Friday, July 30th 2021   |

Summer Olympics

These Jewish athletes have won medals at the Tokyo Olympics

By EMILY BURACK

(JTA) — The Jewish highlights of the Tokyo Olympics kicked off with Jewish basketball superstar Sue Bird serving as one of Team USA’s two flag bearers at the opening ceremony, a huge honor.

The lasting accolades, though, are the medals that winning athletes take home. Dozens of Jewish athletes are competing in the Games this year, but the fierce competition means that only some will enter the...

Avishag Semberg takes bronze in taekwondo, Israel’s first-ever Olympic medal in that sport

– Israeli athlete Avishag Semberg won a bronze medal in taekwondo at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo on Saturday. The medal is Israel’s first at the Tokyo games, its first in taekwondo and its tenth Olympic medal,

Semberg, 19, defeated Turkey’s Rukiye Yıldırım 27-22 in the flyweight (49 kilogram) category.

Sember revealed after the competition that she had felt the contest against the Turkish athlete slipping away.

“It...

A 76-year-old Jewish philanthropist from Los Angeles is one of the world’s most prolific Olympic pin traders

By STEPHEN SILVER

(JTA) — Sid Marantz loves tradition so much that he spent 20 years as a board member of his family’s Los Angeles synagogue. 

So it’s a big deal that he isn’t in Tokyo this week for the start of the Olympics, the first Summer Games he’s missed since 1984. Marantz usually attends for three weeks: the 16 days of the games — with a few more days...

How Israel became a judo powerhouse

By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ

TEL AVIV (JTA) — When he immigrated to Israel from his native Ukraine in the early 1990s, judo master Igor Romanitsky was already resigned to quitting the sport professionally and pursuing a medical career.

“Israel wasn’t known for its judo scene back then, and I had a medical degree,” Romanitsky, now 57, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “I assumed my days as a judoka were over.”

But...

Algerian judoka quits Olympics to avoid Israeli opponent

(JTA) — An Algerian judoka reportedly pulled out of the Olympics on Thursday after seeing his tournament draw, which would have pitted him against an Israeli opponent in the second round.

“We were not lucky with the draw. We got an Israeli opponent and that’s why we had to retire. We made the right decision,” Fethi Nourine’s coach told Algerian media.

Nourine would have had to face Tohar Butbul in...

Meet the Jewish dancer choreographing Simone Biles’ Olympic floor routine

By EVILYN KRICK

(Alma via JTA) – There are quite a few athletes who have been called the G.O.A.T., or greatest of all time: quarterback Tom Brady, basketball player Michael Jordan and swimmer Michael Phelps, just to name a few.

But gymnast Simone Biles? She might just be the best of the bunch. I mean, come on, when was the last time any of them flew through the air, doing...

For first time, Olympics opening ceremony honors Israeli athletes murdered in Munich

By EMILY BURACK

(JTA) — For the first time ever, the Olympic Games held a moment of silence during the opening ceremony for the 11 Israeli athletes murdered during the Munich Olympics in 1972.

There, the Palestinian terrorist group Black September attacked members of the Israeli Olympic team, ultimately killing six coaches and five athletes, as well as a West German police officer who participated in an unsuccessful raid to...

His day job is booking acts like John Mulaney and Sinead O’Connor. He’s also on Israel’s Olympic baseball team.

By GABE FRIEDMAN

(JTA) — Before last November, Shlomo Lipetz already had his dream job.

After drinking coffee and listening to a morning news podcast — “The Daily,” from the New York Times —  he would then take the L train from his Brooklyn apartment and head to his job as vice president for programming at City Winery, a music venue and wine bar franchise headquartered on the Hudson River...

Sue Bird will be Team USA flag bearer at Olympics opening ceremony

(JTA) — Jewish basketball star Sue Bird will be one of Team USA’s two flag bearers at the Tokyo Olympics’ opening ceremony on Friday.

Bird, one of many Jewish athletes going for gold this summer, will be competing in her fifth Olympic games this summer. The 12-time WNBA All-Star has won gold at the last four Olympics with the U.S. Women’s Basketball Team.

“I think that’s the best part, to...

Tokyo Olympics creative director fired over 1990s comedy skit mocking the Holocaust

By PHILISSA CRAMER

(JTA) — The creative director of the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony has been fired after a Holocaust joke he made during a 1990s comedy skit drew attention this week.

Kentaro Kobayashi, a popular comedian and actor, joked during a television appearance in the 1990s,

“Let’s play the genocide of the Jews,” according to a video that began circulating early Wednesday.

五輪開会式ディレクターのラーメンズ・小林賢太郎さんが、「ユダヤ人大量虐殺ごっこをやろう」とホロコーストをネタにしてる動画です。https://t.co/dkDSArte0r pic.twitter.com/KJx02obaC7

— 実話BUNKAタブー編集部 (@BUNKA_taboo)...