos from the Event
2022 Inductees, Linoy Ashram and Artem Dolgopoyat unveil the new display.
A moment of silence for the Israeli Olympians lost in Munich in 1972. Shown from right: Jed Margolis, Chairman, Michal Shahar and granddaughter.
From right: Sylvan Adams and Jed Margolis
Mickey Berkowitz and family.
From right: Eran Elias, Shay Avrahami, Sylvan Adams, Shirly Assael.
The purpose of the IJSHOF is to honor Jewish men and women, worldwide, who have accomplished extraordinary achievements in sports and to honor those who have made significant contributions to society through sports.
In addition, its Lifetime Achievement Award annually has honored 30 individuals who have contributed to Jewish life, Israel, society and the community at large, through sports. The Chairman's Award of Excellence has been presented periodically to nine individuals in recognition of special accomplishments in the world of sports and physical education.
Elections to the IJSHOF are made annually. Announcements of each election are made on about December 1st for the succeeding year. Anyone can submit nominations to the IJSHOF. They should be made to firstname.lastname@example.org with supporting documentation Please use the criteria as a guidepost. The next Induction Ceremony is slated for July of 2025 at Wingate preceding the 22nd Maccabiah Games.
Criteria for Election
In addition to a potential candidate having at least one Jewish parent AND considers him/herself Jewish, the candidate must have accomplished at least one of the following:
- An Olympic gold medal
- A World Championship gold medal
- Multiple-Olympic or World Championship medals
- A World Record
- Amateur or professional World Championship
- Been elected to the hall of fame of the athlete’s/contributor's sport
- Recorded a unique achievement(s)
- Was a sports pioneer, innovator or key participant in commemorative circumstances
The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame is a partnership between the IJSHOF Board, Wingate Institute for Physical Education and Sports and some of the world's leading sports authorities, and interested, active and philanthropic Jews.
2022 CLASS OF INDUCTEES - PRESS RELEASE
Three Israelis lead the 2022 class of Inductees into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
Two recent Israeli Olympic gold medalists and a basketball legend help make up the 2022 class of inductees into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will take place on July 12 at Wingate Institute where the Hall of Fame is located. They are Rhythmic Gymnast Linoy Ashram, Gymnast Artem Dolgopyat, and Israeli Superstar Basketball's Mickey Berkowitz.
This class also includes six Americans – Soccer star Jeff Agoos, Pro Bowling Hall of Famer Barry Asher, Baseball legend Thelma "Tiby" Eisen, Tennis great Brad Gilbert, NBA star Ernie Grunfeld, and Baseball standout Ian Kinsler. Australian Canoeist Jessica Fox rounds out the field, following her Olympic Gold Medal performance in Tokyo.
Grunfeld is the only NBA player in history to be the child of Holocaust survivors.
The Hall of Fame is also honoring the 1972 Israeli Olympians who were murdered at the Munich Olympics, commemorating the 50th anniversary of this tragedy.
This year's Award of Excellence is being awarded to Maccabi World Union (MWU) and its CEO Eyal Tiberger, for their work in organizing the Maccabiah Games, the Jewish Olympics. The Maccabiah Games are the second largest international sports event held, behind the Olympics. This year's Maccabiah will host more than 10,000 athletes from 80 countries. MWU has more than 400,000 members in 80 countries.
Election results are announced jointly by IJSHOF Chairman Jed Margolis (Dresher PA) and Honorary Chairman, R.Stephen Rubin of London.
The IJSHOF museum is currently in its 43rd year having recognized 430 athletes and administrators. The museum is located at Wingate Institute in Netanya, Israel. For information contact Jed Margolis at email@example.com.
We mourn the passing of Ike Berger, Lenny Rosenbluth, and Bob Spivak.
LYAPKIN GETS INDUCTION MEDAL AT MOSCOW CEREMONY
1970's Soviet Olympic ice hockey gold medalist and four-time World Championships gold medalist defenseman Yuri Lyapkin receives his IJSHOF induction medal August 4th at the Russian Hockey Museum in Moscow. Presentation to the 2020 honoree is made by museum chief executive officer Olga Golotsukova.
