Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
News

A Look at The Champs

Inspired by tales of legendary fighters Jack “Kid” Berg, Lew Tendler and Barney Ross, Brooklyn-based artist Charles Miller turned his canvas toward the ring to create a series of paintings focused on Jews who dominated the sport of boxing in the early 20th century.

Between 1910 and 1940, there were 27 Jewish world-boxing champions, and during this time period there were some 20,000 amateur and professional Jewish boxers. The sons of Eastern European immigrants, most of the men took up the sport in a desperate attempt to earn a living during a time when poorly paid manual labor jobs were hard to come by. But being a professional boxer was considered shameful in the Jewish community, and many fought under false Irish- and Italian-sounding names. The exhibit, Jewish Boxers, features oil paintings of fighters dressed in traditional boxing gear, as if posed for a photograph.

Think Tank 3, 447 Hudson St. (corner of Morton St.); Jan. 25-March 15. (212-647-8595 or www.thinktank3.com)

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.