The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame/Yad Le'ish Hasport Hayehudi was formally inaugurated on July 7, 1981. Its predecessor, the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, was founded in the United States in May 1979. The original Hall of Fame included only American honorees. The International Hall of Fame honors athletes and sportsmen and sportswomen throughout the world.

Inside the International Jewish Hall of Fame in Israel.

Display Cases at the Wingate Institute in Israel.

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 honors those individuals who have contributed to Jewish life, Israel, society and the community at large, through sports. The Chairman's Award of Excellence is presented periodically in recognition of special accomplishments in the world of sports and physical education.

From our Chairman Jed Margolis

Shalom Friends,

Debbie Adams and Israeli Olympian Shaul Ladany

IJSHOF Officer, Debbie Adams, with Israeli Olympian and IJSHOF Inductee, Shaul Ladany.

I am pleased to update you on happenings in the world of Jewish sports. Mazal tov to Maccabi Germany for organizing the European Maccabi Winter Games for the first time in 85 years in Ruhpolding, Germany There were athletes from around the world including Australia, Mexico, Israel, USA and most importantly Ukraine. A remarkable effort. Next stop will be Buenos Aires for the Pan American Maccabi Games, in December.

On the right is a photo from the Winter Games of Debbie Adams, officer for Maccabi USA and IJSHOF, along with Israeli Olympian, Shaul Ladany.

Over the past year, IJSHOF established an Executive Committee which this year will be embarking on a Strategic Planning Process to help formulate the future of our organization. Serving on the Executive Committee are Jed Margolis, President, Debbie Adams, Stephen Berliner, Bill Izso, Chuck Shechtman, Michael Siegman and Lenny Silberman.

You should also be aware that recently our friend Lenny Krayzelburg received the very prestigious 2023 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award. Lenny was a former JCC Maccabi and Maccabiah athlete representing the USA, a Maccabiah Opening Ceremony Flag Bearer and the winner of four Olympic Gold Medals for the USA. Lenny, as an NCAA champion for USC was named one of six recipients (including Peyton Manning) of the 2023 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award. The award recognizes outstanding athletes on the 25th anniversary of the end of their college careers. Below are two links for your review. Lenny continues to give back to the Jewish Community, he truly is a Jewish sports legend, role model, hero and most important a real MENSCH.

More information about Lenny at

Watch 2023 NCAA Silver Award: Lenny Krayzelburg on YouTube.

A Special Birthday Celebrated

Agnes Keleti the great Hungarian Olympic Gymnastics champion on celebrating her 102nd birthday

Agnes Keleti with photo credit to Adam Justin,
of Maccabi Hungary

Mazal tov to Agnes Keleti the great Hungarian Olympic Gymnastics champion on celebrating her 102nd birthday.

Gymnast Agnes Keleti won 10 Olympic medals over three Olympiads, including 5 gold medals. She ranks third all-time among women athletes for most Olympic medals and fourth all-time as a winner of Olympic gold medals.

A budding champion on the eve of World War II, Keleti’s Olympic hopes were scotched when the 1940, then 1944 Games were cancelled. Nazi Germany invaded Hungary in 1944 and Keleti’s father and other relatives were sent to Auschwitz where they perished.

The gymnast and her mother went into hiding and escaped a similar fate with the aide of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who provided documents permitting them to flee Hungary. Read Agnes' full bio.

Grigori Gamarnik's Family with Jed Margolis on the left.

IJSHOF Chairman, Jed Margolis, with the family
of Grigori Gamarnik, January 16,2023.

A Gamarnik Monday
This past Monday, I paid a visit to the family of Grigori Gamarnik one of our inductees in 2020. He passed away a few years ago, but after months of searching I was able to locate his daughter and son, and spouses, who live less than a half hour away in the Philadelphia area.

They regaled me with fascinating stories of Grigori's incredible wrestling career and the impact he made during his time in Ukraine, in spite of rampant antisemitism. He received the highest honors in his sport and deserves to be in the International Wrestling Hall of Fame. Yet we are honored to have honored him this past July. It was an afternoon well spent.

2023 Inductees Announced
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. Please visit our Recent Events page for the details on our honorees for 2023.

Information about the Election Process for Inductees and Honorees

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 the Chairman of the Election Committee via All submissions of nominations should be accompanied by as much support information about the candidate(s) as is available. Please use the criteria as a guidepost.

The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame is a "partnership" between the Wingate Institute for Physical Education and Sports and some of the world's leading sports authorities, and interested, active and philanthropic Jews.

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

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 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.

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.

Source of information included on this website is the copyrighted book, Jewish Sports Legends,
2nd thru 5th editions. All Rights Reserved.

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