AISH.COM – INTERNATIONAL JEWISH SPORTS HALL OF FAME EXPERT, JOE SIEGMAN
August 2, 2020 | by Mark Miller
Joe received the Lifetime Achievement Award for significant contributions to the State of Israel and society through sports.
In 2018, the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame presented Joe Siegman with The Lifetime Achievement Award, which is presented annually, honoring those individuals who have made significant contributions to the State of Israel and society through sports.
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.
The Chicago-born television producer-writer authored The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, published in 1992. 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.
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.
A pair of Joes – DiMaggio and Siegman
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.
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.
With Mark Spitz
What is the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, how did you happen to found it, and how did it come to have "International" added to it?
I chaired and underwrote an event – Jewish Sports Hall of Fame – in May 1979 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel to call attention to and raise funds in support of the Maccabiah Games in Israel (so-called Jewish Olympics). It was called An Evening of Jewish Pride and honored 18 of the USA's greatest Jewish sports figures. Ten of the 18 were on the dais that evening, along with family reps of four deceased honorees. Underlying level of achievement for the selection of the 18 was: "not the best Jewish athletes, but the best athletes who were also Jewish." Theme was: "The Deeds of the Past Shall Inspire the Achievements of the Future". There was no actual Jewish Sports Hall of Fame at the time. Its existence was virtual, before the word virtual in the current context was conceived.
The HOF event was magical and took on a life of its own. The following year, another class of great Jewish athletes/sportspersons was honored at the BH Hilton. A member of my committee went to Israel and made an arrangement for an actual permanent exhibit. Soon afterward, in 1981, during the framework of the World Maccabiah Games in Israel, the Ministry of Education got involved and the JSHOF added the word International to its title, and with it a museum – Yad Le'ish Hasport Hayehudi – was dedicated at Netanya's Wingate Institute of Sport. That year, 18 international sportsmen and women were inducted to join the previously elected Americans. Thereafter, annual elections of worldwide Jewish Sports Legends have taken place. A total now of 42 years.
Norm Crosby and Lyle Alzado, promo for Jokes with Jocks fundraiser benefiting Maccabiah Games.
How did you get involved with the stand-up comedy series, "The Comedy Shop"? How was that experience for you?
I came-up with the TV idea the way those of us prone to do so come up with show ideas. I already had two series as well as several other shows on the air. I was looking for something new.
I tried unsuccessfully for several years to sell the idea as Milton Berle's Comedy Shop. Entertained a lot of conversation but no luck. Via left field I got a NY ad agency interested in the concept, but they had reservations about Berle. On a phone call with the agency one day a comic I knew, in the building to see his personal manager, popped in to say hello. "Hi Norm," I said holding the phone to my ear. The agency guy asked who I was talking to. I said: "Norm Crosby." "What a great idea" said the adman. And a deal to make a deal was hatched.
What part does Judaism play in your life?
It has always been an integral part of my identity. My mother is from Tzvat (Safed), and her Goldzweig family dates back to the mid-1770s in the town. Said to be followers of the Baal Shem Tov. Although I am moderately observant, I less and less keep up with the rest of my family of rabbis, cantors and observant relatives. In case anyone cares, I'm a Cohain.
What are your hobbies and interests outside of show business pursuits?
I guess my hobbies are lawn bowling and writing books about special Jewish sports figures. I never intended either endeavor to hang around for so many years, but I've written 5 books on the Jewish sports subject, and for several years, until last month, authored a column, "Who Knew", for the Jewish Sports Review monthly newsletter.
Any tips or knowledge you've gained about growing older?
Keep your body parts well-lubed especially if they exceed their warranty dates.
FRED SCHOENFELD RECEIVES MACCABIAH "LEGENDS" HONOR
Hall of Fame executive board member Bill Steerman, left; Fred Schoenfeld, recipient of the “Legends of the Maccabiah Award”, center; and IJSHOF chairman Alan Sherman, right; in early December at the New York Athletic Club.
