Adelstein-Rozeanu was the first Romanian woman to win a world title in any sport. Between 1950 and 1955 she won seventeen world titles, including six straight singles championships. She took the world women’s double title three times (1953, 1955 and 1956) and the world’s mixed doubles title three times (1951–1953).
One of the greats of women’s golf, Amy Alcott has had a long and illustrious career as a member of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA).
Since the beginning of British colonialization of New South Wales in 1788, when between eight and fifteen Jews were among the convicts who arrived with the First Fleet, several waves of immigration have brought the Jewish population up to its present size.
Known as the “Mother of Women’s Basketball,” Senda Berenson pioneered women’s basketball as the director of the physical education department at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Gretel Bergmann was a highly successful German track and field athlete. While studying at London Polytechnic, she became the British high jump champion in 1934. Returning to Germany to train for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, she was denied entry to the German team even though she tied the German high jump record of 1.60 meters.
Because Natalie Cohen’s life met the very essence of the definition of the “Georgia Women Sports Trailblazers,” she was elected a charter member in 1996. Already a Hall of Famer, this crowning honor was only one of many received throughout her life recognizing Natalie Cohen as a woman who has made significant contributions to sports, forging paths for others to follow.
Lillian Copeland was one of the greatest overall woman athletes in the mid-1920s. Born in New York City on November 25, 1904, she was the daughter of Minnie Drasnin, a housewife, from Grodno, Poland. She was also raised by her stepfather, Abraham Copeland, the manager of a produce company, after the death of her father. She attended Los Angeles High School.
The year 1996 marked the centennial of the modern Olympic Games, and the anticipation of American women’s gold medal triumphs in swimming and diving continued a legacy of athletic excellence linked to the efforts of Jewish American Charlotte Epstein. Referred to as the “Mother of Women’s Swimming in America,” Charlotte Epstein was born to Morris and Sara (Rosenau) Epstein in New York City in September 1884. She demonstrated her love of swimming by influencing U.S. women’s swimming to reach prominence in the 1920s and 1930s. Known as “Eppie” by friends, colleagues, and swimming champions, Epstein started the renowned Women’s Swimming Association of New York, launching the national and international fame of American women swimmers in the early twentieth century.
Ukrainian-born Maria Gorokhovskaya was the top performer among all athletes, both male and female, at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, where, at the "advanced" age of thirty-one, she earned seven medals in the Games' gymnastics competitions.
The daughter of Olympic medalists, water polo champion Dezso Gyarmati and swimmer Eva Szekely, Andrea Gyarmati was born in Budapest, Hungary in May 1954. At the age of twelve she began serious training as a swimmer under her mother’s guidance and competed in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico in three events, reaching the finals in all three.
After originally planning to be a medieval historian, Gladys Heldman became a competitive tennis player and later an advocate for women’s tennis. The current generation of women tennis players owe their equal status to her important efforts.
Lilli Henoch was born in 1899 to an upper middle-class family. Despite her merchant father’s death, a relocation to Berlin and the remarriage of her mother, the family was able to maintain its previous high standard of living. Even in childhood Lilli Henoch had developed a passion for sport, particularly track and field and team sports. This was comparatively rare for a woman in the 1920s, when track and field sports were considered unwomanly.
Dore Jacobs was the inventor of a little-known method of physical education which became a mode of resistance under Nazism and is still taught in Germany, in the very same place in which it originated eight decades ago.
Born on January 9, 1921 in Budapest, Hungary, Agnes Keleti is the most successful Jewish female athlete in Olympic history. With ten Olympic medals from three Olympic Games, she stands third all-time among women for the most Olympic medals and fourth all-time as an Olympic gold medal winner.
Traute Kleinova was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia on August 13, 1918. From early childhood she had to help her widowed mother make a living by delivering milk in her neighborhood. The boys of her class used to accompany her on her chores so that she could finish her rounds earlier in order to be able to participate in the activities of the local Jewish athletic club. She could outrun most of the boys and she beat all of them in table tennis.
Ice-skating champion Lily Kronberger was born in 1887 in Budapest, Hungary, where the participation of Jews in ice-skating was more the result of emulating the Hungarian nobility than of any other factor.
Born in Brooklyn, New York on July 1, 1958, Nancy Lieberman soon moved with her parents, Jerome and Renée, and an older brother, Clifford, to Far Rockaway in the borough of Queens. The parents divorced shortly thereafter, and the mother raised both siblings. Despite her mother’s protests Nancy persisted in playing sports with boys, and took a special interest in basketball. She played daily on the city playgrounds, honing her skills and displaying an aggressive style of play.
The integrated examination of the content of the Israeli print and electronic media engaged either in documenting reality (e.g. newspapers, news programs, current-events programs, talk shows, social programs) or in entertainment (e.g. quiz shows, soap operas, children’s programs) demonstrates the perception of the marginality of women in Israeli society. While men are presented as the “normal,” women, who constitute the majority of society, are presented as the minority “other”—the exception, the incomplete, the impaired, the marginal.
A table of Jewish Women who have won Olympic medals.
Fanny “Bobbie” Rosenfeld was named Canada’s woman athlete of the first half- century in 1950. She was a consummate all-round athlete, coach, sports administrator, official, and journalist.
Born in Hungary in 1908, Anna Sipos is remembered for her accomplishments as an outstanding table tennis player, ranked the second best women’s player of her time. Altogether, Sipos won twenty-one medals—eleven gold, six silver and four bronze—in World Championship table tennis competition.
While it was no easy task for women to integrate successfully into the world of modern competitive sports, there is currently a marked increase in the number of competitive women athletes throughout the world. A similar development, though slower and with more modest achievements, has also occurred in Jewish sports.
Women’s participation in Jewish gymnastics clubs increased significantly during the first two decades of the twentieth century. The Jewish sports movement grew during the 1920s, allowing women to participate in cross-country running, swimming, and tennis. After German sports clubs annulled Jewish membership in 1933, women poured into these Jewish sports groups.
The ways in which females participated in sporting life within both the immigrant and the wider culture reveal how women’s sports activities at times promoted assimilation yet also generated discord within the generational, gender, class and ethnic context of their lives in the United States.