Jews in the Olympics

During the early 20th century one could fence one’s way to social prominence, an opportunity taken up by many talented European Jewish swordsmen, according to “Jews in the Olympics” exhibition running through September in the Jewish Community Building, 6505 Wilshire Blvd.

In 1908, Jews from three nations captured great respect and several Olympic medals, including France’s Alexandre Lippman, Jean Stern and Henri-George Berger; Hungary’s Oszkar Gerde, Dr. Jeno Fuchs and Lajos Werkner; and Great Britain’s Edgar Seligman. To date, Jewish fencers from more than half a dozen nations have won nearly 60 Olympic medals, more than 25 of them gold.

The international exhibition documenting the achievements of Jews in sports is a project of the Southern California Jewish Historical Society. A commemorative poster and medal are available. Call (213) 852-1234.

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