Blind Golfer Zohar Sharon to Receive IJSHOF's 'Award of Excellence'
Israeli Zohar Sharon, winner of the 2012 World Blind Golf Championship, and winner of four World Blind championships since 2004, is recipient of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame's annual Award of Excellence.
Aided by Shimshon Levi, his long-time caddie-coach and eyes, and guide dog Dylan, the 60-year old blind golfer won his current title at the Truro Golf Club in Nova Scotia, Canada. Sharon lost his sight serving with the Israel Defense Forces during the 1970s.
Sharon credits much of his golfing success to the support and resources from Beit Halochem, the Israeli rehabilitation organization that serves disabled IDF veterans.
There are currently more than 500 blind golfers registered among 13 national associations who hold membership in the International Blind Golfers Association.
Philadelphian to Receive 2013 Lifetime Achievement Honors
Philadelphia's William Steerman is the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame's Lifetime Achievement recipient for 2013. Presentation of his award will take place at the quadrennial IJSHOF induction ceremonies at the Hall of Fame Museum, July 17th, in Netanya, Israel.
For five decades, Steerman has been one of the principal leaders of the American Jewish sports community, beginning in 1964, when he first served as a national Vice President of the United States Committee Sports For Israel. He continued in that position through the 1993 summer Maccabiah Games.
With USCSFI and its successor, Maccabi USA, he took on such responsibilities as co-chair of the 7th (1965) Maccabiah Games Soccer Committee, and assistant coach of the 1965 Maccabiah U.S. Soccer team. He was Chef de Mission of the 1973 U.S. Pan American Maccabi Team to Mexico–where he was awarded the Jacobo Pimstein Maccabi Spirit Trophy–and 1977 Chef de Mission for the U.S. Pan Am Maccabi Team to Brazil. In 1989, he co-chaired the U.S. "pre-camp" heritage concept for Maccabiah athletes, and chaired the Housing & Transportation and Security committees of various Maccabiot.
He was an American delegate to the International Maccabiah Organizing Committee (IMC) for four decades, and U.S. delegate to the 35th Zionist Congress in Jerusalem in 2006.
Steerman was a member of the Temple University men's varsity soccer team that won 1952, 1953 and 1954 NCAA National Championships, and was inducted into the Temple University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009.
The former assistant attorney general for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (1960-1964) has served on the Board of Directors of the Aharon Netanel Maccabiah Village in Ramat Gan; the Board of Directors of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame; and is co-founder and an elected member of the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
USA's Raisman & Israel's Hagai Among Nine Elected to the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame for 2013
Gymnast Alexandra "Aly" Raisman, American's three-time 2012 Olympic medalist, and Israeli multi-sport Paralympics champion, Baruch Hagai, are among nine honorees elected to the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, Netanya, Israel, it is announced by IJSHOF chairmen, Alan Sherman, Potomac, MD, and R. Stephen Rubin, London.
The 18-year old Raisman captured a pair of gold medals at the London Games this past summer, winning the Individual Floor Exercises event and a Team championship gold medal, along with an Individual bronze medal on the Balance Beam.
Libyan-born Israeli Hagai, known as "Mr. Basketball of wheelchair sports", owns eleven Paralympics/Stokes-Mandeville Games gold medals (1967-81), five (each) in basketball and table tennis, and one swimming championship.
They are joined by Valeri Belenki, Azerbaijan's gold medalist at the 1991 World Championships and 1992 Olympic gold medalist; and, Argentina's 2003 World Judo Champion Daniela Krukower (63kg).
Also, Esther Roth-Sachamarov, the multi-gold medal Asian Games sprinter-hurler who, at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, was the first-ever Israeli to qualify for an Olympics track and field final (110m Hurdles). She never ran the race, withdrawing from competition after 11 of her teammates and coaches were murdered by Arab terrorists.
And, St. John University's 6 foot 9 inch Harry Boykoff, basketball's first All-America "big man" (1943); Robert Dover, the 6-time captain of USA's Olympic Dressage team (1984-2004), and winner of four consecutive bronze medals; Jim Grabb, ranked World's No. 1 Doubles Tennis player in 1989 and 1993; and Amherst University author-educator Allen Guttmann, recipient of the International Olympic Committee's first IOC President's Sport Science Award.
Honorees will be formally inducted in July 2013 at the IJSHOF Museum, on the campus of Wingate Institute in Netanya, Israel's National Sport Center.
SA's Stransky & Nomis Revisit '95 World Cup Victory
IJSHOF honorees Joel Stransky ('99) and Syd Nomis ('09), center and right, display a photo of Stransky's famous drop-goal that won the Rugby World Cup for South Africa in 1995.
The all-star Sprinkboks, pictured with Maccabi SA's Basil Kletz (left), were special guests at a June 7th Maccabi sportsnight in Johannesburg. Stransky's winning kick was portrayed in the thrilling climax of the motion picture "Invictus".
Belgian Michel Grun the Recipient of the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award
Michel Grun, chairman of the European Maccabi Confederation 1984–1999, and co-chair of the 1987 (Copenhagen), 1991 (Marseilles) and 1995 (Amsterdam) European Maccabi Games, has been named recipient of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame's 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award.
When the Belgium-born executive board member of Antwerp's Diamant Kring ('Circle') and Diamond High Council accepted the leadership role in EMC, the Confederation had 17 territorial organizations. When he retired from the top position 15 years later, EMC membership stood at 32, including the reappearance of Maccabiah delegations from Hungary, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Turkey, Czechoslovakia, Spain and Russia (CIS).
Michel joined the Maccabi World Union Executive and International Maccabiah Committee in 1977, serving as MWU's vice-president 1998–2006.
In 2002, at the age of 54, Michel Grun was named Honorary President of the European Maccabi Confederation. As of 2012, no one currently serving the EMC or MWU has been a top leadership member as long as Michel.
The son of Holocaust survivors, Michel chaired the first Maccabiah International Safety, Security & Medical Services Committee in 2001, and again in 2005 and 2009. SSMS is an extension of Michel's professional life: security of Antwerp's diamond district. In 2004, "for exceptional services to his trade", King Albert of Belgium honored him as an Officer in the Civil Order of Leopold II, one rank above those entitled to Ridder ("Knight" or "Sir").
Formal presentation of Lifetime Achievement honors will take place July 2013, at the IJSHOF museum at Wingate Institute, Netanya, Israel.
IJSHOF Chairmen Plan 2013 Inductions
Hall of Fame Honorary Chairman Stephen Rubin, left, and Chairman Alan Sherman held their annual meeting in West Palm Beach, Florida in mid-February, to discuss HOF activities leading up to the 2013 inductions in Israel, including publication of the fifth edition of Jewish Sports Legends.
The quadrennial formal inductions are scheduled for the afternoon of Wednesday, July 17th, at Wingate Institute. The traditional IJSHOF event takes place one day before opening ceremonies for the 19th World Maccabiah Games. Additional events are also on calendar for honorees attending the inductions.
The 2013 edition (fifth) of Jewish Sports Legends, authored by IJSHOF founder and Election Committee chairman Joe Siegman, will be introduced at the induction ceremonies. Added to the freshly updated contents of the previous edition published in 2005 will be more than 50 biographies and photos of athletes and sportsmen/women who have been elected to the IJSHOF during the past eight years.
Those interested in learning more about the July 2013 inductions event should write to: email@example.com.