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18 Athletes Inducted in the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame

May 22, 1979
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Eighteen athletes were inducted last night in the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame at an inaugural dinner here. The Hall of Fame, which is under the auspices of the United States Committee Sports for Israel, will be located at Israel’s Wingate Institute.

Those inducted are: Red Auerbach, who won nine worldchampionships as coach of the Boston Celtics in the National Basketball Association, Jackie Fields, world welterweight boxing champion from 1929-30 and 1932-33; Benny Friedman, an All American quarterback at the University of Michigan; Hank Greenberg, who hit 331 home runs for the Detroit Tigers baseball team; Nat Holman, president of the U.S. Committee Sports for Israel and considered a top-ranking basketball player and coach.

Also, Hirsh’ Jacobs, a leading horse trainer and owner; Jimmy Jacobs, a who won every handball match he played from 1955 through 1969; Irving Jaffee, an Olympics gold medal winner in ice skating; Sandy Koufax, the former pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers; Benny Leonard, world lightweight boxing champion in 1917-25; Sid Luckman, the famed quarterback of the Chicago Bears in the National Football League.

Also, Barney Ross, who held both the world lightweight and welterweight boxing championships; Abe Saperstein, the founder and owner of the Harlem Globetrotters; Adolph Schayes, who played with the Syracuse Nationals in the National Basketball Association; Dick Savitt, who won the Wimbledon singles championship in tennis; Mark Spitz, winner of seven gold medals in swimming in the 1972 Olympic Games; Sylvia Wene, considered the best woman bowler, and Henry Wittenberg, considered one of the greatest amateur wrestlers.

The dinner last night was labeled an "Evening of Jewish Pride" and featured outstanding stars of television and the theater. The Hall of Fame was the brainchild of, among others, Joseph Siegman, a Beverly Hills producer, who feels that not enough is known about the major role played by Jews in sports.

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