IJSHOF Executive Board member Fred Schoenfeld was honored at the "Legends of the Maccabiah" awards dinner December 9th, at the New York Athletic Club in the Big Apple.
The award, honoring 20 Americans who have made significant contributions to the quadrennial Games in Israel, was presented by Maccabi USA, organizers of United States teams that compete at the Maccabiah Games.
Schoenfeld, who has served in various leadership roles during the past 40 years, mostly devoted to U.S. soccer entries, commented: "It's not necessarily how many medals our teams win, but how many young adults we've brought to Israel over the years – some 1,100 American competitors."
AMERICANS SASHA COHEN AND KEVIN YOUKILIS AMONG SIX ELECTED TO JEWISH SPORTS HALL OF FAME IN ISRAEL
World champion figure skater Sasha Cohen and Major League baseball star Kevin Youkilis are among six elected to the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame for 2019.
Also receiving honors are: 1936 and 1937 World table tennis singles champion Ruth Aarons; 1950s British auto racing champion Sheliah Van Damm; and Canadian ice hockey pioneer Ben Hatskin.
Roy Salomon, long-time Canadian Maccabiah Games organizing icon, is recipient of the IJSHOF's annual Lifetime Achievement Award.
Jewish 16-year old Aarons stunned the table tennis world when she captured the 1936 World championship in Berlin, then duplicated the victory the following year.
Three-time American League all-star Youkilis was a nine season offense and defensive force with the Boston Red Sox.
Great Britain's Sheliah Van Damm won 58 major European auto races during the 1950s.
Salomon, Canada's "Mr. Maccabi", is recognized as a Maccabiah Games organizing and management pioneer, originally as an athlete, plus four decades as an international leader.
Election results are announced jointly by IJSHOF chairmen, Alan Sherman (Potomac, MD), and R. Stephen Rubin (London).
The IJSHOF Museum, is located on the campus of Wingate Institute for Physical Education and Sport, Netanya, Israel.
IJSHOF INDUCTS 13 AT ISRAEL CEREMONIES
2017 IJSHOF HONOREES: (l-r) Lenny Silberman, Anthony Ervin, Jonathan Kaplan, Lee Korzits, Donna Orender, Arie Rosenzweig, Dr. Uri Schaefer, Anita Shkedi, Brian Teacher, David Schwartz (for Hy Buller), Victor Vaisman, Stephen Rubin, Joe Siegman, Arie Selinger, Amotz Bachar.
AWARDS were presented by: (l-r) R. Stephen Rubin (IJSHOF Honorary Chairman), Amotz Bachar (Wingate CEO), Yossi Sharabi (Israel Ministry of Culture and Sport), Joe Siegman (IJSHOF Founder).
The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame inducted 13 honorees at quadrennial formal induction ceremonies July 4th at the IJSHOF Museum at Israel's Wingate Institute. An estimated 400 invited guests, their family members and friends, and spectators viewed the proceedings, including a large number of IJSHOF Executive Board members, and Israeli sports VIPs.
Inducted were: Hy Buller (Ice Hockey), Semion Belits-Geiman (Swimming), Anthony Ervin (Swimming), Jonathan Kaplan (Rugby), Lee Korzits (Sailing), Donna Orender (Basketball/PGA), Arie Selinger (Volleyball), and Brian Teacher (tennis).
Also: Lifetime Achievement recipients: Dr. Uri Schaffer (Israel) and Victor Vaisman (Argentina), and, Chairman's Award of Excellence recipients: Arie Rosenzweig (Israel), Anita Shkedi (Israel), and Lenny Silberman (USA).
Master of Ceremonies, Effi Yaacobi
Making the presentation of awards were: Stephen Rubin (ISJHOF Honorary Chairman), Joe Siegman (IJSHOF Founder), Yossi Sharabi (Dir. Gen. Ministry of Culture & Sport), and Wingate CEO Amotz Bachar. IJSHOF Executive Director Effi Yaacobi emceed the event.
