American Jewish History Through Sports: Bennett Center Lecture Oct. 1

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American Jewish History Through Sports: Bennett Center Lecture Oct. 1

Almost 50 years ago, in October, 1965, Hall-of-Famer Sandy Koufax decided not to pitch in the World Series on Yom Kippur and was applauded by Jews and gentiles alike for his choice.

At the first fall lecture of the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies on Thursday, October 1, Jeffrey S. Gurock, PhD, the Libby M. Klaperman professor of Jewish history at Yeshiva University, will discuss Koufax’s decision and how American Jewish participation and acceptance in the athletic world is a useful medium for understanding this group’s changing status in America and the challenges a free society have posed for the maintenance of Jewish identity.

The free talk on October 1, entitled “American Jewry’s Historical and Contemporary Scoreboard,” is at 7:30 p.m. in the Kelley Center Presentation Room.

Dr. Gurock will also discuss the 2012 Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman, who danced her floor exercise program to the tune of “Hava Nagila” and dedicated her program to the 11 Israeli Olympians murdered by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. He will elaborate on other Jewish athletes as well, such as boxer Dimitri Salia, basketball superstar Nat Holman and baseball player Hank Greenberg.

Dr. Gurock is the author or editor of 17 books. His new book, The Holocaust Averted: An Alternate History of American Jewry, 1938-1967, was published earlier this year by Rutgers University Press. During his two-day visit to campus, he will facilitate a discussion with faculty and staff; engage in text study with clergy and educators at Congregation B'nai Israel in Bridgeport; and speak to Dr. Ellen M. Umansky's "Introduction to Judaism" class and Honors Seminar on “Faith After the Holocaust.”

There is limited seating to the lecture, and reservations are requested. Please email bennettcenter@fairfield.edu or call 203-254-4000, ext. 2066.

The Scholar-in-Residence Program is made possible through the generosity of David H. and Edith Chaifetz of Fairfield, Connecticut.

Last modified: 09-23-15 04:39 PM

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