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List of Jews in sports

This list of Jewish athletes in sports contains athletes who are Jewish and have attained outstanding achievements in sports. The topic of Jewish participation in sports is discussed extensively in academic and popular literature (See also: List of Jews in sports (non-players)). Scholars believe that sports have been a historical avenue for Jewish people to overcome obstacles toward their participation in secular society, especially before the mid-20th century in Europe and the United States.

The criteria for inclusion in this list are:

  • 1–3 places winners at major international tournaments;
  • for team sports, winning in preliminary competitions of finals at major international tournaments, or playing for several seasons for clubs of major national leagues; or
  • holders of past and current world records.

Boldface denotes a current competitor.

To be included in the list, one does not necessarily have to practice Judaism, or to hail from Israel. Some members of the list may practice other religions or no religion at all, but are of Jewish descent.

Athletes

American football

Association football (soccer)

Australian rules football

Baseball

Alex Bregman, infielder
(Houston Astros)
Scott Effross
(New York Yankees)
Max Fried, pitcher
(Atlanta Braves)
Ian Kinsler, second baseman
(Team Israel)
Dean Kremer, pitcher
(Baltimore Orioles; Team Israel)
Ryan Lavarnway, catcher
(Miami Marlins; Team Israel)
Joc Pederson, outfielder
(San Francisco Giants, Team Israel)
Kevin Pillar, outfielder
(Los Angeles Dodgers; Team Israel)
Rowdy Tellez, first baseman
(Milwaukee Brewers)

Basketball

Bowling

Boxing

Canoeing

  • László Fábián, Hungary, sprint canoeist, Olympic champion (K-2 10,000 meter), 4× world champion (3× K-2 10,000 meter and 1× K-4 10,000 meter) and one silver (K-4 10,000 meter)
  • Imre Farkas, Hungary, sprint canoeist, 2× Olympic bronze (C-2 1,000 and 10,000 meter)
  • Jessica Fox, French-born Australian, slalom canoeist, Olympic gold (C-1 slalom), Olympic silver and bronze (K-1 slalom), world championships gold (C-1 and K-1)
  • Myriam Fox-Jerusalmi, France, slalom canoeist, Olympic bronze (K-1 slalom), 5 golds at ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships (2× K-1, 3× K-1 team)
  • Klára Fried-Bánfalvi, Hungary, sprint canoeist, Olympic bronze (K-2 500 m), world champion (K-2 500 m)
  • Leonid Geishtor, USSR (Belarus), sprint canoeist, Olympic champion (Canadian pairs 1,000 meter)
  • Joe Jacobi, US, slalom canoeist, Olympic champion (C-2 slalom)
  • Michael Kolganov, Soviet (Uzbek)-born Israeli, sprint canoeist, Olympic bronze (K-1 500metre) for Israel; 2× world champion
  • Anna Pfeffer, Hungary, sprint canoeist, Olympic 2× silver (K-2 500 m), bronze (K-1 500 m); world champion (K-2 500 m), silver (K-4 500 m), 2× bronze (K-2 500)
  • Naum Prokupets, Moldovan-born Soviet, sprint canoeist, Olympic bronze (C-2 1,000me), gold (C-2 10,000m) at ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships
  • Leon Rotman, Romanian, sprint canoeist, 2× Olympic champion (C-1 10,000m, C-1 1,000m) and bronze (C-1 1,000m), 14 national titles
  • Shaun Rubenstein, South Africa, canoeist, World Marathon champion 2006

