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  • Basketball’s Blatt

    During the first week of the Beijing Games, the media focused on the Iranian swimmer who skipped a race with an Israeli in the next lane, but not enough attention was paid to the historic handshakes that the entire men’s basketball team of Iran gave to a dual citizen American-Israeli Jew. That Jew was David…

  • Swapping old Jewish swim records for new ones

    Jewish-American swimmers Garret Weber-Gale and Jason Lezak, along with Cullen Jones and the unstoppable Olympic champion Michael Phelps, made history in the pool on Monday, August 11. The US relay team won the Men’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay and smashed the world record by nearly four seconds on their way to the gold. In…

  • Jews in the Water Cube

    Jewish-American swimmer Dara Torres won a silver medal in the Women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay on Sunday, August 10. This is her 10th Olympic medal, and makes her the oldest medalist in Olympic Swimming. Since it’s been 24 years since she won her first medal, she has tied the all-time record for medal-winning timespan for female…

  • Olympic day 1 Jewish highlights

    Today I believe the first Jewish medalist of the Beijing 2008 Games was American fencer Sada Jacobson, who won the silver medal in the Women’s Individual Saber event. She was defeated 15-8 by defending Olympic champion, fellow American Mariel Zagunis, while another American Rebecca Ward won the bronze. It was an All-American podium, and the…

  • Brush up on stroke order for the opening ceremony

    I just returned from watching the Olympics’ opening ceremony on two big screens along with thousands of Chinese and foreigners in Beijing’s Ditan park, and I sure was glad I brushed up on my stroke counts. That’s because the Olympic delegations marched not in alphabetical order, but rather in order of stroke count (except for…

  • One world, one more security check

    Security checks no longer just for airports in Beijing Olympic security is no easy task. It’s not just about the sports venues – attention must be paid to the entire city’s infrastructure, hot spots and transportation systems. One of the transitions that I think Beijing residents have done with few complaints is adjust to bag…

  • Israel brings largest squad, high hopes

    Israel’s Olympic contingent of 43 athletes is its largest ever and possibly its strongest – despite inexperience.

  • Recalling Shanghai’s Jewish past

    More than 20,000 European Jews fleeing the Nazis found a home in Shanghai, many thanks to a Chinese diplomat in Austria. Honors for Ho Fengshan and a new museum recall that past.

  • Hot pot dilemma in China

    Faced with the dilemma of what to do at a hot pot business dinner in China – where diners share a communal pot of meat, fish and vegetables – the vegetarian, kosher-observant author finds common cause with a Chinese Muslim.

  • An American bar mitzvah in Beijing

    The resident Jews of China’s capital are getting ready to welcome Jewish tourists, athletes – and an Illinois boy who will celebrate his bar mitzvah during the Olympic Games.