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Slants on Sports

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That the promotion of athletics among the Jewish youth of the world everywhere be fostered, the Maccabian movement was founded, ironically enough in Germany, twenty-nine years ago. This organization grew from the nucleus created by the Bar-Kochba group ten years earlier in the same country. However, this group was not introduced to America until 1931, Today it has incorporated chapters in New York and Boston. New clubs are forming in Syracuse, Cincinnati, Rochester, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Omaha.

This movement reaches into 33 countries as far removed as Australia and the United States, South America and Canada, England and Jugo-Slavia, Sweden and Palestine, Its combined membership numbers well over 150,000 Jewish people of both sexes ranging in age from six years and up. This organization is the greatest and most thrilling athletic enterprise to reach America in a long time.


In the great democracy of sports it is a fact that Jews can show individual winners. However, these young men and women athletes are included on the lists of the countries which they inhabit and the athletic clubs for which they run. Yet they do not compete for the glory and credit of the Jewish people. Such championship performances as they turn in can only have real value for us, as a race, when the individual performs as a representative of the Jewish people.

Milton Sandler, national, state, and metropolitan A. A. U. and I. C. 4. A. title holder of the “600” metre run for the past two years, is such a chap. This 1ad runs under the auspices of the German American Athletic club because it can offer him certain advantages. Despite the fact that he is a Jew, when the race is over, the credit goes to the club he is enrolled with. Eddie Siegal of New York University, another track luminary, brings the glory home to the Swedish-American A. C., for which he participates.

We could go on enumerating many other men and women who perform for the credit of clubs and institutions other than Jewish organizations. Marvin Stern, ace miler; Adelaide Meyer, crack gymnast; Arthur Rosenberg, Pacific Coast weight man, are just a few.


The Maceabian movement is trying hard to crystallize the Jewish youth of America into a group wherein all Jews in the country will participate in amateur athletics under its banner. This requires time, hard work, and money. Leaders, too, are needed to train the youth.

The call was sent out some time ago and a great many answered. It still needs more members to create a new race consciousness in the field of sports. The Maccabian club does not as yet offer the fine training facilities that the New York A. C.–a million dollar institution–can afford its members. Nor does it furnish its participants the entry fees and uniforms which a great many of the older and wealthier groups do. The officers are trying to do this and with time they will succeed.

At present it offers other things–it offers ideals which are worth fighting for; and, more tangibly, open competitive meets and trips all over the country, and meets in Palestine and Europe. The trips alone are well worth the effort and any slight inconvenience that might be caused by resigning from a non-Jewish club and joining up with the Maccabians.


Early in 1931, almost immediately following its founding in the cities of New York and Boston, the leaders of this organization bent all their efforts to provide a representative team to send to Palestine for the first Jewish Olympiad. It was decided that thirteen athletes were to go, nine on the track and field squad, and four on the swimming team.

David White, Gus Heyman, Harry Schneider, Martin Freedman, Harry Werbin and Dave Adelman were the male members of the track contingent. The women pinned their hopes on Miss Eva Bein, swimmer, and Miss Sid Koff, track and field star. Harold Kramer, Lou Abelson and Gene Siegel comprised the aquatic group David White, executive secretary of the organization, was appointed captain and manager.


This array of track and field and swimming stars came through with flying colors for so small a body The United States team won the track and field championship and its swimming team finished fourth. In the scoring for places by nations the American division finished second.

Miss Koff ran off with all track honors for women. She placed first in the “100” and “220” metre dashes and succeeded in outdistancing her rivals in the broad and high jumps. She was the only girl to win four firsts in the entire games. Miss Bein took second in the 300 metre free style and third in 100 metre.


Harold Kramer, former intercollegiate high scoring champion of the country, continued his record breaking achievements upon his arrival in Tel Aviv. This tall, lean young man is at home in the water, but not on it. He was seasick all the way from New York to Cherbourg and from Trieste to Palestine. Kramer took a first in the 440 free style and also won the 100 metre {SPAN}##{/SPAN} race. He was one of the {SPAN}##{/SPAN} on the medley relay team which scored many points in the smashing victory.


Recently this young man severed his connections with the Dragon club and linked himself with the Maccabian group. He is looking ahead to the next Maccabiad and practices daily in the Columbia tank. Though he limits his racing in meets to the fast events, his daily route is a mile swim topped off with a sprint for the last 220 yards.

According to the records set at Berkeley, California, in 1932, Harold would have earned a place on the Olympic swimming squad had he not gone to Palestine instead. His time was two-tenths of a second better than the mark set to qualify for the California Olympics.


The second Jewish Olympiad will be held in April, 1935, in Palestine. This time a larger group of American athletes will be sent. This new team will include the participants in track and field, swimming, tennis, boxing and wrestling. The number is set tentatively at twenty-five.

The itinerary outlined for the team calls for a stay in Palestine until after Passover, then a competitive tour of Europe. Places on this team are open to all Jewish boys and girls over the age of eighteen if they are Maccabi members.

Eventually–why not now? Go Maccabi!

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