Absent ISJHOF chairman Alan Sherman, unable to attend the event, addressed the gathering via video screen.
Lively entertainment was provided by Demente, Israel's popular and unique musicians and dancers.
IJSHOF formal inductions are held every four years, usually a day or two prior to the Maccabiah Games opening ceremonies. Occasionally, the Hall of Fame will participate in regional induction events in an honoree's local community.
The July 4th event was produced by Effi Yaacobi and Project Manager Sharon Talmor.
For more information about each honoree, see their biography page on this website.
More photos from this special induction event are shown below.
Entertainment group Demente
Honoree Donna Orender
Olympic gold medallist Lenny Krazylburg accepts IJSHOF honors for Russian swimming gold medallist Semion Belits-Geiman
Members of the Hy Buller family
Dr. Uri Schaefer
Inductions event coordinator Sharon Talmor, center, is celebrated by HOF Executive Director Effi Yaacobi, left, and HOF Founder Joe Siegman
U.S. & ISRAELI CHAMPION SWIMMERS MEET AT IJSHOF MUSEUM
Pictured above: (l-r) Guy Barnea an Israeli swimmer and Anthony Ervin a recent IJSHOF honoree
Israeli Olympic swimmer Guy Barnea, left, welcomes three-time U.S. Olympic gold medallist Anthony Ervin, at Ervin's new display at the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame Museum in January.
Ervin, to be formally inducted this coming July (17), won Olympic gold medals 16 years apart – his first at the Sidney Games in 2000, and two more in 2016. (See his full bio).
Barnea represented Israel at the 2008 Olympics. He holds Israeli records in the 50m backstroke, 100m backstroke, and 100m fly. He has been a top finisher at the FINA World Championships, European Championships, and World University Games.
SHERMAN HOSTS "ON THE MAP" DOCUMENTARY SCREENING
Pictured above: (l-r) Martin Groothius, director Dani Menkin, Ron Carner, IJSHOF chairman Alan Sherman, film star Tal Brody, Jason Shrinsky, David Weissman and Harvey Leff.
IJSHOF chairman Alan Sherman hosted a group of current and former HOF Executive Board members and guests at a January screening of the documentary film, "On The Map", in Palm Beach, Florida.
The film is the fascinating story of the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team defeating both Russia's and Italy's perennial winners to capture the 1977 European Championship. It was a sports victory just four years removed from the 1973 Yom Kippur War that figuratively and spiritually put Israel "on the map".
The documentary, directed by Dani Menkin and featuring American-born Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball superstar Tal Brody, combines the pulse-pounding action of high-stakes sports with an incendiary political situation at the height of the Cold War. The Wall Street Journal called it a "sports movie at its best". "Fascinating" wrote the L.A. Times.
ROBERT KRAFT RECEIVES IJSHOF LIFETIME AWARD IN ISRAEL
Israel Sports Authority Director-General Dr. Uri Schaeffer presents the IJSHOF's Lifetime Achievement Award to New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. At left is Amotz Bachar, CEO Wingate Institute, and right, former NFL star Ron Mix, an IJSHOF honoree himself in 1981.
New England Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft received the IJSHOF Lifetime Achievement Award in Israel. The presentation, by Director-General of Israel Sports Authority Dr. Uri Schaeffer, took place at the soccer facility at Kfar Saba, in central Israel.
IJSHOF chairman Alan Sherman reports that Kraft was in Israel with 19 Pro Football Hall of Famers, to promote American Football in Israel, and attend an exhibit of the latest technologies presented by the Jerusalem Development Authority and OurCrowd, the world's leading equity investor in Israeli start-ups. The NFL Hall of Famers goodwill trip, coined "Touchdown in Israel: Mission of Excellence", was organized by the Patriots' owner in coordination with Israel's U.S. Ambassador, Ron Dermer.
