Slants on Sports

The United States Maccabi Association, the greatest Jewish American athletic organization, is holding a dinner tonight at the Town Hall in honor of the Jewish Athlete in America.

Men and women who have made athletic history in this country will be present along with the most promising Jewish athletes in America today. A host of sport stars, comprising the sports advisory committee, including Benny Leonard, Hank Greenberg, Harry Newman, Nat Holman, and Irving Jaffee, will attend.

The purpose of this dinner tonight is a three-fold one. Besides being the first move in an intensive campaign to promote the activities of the Maccabi in America, the gathering tonight will hear the all-important plans for the second Maccabiad which will be held in Palestine in April, 1935. At the same time, the metropolitan sporting press which has been somewhat negligent in its duties to this splendid organization, will have a chance to become better acquainted with the aims, ideals, and offerings of the greatest and most important athletic enterprise to come to America in a long time.

The most influential men in American Jewry are on the administrative board of which Nathan L. Goldstein, is chairman. Mr. Goldstein has been the active president of this organization ever since it received its official charter in March of this year. He will be the presiding speaker at tonight’s dinner which includes a program of short talks on the Maccabi movement in America and throughout the world.

THE MACCABIANS AND THEIR HISTORY

That the promotion of athletics among the Jewish youth of the world might 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 organization was not actively introduced into America until 1931. Today it has incorporated chapters in New York, Providence, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Omaha, Los Angels and Rochester with new units forming throughout the country. The movement has recently received the whole-hearted support of the Y.M.H.A.’s all over the country.

This Maccabi World Union reaches out into thirty-four countries as far removed as Australia and the United States, South America and Canada, England and Yugoslavia, Sweden and Palestine. Its combined membership totals over 200,000 people of both sexes who are active in all sports.

THEIR AIMS AND OFFERS

The Maccabi movement in America is endeavoring to crystallize the Jewish youth of this country into a group wherein all Jews in the United States will participate in amateur athletics under one banner. This requires time, hard work, and money. Leaders too, are required to train the athletes.

The call was sent out some time ago and a great many answered. Men and women who have made athletic history, who are considered the greatest athletic figures in their realms of sports, eagerly rallied to the Maccabian banner. A list of famous athletes who are serving on the Maccabi boards today should suffice for the growing boy and girl. Charlotte Epstein in swimming; Benny Leonard in boxing; Harry Newman, in football; Hank Greenberg and Phil Weintraub in baseball, and Irv Jaffe in hockey are only a few of the big names behind this movement. As a result a new consciousness of race in the field of sports has been created. The Maccabian units do 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 members the entry fees and uniforms which a great many of the older and wealthier groups do. The officers are trying to accomplish this and with time they will succeed.

The Maccabi movement offers to the Jewish man and woman athlete a chance to participate in organized athletics; to compete to all A.A.U. contests; an opportunity for participation in its own carnivals and athletic programs; and, most important of all the chance to make the Jewish American team which is chosen every three years for competition against Jewish athletes from all over the world, in Palestine. This great international meet is known as the Maccabiad and can be compared in scope, importance, and significance only to the international Olympic contests.

The Maccabi movement offers ideals which are worth striving and fighting for.

THE FIRST MACCABIAD

A team of thirteen—eleven men and two women—composed the first American Maccabi team sent to Palestine in 1932. Nine of these athletes were on the track and field squads and four were on swimming.

The track team won their events by a score tripling that of their nearest competitor. The swimming unit placed fourth. The American team scored a second place in the tabulation by nations. This group became the target for all eyes because of its splendid performance and the smallness of the group.

Dave White, executive director of this organization since it received its charter, was the captain of the team. He led the American group to a brilliant victory in Palestine and won first place in the broad jump event. Others on the team were Les Flaksman, Dave Adelman, Harry Schneider, Harry Werbin, M. Feiden, Gus Heyman, Harold Ginsburg, Miss Syd Koff and Miss Eva Bein, Hal Kramer, Lou Abelson, and Eugene Siegal.

THE SECOND MACCABIAD

The second Jewish American team that will represent the U. S. Maccabis at Palestine next April will be a larger squad.

A minimum unit of at least twenty-five members representing such sports as swimming, boxing, wrestling, tennis, track and field is certain to be sent abroad. And in order to obtain the best qualified athletes among the Jewish youth of America tryouts will be held throughout the winter in these sports with the finals slated for March at the Madison Square Garden.

Maccabi is a growing organization. Eventually—why not now? Join the Maccabi.

NEXT STORY