Cricket

Cycling

Equestrian

Fencing

Field hockey

Figure skating

Golf

Gymnastics

Ice hockey

Judo

Lacrosse

Mixed martial arts

  • Sarah Avraham, Indian-born Israeli kickboxer, 2014 Women's World Thai-Boxing Champion; 57–63 kilos (125–140 pounds) weight class
  • Cyril Benzaquen, France, World Champion of Kickboxing, World Champion of Muaythai, light heavyweight
  • Patrick Bittan, France, first French to medal at an International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation event (IBJJF Pans 1999), multiple times Champion of France of BJJ. Belgium International Grappling Champion (2000), US Open 2nd Place (1998 blue), São Paulo State Championship 2nd Place (2003), Pan American IBJJF 3rd Place (1999 blue)
  • Nili Block, Israeli world champion kickboxer and Muay Thai fighter; 60 kg (132 pound) weight class
  • Johann Fauveau, France, World Champion of Kickboxing, super welterweight
  • Fabrice Fourment, France, Vis-European Champion of Kyokushinkaï Karate (2000), winner of the first Scandinavian Open (1998), winner of the North American Championship (2003), seven times France's Champion, heavyweight
  • Ilya Grad, Israel, lightweight Muay Thai boxing champion
  • Emily Kagan, US, UFC fighter in the women's strawweight division; competed in season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter
  • Noad "Neo" Lahat, Israel, featherweight MMA (UFC)
  • Natan Levy*, Israel, featherweight mixed martial artist in the UFC
  • Ido Pariente, Israel, lightweight Pankration World Champion
  • Yulia Sachkov, Israel, world champion kickboxer
  • Rory Singer, US, middleweight fighter from The Ultimate Fighter 3

Motorsport

Rowing

  • Jean Klein, France, Olympic silver
  • Károly Levitzky, Hungary, Olympic bronze
  • Allen Rosenberg, US, champion and Olympics coach
  • Donald Spero, US multi-collegiate (Cornell 8+) and national champion (1×), multi-European medalist (1×, 2×), World champion (1×), Henley Royal Regatta champion (1×), Gold Cup champion (1×), US Olympian (1×), and a founder of the National Rowing Foundation
  • Josh West, American-born British, men's eight, Olympic silver, 2× World Rowing Championships silver and one bronze

Rugby league

Rugby union

Sailing

Shooting

Skeleton

Skiing and snowboarding

Speed skating

  • Andy Gabel, US, Olympic silver (5,000 meter short track relay)
  • Rafayel Grach, USSR, Olympic silver (500 m), bronze (500 m)
  • Irving Jaffee, US, 2× Olympic champion (5,000m, 10,000m), world records (mile, 25 miles)
  • Dan Weinstein, US, short-track, 3× world champion (2× team 1,000m, team short-track 5,000m)

