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.

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."


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.


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.

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).

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

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

Entertainment group Demente

Honoree Donna Orender

Honoree Donna Orender

Olympic gold medalist Lenny Krazylburg accepts IJSHOF honors for Russian swimming gold medalist Semion Belits-Geiman

Olympic gold medalist Lenny Krazylburg accepts IJSHOF honors for Russian swimming gold medalist Semion Belits-Geiman

Lee Korzits

Lee Korzits

Jonathan Kaplan

Jonathan Kaplan

Arie Rosenzweig

Arie Rosenzweig

Members of the Hy Buller family

Members of the Hy Buller family

Arie Selinger

Arie Selinger

Anita Shkedi

Anita Shkedi

Lenny Silberman

Lenny Silberman

Brian Teacher

Brian Teacher

Dr. Uri Schaefer

Dr. Uri Schaefer

Victor Vaisman

Victor Vaisman

Anthony Ervin

Anthony Ervin

Inductions event coordinator Sharon Talmor, center, is celebrated by HOF Executive Director Effi Yaacobi, left, and HOF Founder Joe Siegman

Inductions event coordinator Sharon Talmor, center, is celebrated by HOF Executive Director Effi Yaacobi, left, and HOF Founder Joe Siegman



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 medalist 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.


On the map screening group.

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.


Lenny Silberman

Lenny Silberman is the 2017 Chairman's Award Honoree

Lenny Silberman, the second of two 2016 Chairman's Awards of Excellence recipient, has spent his professional life working to integrate sports, summer camp and Judaism.

In 1994, following ten years with the Pittsburgh Jewish Community Centers, Silberman joined the New York staff of the Jewish Community Centers Association of North America (JCC Association) where, for 14 years, he was continental director of the JCC Maccabi Games. The program included more than 6,000 Jewish teenagers 13-16, who participated each summer in five host communities.  As vice-president of program services, Lenny also supervised the JCC Association camping, athletic and teen consultants, and JCC Maccabi Israel programs.

Silberman was Athletic Director and Director of Emma Kaufmann Camp, the residential Camp of the Pittsburgh JCC; and, in 2008, named CEO of the Henry Kaufmann Camps and Grounds, an organization that welcomes 16 independent New York JCC/YM-YWHA Day Camps to its three facilities. HKC is the largest Day Camp Organization in the world, with 5,000 campers and staff on a daily basis.

He also sits or sat on the boards of the Israel Sports Center for the Disabled (Ramat Gan), URJ's 6-Points Sports/Camp, and Maccabi USA Sports For Israel.  For fourteen years he represented the JCC Association on the U.S. Olympic Committee, and, for two years, was Israel Conference chairman of the North American Alliance of Jewish Youth.

Lenny Silberman was honored with the prestigious Hershey's STRIVE Award 2005, as the United States Youth Sports/Administrator of the Year; been honored by the Western Pennsylvania Jewish Sports Hall of Fame; and elected to the Staten Island Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.


Claire and IJSHOF chairman Alan Sherman, left and right, were present at honoree Harry Swimmer’s Top Ten finalist honors at the 2016 “CNN Hero of the Year” telecast in New York.

Claire and IJSHOF chairman Alan Sherman, left and right, were present at honoree Harry Swimmer's Top Ten finalist honors at the 2016 "CNN Hero of the Year" telecast in New York.

2014 IJSHOF Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Harry Swimmer was recently chosen one of CNN's 10 finalists for their tenth annual "CNN Hero of the Year".

Each of the ten finalists, from nearly 50,000 prospects nominated by the public, received a $10,000 cash prize for their cause. The winner received $100,000.

All ten finalists and the unique efforts that earned them special recognition, were highlighted on a global event telecast Sunday, December 11, hosted by CNN's Anderson Cooper and ABC's Kelly Ripa. The event was aired live from New York's American Museum of Natural History.

Harry was nominated because of his charitable foundation, "The Mitey Riders," which provides therapeutic horse riding for children with physical and learning disabilities free of charge. The program is held at the Misty Meadows Equestrian Center in Waxhaw, North Carolina. The students do not pay tuition, and many of the staff members are volunteers.

"Up to 70 kids a day are riding our horses.  Nearly 800 boys and girls have participated in the program", explained Harry.

Said niece Susan Swimmer: "I can’t even describe what it's like to watch my uncle with the kids in his program. At first I'd get so emotional, it's one heartbreaking story after another. But Uncle Harry has such a natural ease with them. He treats the kids like a true hero should, as kids, never subdividing them as kids with disabilities. And I do think he is a child at heart. He still has joy and excitement in everything he does."

