December 27, 2007
Briefs: Jewish Sports Hall of Fame picks honorees; Israeli Consulate welcomes you to MySpace
Jewish Sports Hall of Fame picks honorees -- Lyle Alzado tops list
The National Football League's Lyle Alzado, boxing champ Bob Olin and Israeli swimmer Keren Leibowitz are among seven athletes and sports personalities elected to the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
At 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds, Alzado was a fearsome presence on the gridiron. He starred for 15 seasons, from 1971-1985, at defensive end and tackle for the Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Raiders, registering 97 sacks in 196 games. He was named All-Pro three times and All-AFC defensive lineman six times.
Olin defeated reigning champion "Slapsie" Maxie Rosenbloom in a 15-round decision to win the world light-heavyweight boxing crown in 1934. He lost the title a year later to John Henry Lewis.
As Israel's most celebrated Paralympic athlete, Leibowitz won three gold medals in the freestyle and backstroke at the 2000 Sidney Paralympics, following up four years later at Athens with one gold, two silver and one bronze.
Also named were Morris "Whitey" Bimstein, a legendary trainer and corner "cutman" for 25 world boxing champs over a 50-year career, including Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney, Max Baer and Rocky Marciano.
Joe Reichler was the ranking Associated Press baseball writer from 1943-1966. The author of more than a dozen baseball books, he was elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980.
Al Schacht was forced by injuries to retire as pitcher for the Washington Senators and transformed himself into "The Clown Prince of Baseball," performing at major and minor league ballparks for nearly 50 years.
Earl Strom officiated as basketball referee in 2,400 regular NBA season games, earning the title of "The greatest referee." He was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1955.
Except for Leibowitz, all the honorees are deceased.
The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame is located on the campus of Israel's Wingate Institute for Physical Education and Sports in Netanya.
A total of 328 athletes and sports personalities from 24 countries have been elected to the Hall of Fame since 1979.
-- Tom Tugend, Contributing Editor
Teachers Offered Credit for Holocaust Workshop
All the main players in Holocaust education in Los Angeles have combined forces to offer a workshop on "The Relevance of Teaching the Holocaust in the 21st Century," aimed at helping teachers get across to their students both the factual history of the Holocaust and ways to apply the lessons of the Holocaust to their own lives and the world around them.
To be held on five consecutive Thursday evenings beginning Jan. 31, the workshop is designed for middle and high school levels, but elementary school teachers will also gain insights and benefits.
The program will include training in "Echoes and Reflections: A Multimedia Curriculum on the Holocaust," developed through a partnership between the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, and Yad Vashem. Those organizations are sponsoring the workshop, along with the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance and the Center for Excellence on the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, Human Rights, and Tolerance, and was developed in cooperation with The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, the Los Angeles Unified School District, United Teachers Los Angeles and the "1939" Club.
Registration is $65 (before Jan. 21), $75 after, which includes a kosher dinner each session, all learning materials and handouts, plus credit toward books or videos for classroom use. Educators completing the workshop are entitled to salary points from Los Angeles Unified School District, in-service credit from the Bureau of Jewish Education and may receive University Extension units from California State University.
For more information, contact Matthew Friedman at the ADL, (310) 446-8000, ext. 231, or e-mail email@example.com. Advance registration is required and space is limited.
-- Julie Gruenbaum Fax, Education Editor
Israeli Consulate, Welcome to MySpace
The Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles may be a few years late to the revolution, but it's making connections with a new profile on MySpace.com, the social networking Web site.
Since the profile for "My Israel," age 59, was created in July, little more than two dozen have added the consulate as a friend, although that list does include Madonna (possibly even the Madonna, based on her friend count of nearly 300,000). The consulate officially launched this month, sending out a blast e-mail to drum up interest.
"NOW YOU CAN FIND US (ALSO) ON MYSPACE," stated the note, directing recipients to myspace.com/myisraelconsulate_la.
"The [Foreign] Ministry a while ago understood this is a playing field we need to play in. YouTube, MySpace, Facebook -- you're talking about millions of people," said Gilad Millo, spokesperson for the L.A. consulate. "This is new media versus old media. And being one of the countries that develops most of the software for new media, Israel needs to play in that."
-- Brad A. Greenberg, Senior Writer
A Tu B'Shevat Celebration in Malibu
To celebrate the New Year of Trees this year, head up to the Malibu Mountains for the Shalom Institute's Community Tu B'Shevat Festival on Sunday, Jan. 27, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. For the 10th year, The Shalom Institute Camp and Conference Center, a beneficiary of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, will offer family activities, including concerts, art projects, hikes and gardening at Camp JCA Shalom. Co-sponsored by the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life of Southern California, Jewish National Fund, Israeli House and the Jewish Federation Valley Alliance, the event has drawn thousands of people in past years to celebrate Tu B'Shevat.
The talmudic New Year of the Trees has become a focal point for Jewish environmentalists.
"Tu B'Shevat is one of our best opportunities to join in a Jewish celebration of nature," said Bill Kaplan, executive director of the Shalom Institute. "By playing and learning together at the festival, we can take steps to preserve and restore the earth and educate the community about Jewish environmental values."