Softball

Surfing

Swimming

  • Margarete "Grete" Adler, Austria, Olympic bronze (4 × 100m freestyle relay)
  • Vadim Alexeev, Kazakhstan-born Israeli, breaststroke
  • Jessica Antiles, US
  • Semyon Belits-Geiman, USSR, Olympic silver (400 m freestyle relay) and bronze (800 m freestyle relay); world record in men's 800m freestyle
  • Adi Bichman, Israel (400 m and 800m freestyle, 400m medley)
  • Damián Blaum, Argentina, open water
  • Gérard Blitz, Belgium, Olympic bronze (100 m backstroke), International Swimming Hall of Fame
  • Yoav Bruck, Israel (50 m freestyle and 100m freestyle), Israel (50m freestyle and 100m freestyle)
  • Tiffany Cohen, US, 2× Olympic champion (400 m and 800m freestyle); 2× Pan American champion (400m and 800m freestyle), International Swimming Hall of Fame
  • Anthony Ervin, US, Olympic champion (50m freestyle), silver (400 m freestyle relay); 2× world champion (50 m freestyle, 100m freestyle)
  • Yoav Gath, Israel (100 and 200 m backstroke)
  • Scott Goldblatt, US, Olympic champion (4 × 200m freestyle relay), silver (800 m freestyle relay); world championships silver (4 × 200m freestyle), bronze (4 × 200m freestyle)
  • Eran Cohen Groumi, Israel (100 and 200 m backstroke, 100m butterfly)
  • Andrea Gyarmati, Hungary, Olympic silver (100 m backstroke) and bronze (100 m butterfly); world championships bronze (200 m backstroke), International Swimming Hall of Fame
  • Alfréd Hajós (born "Arnold Guttmann"), Hungary, 3× Olympic champion (100m freestyle, 800m freestyle relay, 1,500m freestyle), International Swimming Hall of Fame
  • Michael "Miki" Halika, Israel, 200m butterfly, 200m and 400m individual medley
  • Judith Haspel (born "Judith Deutsch"), Austrian-born Israeli, held every Austrian women's middle and long-distance freestyle record in 1935, refused to represent Austria in 1936 Summer Olympics along with Ruth Langer and Lucie Goldner, protesting Hitler, stating, "I refuse to enter a contest in a land which so shamefully persecutes my people."
  • Otto Herschmann, Austria, Olympic 2-silver (in fencing/team sabre and 100m freestyle); arrested by Nazis, and died in Izbica concentration camp
  • Ziv Kalontarov, Israel, European Games champion (50 m freestyle)
  • Lenny Krayzelburg, Ukrainian-born US, 4× Olympic champion (100 m backstroke, 200m backstroke, twice 4 × 100m medley relay); 3× world champion (100m and 200m backstroke, 4 × 100m medley) and 2× silver (4 × 100m medley, 50m backstroke); 3 world records (50m, 100m, and 200m backstroke)
  • Herbert Klein, Germany, Olympic bronze (200 m breaststroke); 3 world records
  • Dan Kutler, US-born Israeli (100 m butterfly, 4 × 100m medley relay)
  • Ruth Langer Lawrence, Austria; along with Judith Haspel and Lucie Goldner refused to represent Austria in 1936 Summer Olympics, their protest stating "We do not boycott Olympia, but Berlin".
  • Katie Ledecky, US, 7× Olympic gold, 15× world champion, the most in history for a female swimmer
  • Keren Leibovitch, Israeli Paralympic swimmer, 3× world champion, 3 world records (100m and 200m backstroke; 100m freestyle), and 8× Paralympic medal winner
  • Jason Lezak, US, 4× Olympic champion (twice 4 × 100m medley relay, 4 × 400m medley relay, 4 × 100 freestyle relay), silver (400 m freestyle relay), 2× bronze (100m freestyle, 4 × 100m freestyle relay); 8× world champion (4× 4 × 100m medley, 3× 4 × 100m freestyle, 100m freestyle), silver (4 × 100m medley), bronze (4 × 100m freestyle)
  • Klara Milch, Austria, Olympic bronze (4 × 100m freestyle relay)
  • József Munk, Hungary, Olympic silver (4 × 200m freestyle relay)
  • Alfred "Artem" Nakache, France; world record (200m breaststroke), one-third of French 2× world record (3 × 100m relay team); imprisoned by Nazis in Auschwitz, where his wife and daughter were killed
  • Paul Neumann, Austria, Olympic champion (500m freestyle)
  • Maxim Podoprigora, Ukrainian-born Austrian swimmer
  • Sarah Poewe, South African-born German, Olympic bronze (4 × 100m medley relay)
  • Marilyn Ramenofsky, US, Olympic silver (400 m freestyle); 3× world record for 400m freestyle
  • Jeremy Reingold, South African, 200m individual medley world record, South South African SA under-21 rugby team
  • Keena Rothhammer, US, Olympic champion (800 m freestyle) and bronze (200 m freestyle); world champion (200 m freestyle) and silver (400 m freestyle), International Swimming Hall of Fame
  • Albert Schwartz, US, Olympic bronze (100 m freestyle)
  • Otto Scheff (born "Otto Sochaczewsky"), Austria, Olympic champion (400 m freestyle) and 2× bronze (400 m freestyle, 1,500m freestyle)
  • Mark Spitz, US, Olympic champion (9 golds (400 m freestyle relay twice, 800m freestyle relay twice, 100m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly, 400m medley relay), 1 silver (100 m butterfly), 1 bronze (100 m freestyle)), has the second-most gold medals won in a single Olympic Games (7); 5× Pam Am champion; 10× Maccabiah champion; world records (100m and 200m freestyle, 100- and 200m butterfly), International Swimming Hall of Fame
  • Josephine Sticker, Austria, Olympic bronze (4 × 100m freestyle relay)
  • Tal Stricker, Israel (100m and 200m breaststroke, 4 × 100m medley relay)
  • András Székely, Hungary, Olympic silver (200 m breaststroke) and bronze (4 × 200m freestyle relay); died in a Nazi concentration camp
  • Éva Székely, Hungary, Olympic champion & silver (200 m breaststroke); International Swimming Hall of Fame; mother of Andrea Gyarmati
  • Lejzor Ilja Szrajbman, Poland, Olympic 4 × 200m freestyle relay; killed by the Nazis in Majdanek concentration camp
  • Judit Temes, Hungary, Olympic champion (4 × 100m freestyle), bronze (100 m freestyle)
  • Dara Torres, US, Olympic 4× champion (400 m freestyle relay, 4 × 100m freestyle relay twice, 4 × 100m medley relay), 4× silver (50 m freestyle, 2× 4 × 100m freestyle, 4 × 100m medley relay), 4× bronze (50 m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 4 × 100m freestyle relay, 4 × 100m medley relay); world championship silver (4 × 100m freestyle); Pan American champion (4 × 100m freestyle)
  • Eithan Urbach, Israel, backstroke, European championship silver & bronze (100 m backstroke)
  • Otto Wahle, Austria/US, 2× Olympic silver (1,000 m freestyle, 200m obstacle race) and bronze (400 m freestyle); International Swimming Hall of Fame
  • Garrett Weber-Gale, US, 2× Olympic champion (4 × 100m freestyle relay, 4 × 100m medley relay); world champion (3× 4 × 100m freestyle, 4 × 100m medley), silver (4 × 200m freestyle)
  • Wendy Weinberg, US, Olympic bronze (800 m freestyle); Pan American champion (800 m freestyle)
  • Ben Wildman-Tobriner, US, Olympic champion (4 × 100m freestyle relay); world champion (2× 4 × 100m freestyle, 50m freestyle)
  • Wally Wolf, US, Olympic champion (4 × 200m freestyle relay)
  • Imre Zachár, Hungary, Olympic silver (4 × 200m freestyle relay)
  • Amit Ivry, Israel, Olympic semi-finalist (200 metre individual medley)[citation needed]

