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Old 06-17-2019, 03:25 AM
 
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This topic was inspired by Richard1965, who commented in another thread: "No wonder a lot of older Jews back in the day learned to box..."

That made me curious about Jews and boxing, and so I compiled the following list of some notable Jewish boxers:

Daniel Mendoza (1764-1836) Boxing Champion of England 1792-1795.
Samuel "Dutch Sam" Elias (1775-1816) London boxer who invented the uppercut.
Harry Harris (1880-1959) World Bantamnweight Champion in 1901.
Abe Attell (1883-1970) Featherweight World Champion.
Abe Hollandersky (1887-1966) Listed in Guinness Book of Records for fighting the most boxing matches.
Al McCoy (1894-1966) World Middleweight Champion 1914-1917.
Moe Herscovitch (1896-1969) Middleweight and Olympic Champion.
Benny Leonard (1896-1947) World Lightweight Champion 1917-1925.
Max Baer (1909-1959) Defeated Hitler's champion Max Schmeling.
Victor Perez (1911-1945) In in the 1930s he became the youngest world champion in boxing history; killed by the Nazis.
Salamo Arouch (1923-2009) Middleweight Champion; survivor of Auschwitz.
Carolina Duer (1978- ) Yes, a Jewish woman boxer and Junior Bantamweight World Champion.
Yuri Foreman (1980- ) WBA Super Welterweight Champion... and rabbi!

But wait! There's more!

What other notable Jews in various categories can you think of? How about choosing a specific sport, occupation, or interest and compiling a "Notable Jews in ____" list of your own? Then post it here.

Let's kvell a little!
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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I had no idea that Max Baer was Jewish.

Then also Jewish was his brother Jacob "Buddy" Baer, also a boxer but not quite as famous.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:26 AM
 
560 posts, read 55,311 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
I had no idea that Max Baer was Jewish.

Then also Jewish was his brother Jacob "Buddy" Baer, also a boxer but not quite as famous.

Max Baer wasn't Jewish by traditional halachic definition (he had only one Jewish grandparent), but to the Nazis that was enough to make him Jewish and make their heads explode when Max beat their Nazi champion boxer. So that's why I included him on the list. I like to think that Max's Jewish ancestors would have been smiling from The Beyond to have seen Max beat the stuffin out of a Nazi.



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Old 06-17-2019, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,019 posts, read 54,523,130 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel NewYork View Post
Max Baer wasn't Jewish by traditional halachic definition (he had only one Jewish grandparent), but to the Nazis that was enough to make him Jewish and make their heads explode when Max beat their Nazi champion boxer. So that's why I included him on the list. I like to think that Max's Jewish ancestors would have been smiling from The Beyond to have seen Max beat the stuffin out of a Nazi.



OK, thanks. Your post also made me wonder if Max Baer, Jr.--best known as "Jethro" on The Beverly Hillbillies, was also Jewish, but it was mentioned that his mother's last name was Sullivan, so I'm guessing not!
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
OK, thanks. Your post also made me wonder if Max Baer, Jr.--best known as "Jethro" on The Beverly Hillbillies, was also Jewish, but it was mentioned that his mother's last name was Sullivan, so I'm guessing not!

I don't know whether Max Baer, Jr. ever embraced Judaism at any point in his life (loved him as Jethro Bodine, lol). I do know that his father wore a Star of David on his boxing clothes in the boxing ring, so Max Baer, Sr. obviously took pride in his Jewish ancestry.

I think we have some members of our forum who may not be traditionally, halachically Jewish, although they have Jewish ancestry or may belong to non-orthodox Jewish congregations. I want them to feel welcome and accepted -- so that's another reason why I deliberately included Max Baer on my list.
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Old 06-17-2019, 01:41 PM
 
Location: US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel NewYork View Post
I don't know whether Max Baer, Jr. ever embraced Judaism at any point in his life (loved him as Jethro Bodine, lol). I do know that his father wore a Star of David on his boxing clothes in the boxing ring, so Max Baer, Sr. obviously took pride in his Jewish ancestry.

