"Jews in The Gym: Judaism, Sports, and Athletics"

Omaha Jewish Community Center and Creighton University
October 24-25, 2010

Our sincere thanks to the following for making this event possible:

The Philip M. and Ethel Klutznick Chair in Jewish Civilization at Creighton University and the Norman & Bernice Harris Center for Judaic Studies at University of Nebraska-Lincoln 


The Kripke Center for the Study of Religion and Society at Creighton University and the Jewish Federation of Omaha.

Generous support is also provided by:
The Ike and Roz Friedman Foundation
The Riekes Family
The Creighton College of Arts and Sciences
Creighton University Committee on Lecture, Films, and Concerts
The Gary Javitch Family Foundation
The Center for Jewish Education
The Henry Monsky Lodge of B'nai B'rith
The Dr. Bruce S. Bloom Memorial Endowment
And others

SUNDAY, October 24, 2010
10:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

All activities take place at the Omaha Jewish Community Center, 333 South 132nd Street


10:30 – 11:55

Session I

10:30 – 11:10

David J. Leonard, Washington State University
"A Global Game: Omri Casspi and the Future of Jewish Ballers”

11:15 – 11:55

Nina Spiegel, American University
“Sporting a Nation: The Origins of the Maccabiah Games”

12:00 – 1:00


1:05 – 3:15


1:05 – 1:45

Danny Rosenberg, Brock University, St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada
"The Jewish Athlete of Faith: On the Limits of Sport "

1:50 – 2:30

Steven Riekes, Omaha, Nebraska
“Is Life a Game? Athletic Competition as a Metaphor for the Meaning of Life”

2:35 – 3:15

Steven A. Riess, Northeastern Illinois University
“Antisemitism an Sport in Central Europe and the United States, c. 1870-1932”

3:15 – 3:35


3:35 – 5:00


3:35 – 4:15

William Kornblum & Erin Siodmak, Graduate Center, CUNY and Phillip Oberlander
"Grappling with Ghosts: Jewish Wrestlers and Antisemitism"

4:20 – 5:00

Linda Borish, Western Michigan University
“Jewish Women in the American Gym: Basketball, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Early Twentieth Century”



Evening Program at the Omaha Jewish Community Center, 333 South 132nd Street Theatre

7:30 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.

7:30- 8:45


Welcome Remarks:

Fr. John F. Schlegel, President, Creighton University
TBA, The Jewish Federation of Omaha
Leonard J. Greenspoon, Klutznick Chair in Jewish Civilization



Dr. Jeffrey Gurock
Libby M. Klaperman Professor of Jewish History, Yeshiva University

"American Jewry's Contemporary Scoreboard:  Home and Away"


MONDAY, October 26, 2009
8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

All activities take place at the Creighton University Skutt Student Center Ballroom
Visitor parking is available at the Lied Center - 24th and Cass Street


8:30 - 9:55


8:30 - 9:10

Mihály Kálmán, Harvard University
"Cutting Their Way to Success: Hungarian Jewish Sportsmen at the Olympic Games, 1928-1936"

9:15 - 9:55


Ori Z. Soltes, Georgetown University
"From Benny Leonard to Abi Olajuwon: Jews, Muslims, Evangelicals, and the Evolving Challenges of Being an American Athlete"

9:55 - 10:05


10:05 - 11:30


10:05 - 10:45


Loren Spielman, Portland State University
"Playing Roman in Jerusalem"

10:50 - 11:30


Nathan Abrams, Bangor University, Wales
"The Jew in the Gym: Judaism, Sports, and Athletics on Film"



11:30 – 1:00

Welcome Remarks: Robert Lueger, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Creighton University

11:30 – 12:15


12:20 – 1:00


Rebecca Alpert, Temple University
"Who is That Masked Man: Buster Haywood and Black Baseball's Invisible Jews"