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1985 Detroit jewish News article on the Inaugural Induction dinner of the Michigan Jewish Sports Hall of Fame

Looking Back at the Michigan Jewish Sports Hall of Fame

From the DJN Foundation Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History

I read that one of my favorite sports announcers, Ken Daniels, was inducted Oct. 23 into the Michigan Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. This is good news. Since 1997, Daniels, along with Mickey Redmond, has been the television play-by-play voice of my beloved Detroit Red Wings hockey team. Mazel tov, Mr. Daniels!

It also occurred to me that, after nearly five years of writing about Detroit Jewish History for the JN, I have intersected with the Hall of Fame many times. Almost daily, I search the pages of the Davidson Digital Archive. There are 655 mentions of the Hall of Fame in the JN, and Bill Davidson himself was one of the first inductees in 1985. I have also written about at least six other members of the Hall of Fame: Hank Greenberg, Benny Friedman (both Greenberg and Friedman were also among the first class of inductees), Jackie Kallen, Julius Spielberg, Bert Ruby and Dr. Stuart Kirschenbaum.

As its website notes, “The Michigan Jewish Sports Foundation was founded in 1984 to both honor Jewish individuals who have distinguished themselves as athletes within the state of Michigan and to foster Jewish identity through athletics.”

Along with maintaining the legacy of outstanding Jewish athletics — men and women, by the way — the Michigan Jewish Sports Foundation has raised more than $1 million to fight cancer, to provide scholarships for student athletes and to support other great causes.

In this respect, every year, the Foundation also holds the Hank Greenberg Memorial Golf Invitational to raise funds for charitable causes.

Well, the five fellows who founded the Michigan Jewish Sports Foundation had a great idea and made a real contribution to the history of Detroit’s Jewish community. And, in 2004, Alvin Foon, Mickey Fishman, Seymour Brode, Myron Milgrom, William Jacobs and Robert Steinberg were themselves inducted into the Hall of Fame they founded 20 years earlier.

Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at www.djnfoundation.org.

Mike Smith

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