Jews, Sports, and the Rites of Citizenship

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University of Illinois Press, 2007 - History - 232 pages
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To many, an association between Jews and sports seems almost oxymoronic--yet Jews have been prominent in boxing, basketball, and fencing, and some would argue that hurler Sandy Koufax is America's greatest athlete ever. In Jews, Sports, and the Rites of Citizenship, Jack Kugelmass shows that sports--significant in constructing nations and in determining their degree of exclusivity--also figures prominently in the Jewish imaginary. This interdisciplinary collection brings together the perspectives of anthropologists and historians to provide both methodological and regional comparative frameworks for exploring the meaning of sports for a minority population.

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According to Max Baer Jr."My dad was raised catholic," He continued, "later he converted to be sn episcopal out of deference to grandma." Max Baer's father, Jacob had been Jewish but converted to Catholicism. Max Baer wore the star of David on his trunks for his fight with German heavyweight Max Schmeling out of respect for his manager who was Jewish. Although scores of people have identified themselves with the jewish religion for many generations, some former jews have disavowed themselves of Judaism and have gone on to practice other religions, some of them of Christian persuasion. This was the case of Max Baer's father Jacob Baer a Jew who became a catholic. Despite the rantings of Adolf Hitler and his NAZI brethern, Judaism is not a race it is a religion. 


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About the author (2007)

Jack Kugelmass is a professor of anthropology and director of the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He is the author of The Miracle of Intervale Avenue.

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