Table tennis

Taekwondo

Tennis

Track and field

Triathlon

Volleyball

Water polo

Weightlifting

Wrestling

  • Lindsey Durlacher, US, world bronze (Greco-Roman)
  • Grigoriy Gamarnik, Ukrainian-born Soviet, world champion (Greco-Roman lightweight), world championship gold and silver
  • Samuel Gerson, Ukrainian-born US, Olympic silver (freestyle featherweight)
  • Boris Maksimovich Gurevich, Soviet, Olympic champion (Greco-Roman flyweight), 2× world champion
  • Maxwell Cohen, US, Pee Wee Champion
  • Boris Mikhaylovich Gurevich, USSR, Olympic champion (freestyle middleweight), 2× world champion
  • Nickolaus "Mickey" Hirschl, Austria, 2× Olympic bronze (heavyweight freestyle and Greco-Roman)
  • Oleg Karavaev, USSR, Olympic champion (Greco-Roman bantamweight), 2× world champion
  • Károly Kárpáti (also "Károly Kellner"), Hungary, Olympic champion (freestyle lightweight), silver
  • Abraham Kurland, Denmark, Olympic silver (Greco-Roman lightweight)
  • Len Levy, US, NCAA national champion
  • Fred Meyer, US, Olympic bronze (freestyle heavyweight)
  • Fred Oberlander, Austrian, British, and Canadian wrestler; world champion (freestyle heavyweight); Maccabiah champion
  • Yakov Punkin, Soviet, Olympic champion (Greco-Roman featherweight)
  • Samuel Rabin, Great Britain, Olympic bronze (freestyle middleweight)
  • David Rudman, USSR, USSR 6× wrestling champion and 6× sambo champion, sambo world champion, 2× European judo champion
  • Richárd Weisz, Hungary, Olympic champion (Greco-Roman super heavyweight)
  • Henry Wittenberg, US, Olympic champion (freestyle light-heavyweight), silver

Professional wrestling

Jewish sports halls of fame

See also

This page was last updated at 2022-09-07 13:09 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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