Zhanna Pintusevich-Block graced the cover of Jewish + Female = Athlete: Portraits of Strength from Around the World, a calendar produced by Brandeis University in 2005.
Harris Barton was a member of three Super Bowl-winning teams.
These days, former tennis champ Eliot Teltscher shares his knowledge with the next generation of stars.
January 22, 2009
NFL All-Pro offensive lineman Harris Barton and Russian world figure skating champion Irina Slutskaya are among nine athletes and sport figures elected to the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame for 2009.
Joining Barton and Slutskaya as inductees are American equestrian champion Margie Goldstein-Engle, Ukrainian runner Zhanna Pintusevich-Block, South African rugby star Joel Stransky, and American tennis player Eliot Teltscher.
In addition to the athletes, the Hall named Israeli basketball player-coach icon and women’s sports advocate Orna Ostfeld, veteran baseball journalist-author (and Cedar Grove resident) Maury Allen, and author Harold U. Ribalow, (The Jew in American Sports) recipients of the organization’s Pillar of Achievement.
- Barton played his entire 10-year career with the San Francisco 49ers. A member of three Super Bowl winning teams, he was an NFL All-Pro selection from 1990-93. He played 138 career games, including 89 consecutive. In his first year with the 49ers, Barton was named to the NFL’s All-Rookie team by the UPI, Pro Football Writers of America, and Pro Football Weekly.
- Between 1984 and 2005, American show horse champion Goldstein-Engle recorded six World Cup and 20 Nations Cup victories. The Federation Equestre Internationale ranks her eighth all-time with most starts (166). Jumping for the U.S. team at the 2000 Olympics, Goldstein-Engle helped the American equestrian team to a sixth-place finish. She is the American GrandPrix Association’s (AGA) only nine-time Rider of the Year and set numerous records, including career earnings (more than $3 million), most AGA wins with the same horse in the same season, and most GrandPrix wins in a single season.
- Pintusevich-Block stunned the sports world at the 1997 World Track and Field Championships when she won the gold medal for the 200-meter dash and the silver medal in the 100-meter event. Four years later at the World Championships she once again won the gold, beating American favorite Marion Jones in a victory considered one of the greatest upsets in international track and field history.
- Slutskaya won World Figure Skating Championships in 2002 and 2005, following silver-medal finishes in 1998, 2000, and 2001. The Moscow-born skater was a silver medalist at the 2002 Winter Olympics and bronze medalist at the 2006 Games. In 1996, Slutskaya became the first Russian woman to win a European title. Ten years later, in 2006, she was the first woman to register seven Euro figure skating championships.
- Stransky registered all of South Africa’s points in the 1995 World Cup final victory over New Zealand. He had 22 caps (international appearances) for his country between July 1993 and August 1996. Stransky joined England’s Leicester Tigers in 1997, scoring 100 points by his eighth game. He scored a club record 459 points in 1998, and finished his Leicester career with 896 career points in 73 matches.
- