Jews in the Olympics

Both Israel and the Soviet Union participated in their first Olympiad at the 1952 Helsinki Games, according to “Jews in the Olympics” exhibition running through September in the Jewish Community Building, 6505 Wilshire Blvd.

While the Israeli team has yet to bring home a medal, nearly 20 Soviet Jews have exhibited distinguished performances in the sports of swimming, waterpolo, speedskating, track, volleyball, fencing, basketball, gymnastics, boxing, shooting and ice hockey. In 1952, 13 of the 16 Jewish medal winners and 16 of the 20 in 1956 were from Eastern bloc nations.

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

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