Sports

Jane Katz

Jane Katz came home from Israel this year lugging unusual souvenirs: 13 medals from the 19th Maccabiah Games, including 11 for each of the Masters swimming events she entered, one silver for the medley relay she participated in as part of the U.S. team, and one gold for the women’s freestyle relay.

These souvenirs are not so unusual for Katz, however: The 70-year-old has swum in every Maccabiah Games since 1957, for a total of 14. This year was her most successful yet.

Born and raised on the Lower East Side, Katz learned to swim from her father, who gave lessons to local children. She was only 14 when she competed in her first Maccabiah Games, 56 years ago.

But Katz’s sportsmanship goes beyond the games held every four years. She has been teaching water fitness at the City University of New York since 1964 and is a professor at John Jay College in the department of physical education and athletics. In 2011, she was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Quietly and out of the spotlight, she has served as an ambassador for the Jewish people for more than half a century.

“As a person, I am proud to be of the Jewish faith. I am proud of my heritage,” she told the Forward in July. “I’m always talking about it, and I’m always talking about the Maccabiah Games… Hopefully it will create a more peaceful world. Sports are the common denominator. That’s what these games help to do.”

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!
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • BREAKING: Was an Israeli soldier just kidnapped in Gaza? Hamas' military wing says yes.
  • What's a "telegenically dead" Palestinian?
  • 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.