Jewish Sports Hall of Fame Honors Andre Tippett

GENE LESSERSON

By Devra Ferst

Published April 29, 2009, issue of May 08, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The image of a 6-foot-3-inch, 250-pound African-American football player doesn’t typically bring to mind “Great Jewish Athlete.” Andre Tippett, five-time All-Pro linebacker for the New England Patriots and National Football League Hall of Famer, is changing that. Tippet, who converted to Judaism nearly 12 years ago, was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame on April 26. The ceremony was held at the Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center in Commack, N.Y.

Tippett was born and raised a Baptist, but he converted to Judaism in 1997 when he married Rhonda Kenney. “I wanted to keep the family as one from a religious standpoint,” Tippett said in a 1998 interview on the Web site jewishsports.com. “I thought it would be great to convert to Judaism and have a Jewish home.”

Dara Torres, the five-time Olympic swimmer who competed in the 2008 summer games at the age of 41, was another one of this year’s NJSHF inductees. Torres, who also converted to Judaism, was named to the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in Israel in 2005.

Gary Gubner, an Olympic weightlifter and track and field star, was the only other athlete in this year’s Hall of Fame class. Marvin Miller, former executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association; Ed Block, NFL trainer; Linda Cohn, anchor of ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” and sportswriter Dick Schaap were all inducted for their contributions to sports.

Eight Long Island University basketball players, who were slated to represent the United States in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games but boycotted the event in protest of Hitler’s treatment of Jews, were also honored at the ceremony.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.