Kraft, who's Patriots have won four NFL Super Bowls since 2001, including the 2015 championship, funded the Kraft Family Stadium in Jerusalem, the only American-type football arena in Israel. He has been the chief supporter of American Football in Israel, now in its 16th year, and features 14 teams.
Joining the U.S. Hall of Fame entourage, in addition to Kraft, award presenter Dr. Schaeffer, and Wingate Institute CEO Amotz Bachar, were: Pro Football Hall of Fame president David Baker, and American Football in Israel president Steve Leibowitz.
Wingate Institute, in Netanya, is home to the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame museum.
Participating NFL Hall of Famers were: Raymond Berry, Mel Blount, Tim Brown, Curley Culp, Chris Doleman, John Hannah, Mike Haynes, Ken Huston, Paul Krause, Floyd Little, Tom Mack, Curtis Martin, Ron Mix, Jim Taylor, Thurman Thomas, Andre Tippett, Roger Wehrli, Rayfield Wright and Jack Youngblood.
WORLD CHAMPION RECEIVES INDUCTION AWARD IN ATLANTA
World champion fencer (saber) Sada Jacobson Baby received her Hall of Fame induction medal this summer at a private ceremony in Atlanta, hosted by IJSHOF Executive Board Member Dr. Steve Wertheim.
Jacobson, unable to attend last summer's formal inductions in Israel, was elected in 2012.
The World's #1 ranked women's sabreur in 2004 and Olympic medalist in 2004 and 2008, Sada is the daughter of David Jacobson, a member of the 1974 U.S. National fencing team, and highly-ranked fencer Tina Jacobson; the sister of U.S. Olympic teammate Emily and world-class fencer Jackie. Her husband, epee competitor Brendan Brunelle Baby, was a member of Pennsylvania State University's three NCAA championship fencing teams.
HARRY SWIMMER RECIPIENT OF THE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Harry Swimmer, a Charlotte, N.C. community activist and member of the Maccabi USA Board of Directors for the past 35 years, was recipient of the annual IJSHOF Lifetime Achievement honors.
The Award was presented to Swimmer, right, by IJSHOF Chairman Alan Sherman, center, with Mel Miller, left, an original member of the Hall of Fame Executive Board of Directors.
The one-time vice-president of MUSA, a prominent East Coast insurance executive, has been a member of the Maccabiah Executive Committee, as well as the organizing committees of the 11th and 12th Maccabiahs; and has organized annual fund-raising golf tournaments benefiting the quadrennial event for many years.
May marked the anniversary of Swimmer’s Misty Meadows Mitey Riders project, developed in the mid-1990s by Harry and wife Marilyn at their Charlotte horse-breeding farm, to provide creative and therapeutic equine-assisted activities to children with special needs. To date, an estimated 700-800 young boys and girls have participated in the free annual Fall through Spring program.
At the request of Jewish community leadership, Harry headed the capital campaign for Charlotte’s Shalom Park, and raised $7 million from more than 500 participating families.
Read more on Mr. Swimmers Lifetime Achievement Award Page.
NBA'S DAVID STERN RECEIVES INDUCTION MEDAL
Former NBA Commissioner and Basketball Hall of Fame honoree David Stern, left, received his International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame induction medal from American-born Israeli basketball icon Tal Brody, at a special presentation in New York City.
The recently retired Commissioner was elected to the IJSHOF in 1998.
Brody, the Holy Land's first modern-day sports hero, and Israel Foreign Ministry's Ambassador of Goodwill, is himself a 1996 IJSHOF inductee. He was a University of Illinois All-America in 1965, and the 13th pick in that year's NBA draft (Baltimore Bullets).
The New Jersey-born basketball star opted to forgo the NBA to pursue a UI masters degree. A year later, he accepted an offer to join the Maccabi-Tel Aviv team.
After several promising seasons, Brody led Maccabi TA to the European Cup Championship, in what was then the State of Israel's greatest international sporting achievement.