I think we have some members of our forum who may not be traditionally, halachically Jewish, although they have Jewish ancestry or may belong to non-orthodox Jewish congregations. I want them to feel welcome and accepted -- so that's another reason why I deliberately included Max Baer on my list.

Baer was born on February 11, 1909, in Omaha, Nebraska[3] to Jacob Baer (1875–1938), who was half Lutheran German and half German Jewish, and Dora Bales (1877–1938), who was of Scots-Irish Protestant American ancestry. Baer was raised in a nominally nonsectarian home.[7] His elder sister was Frances May Baer (1905–1991), his younger sister was Bernice Jeanette Baer (1911–1987), his younger brother was boxer-turned-actor Jacob Henry Baer, better known as Buddy Baer (1915–1986), and his adopted brother was August "Augie" Baer.

Although the Great Depression, then in full force, had lowered the income of most citizens, sixty thousand people attended the fight. NBC radio updated millions nationwide as the match progressed. Baer, who was one-quarter Jewish, wore trunks which displayed the Star of David, a symbol he wore in all his future bouts. When the fight began, he dominated the rugged Schmeling into the tenth round, when Baer knocked him down and the referee stopped the match. Columnist Westbrook Pegler wrote about Schmeling's loss, "That wasn't a defeat, that was a disaster", while journalist David Margolick claimed that Baer's win would come to "symbolize Jewry's struggle against the Nazis."

Baer became a hero among Jews, those who identified with Jews, and those who despised the Nazis.[23] According to biographer David Bret, after the war ended, it was learned that Schmeling had in fact saved the lives of many Jewish children during the war while still serving his country. - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Baer_(boxer)
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Old 06-17-2019, 01:47 PM
 
Location: US
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Max Baer is a controversial figure in boxing circles. To some, he was a vicious killer; at least one boxer died after a fight with "Madcap Maxie", and another's death was claimed to result from injuries sustained in a fight. - Jew or Not Jew: Max Baer
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Old 06-17-2019, 01:50 PM
 
Location: US
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Jack Dempsey
June 24, 1895 – May 31, 1983
We get a lot of suggestions on our website. Some good, some not so much. All of them get written on a card, the cards get tossed into a giant bag, and a trained parrot selects one three times a week. (Yes, attentive readers, it used to be not a parrot, but a guinea pig. The guinea pig died. There is less fecal matter with a bird. But we digress.)...


...Dear readers of Northern New Jersey! We implore you, if you spot a parrot who answers to Rodrigo (distinguishing features: tail is missing three feathers, right eye is scratched out, can swear in Yiddish), please contact us immediately! Without our dear parrot, how would we ever select what profiles to write?

How would you ever read profiles as fascinating as this one?

Verdict: Barely a Jew.

- Jew or Not Jew: Jack Dempsey
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Old 06-17-2019, 01:54 PM
 
Location: US
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Dutch Sam
(Sam Elias)
April 4, 1775 – July 3, 1816
Boxing. The sweet science. Two men standing on a mat pounding each other with gloves until someone drops. Talk about your primordial sport.
Of course, it wasn't always like that. It was much, much worse. What we now know as modern boxing evolved from street fighting. No mats. No gloves. No mercy. Lots and lots of blood.

And, yes, some Jews. We already profiled Daniel Mendoza, considered by some the father of modern boxing. There was also Sam Elias, known as Dutch Sam, whose contributions to the sport were also vital. - Jew or Not Jew: Dutch Sam
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Old 06-17-2019, 01:58 PM
 
560 posts, read 55,311 times
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Originally Posted by Richard1965 View Post
According to biographer David Bret, after the war ended, it was learned that Schmeling had in fact saved the lives of many Jewish children during the war while still serving his country. - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Baer_(boxer)
I did not know that about Schmeling! I take back what I said about him being a Nazi, in that case. I can see how the Nazis would have used him, though.

Thanks for the additional info, Richard!

And, I love that website you linked in your other post, "Jew or Not Jew."
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