Laurie Gwen Shapiro, The Forward 'Shapiro's Heroes' columnist, contributed to this story.


Arie Rosenzweig

Arie Rosenzweig is the 2016 Chairman's Award Honoree

Israel's Arie Rosenzweig has been named the 2016 recipient of the Chairman's Award of Excellence.

In the year 2000, Rosenzweig organized The Middle East Mediterranean Scholar Athlete Games, bringing together students from the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Israeli Arab youth and Israeli Jewish youth for one week of Sport, Art and Culture on the campus of Tel Aviv University. They participated as individuals, with no national flags, just in friendship.

In 2006, the first Friendship Games took place, and have since become an annual event, with students from many countries spending a week together enjoying friendly competitions and leisure time in the spirit of 'Friendship and Brotherhood for all Nations'.

In 1982, Arie co-founded the North American Maccabi Youth Games for ages 16 and under. The competitions today feature participation of more than 6,000 junior athletes annually.

Rosenzweig has enjoyed a long and distinguished career that includes major responsibilities for organization of the World Maccabiah Games. He was president of the Organizing Committee for the 1989 and 1993 Maccabiot, having served as assistant to the Sports Director for the 1965 and 1969 Games. In 2017, some 8,000 athletes representing 60 countries, participating in 32 branches of sport, will participate in the quadrennial international event.

He served as General Secretary of the Israel Olympic Committee from 2000-2008, and was active in the forming of EUSA (European University Sports Association) and ENAS (European Network of Academic Sport Services). From 2012-2016 he was an Executive Committee member of the European Universities Sports Association.

From 1996-2012, Rosenzweig was President of the Academic Sports Association, organizing the sporting activities of 300,000 Israeli students.

In 1974 he headed the department of Sports and Recreation at Tel Aviv University. The department became the largest Sports and Recreation Centre in Israel, with 10,000 members, comprised of students, faculty members and alumni.

An Executive Committee Member of Wingate Institute since 1996, he is currently deputy Chairman of the Board.


Arie Rosenzweig is the 2016 Chairman's Award Honoree

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.


Robert KraftRobert Kraft, owner of the National Football League's New England Patriots, Major League Soccer's New England Revolution, and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Kraft Group (TKG), has been named recipient of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame's annual Lifetime Achievement Award.

Awarded annually, the Lifetime Achievement Award honors those individuals who have contributed to Jewish life, Israel, society and the community at large, through sports.

Born and raised in Brookline, Massachusetts, Kraft has owned the Patriots since 1994, and Revolution, a charter MLS franchise, since its founding in 1996.

TKG is a diversified holding company with assets in paper and packaging, sports and entertainment, real estate development, and a private equity portfolio.

The Kraft family has gifted more than $100 million to a variety of philanthropic causes, most significantly those related to health, education, child/women's issues, and Israel. Included are the Kraft Family Stadium in Jerusalem and the Kraft Family Israel Football League, in support of American Football Israel.

Among Kraft's numerous personal honors are the NCAA's Theodore Roosevelt Award, induction into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and, in 2012, he was the first NFL owner in the 43-year history of the Pro Football Writers of America's George Halas Award to receive the annual honor.


Dr. Steve Wertheim and Sada JacobsonWorld 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 receiving his 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.



David Stern and Tal BrodyFormer 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.


Canadian figure skating icons Ellen Burka and Petra Burka received formal International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame induction honors at a special ceremony at the Toronto (Canada) Cricket Skating and Curling Club.

Ellen and Petra Burka presentation.

(l-r) Council General of Israel D.J. Schneeweiss, Petra Burka, Ellen Burka, Sidney Greenberg. Photo by: Chuck Kochman

The event, hosted by past Hall of Fame honoree Sidney Greenberg and the Canadian Consulate, brought the Jewish and Canadian figure skating communities together to praise Ellen's storied coaching career and daughter Petra's 1965 World Figure Skating Championship and Olympic achievements.

Ellen was elected in 2010, Petra in 2012.

Ellen immigrated to Canada from Holland several years following World War II, after being imprisoned several years in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp. She lost both parents and her grandmother in the camps.

The inductions were, described by Toronto's UJS Federation Shalom Life website as "a prestigious affair", was attended by nearly 100 guests, media, Canadian Olympians, and Skate Canada officials.

Biographies and photos of both Petra Burka and Ellen Burka can be viewed on this websites at the'‘Elected Members' heading under 'Honorees'.


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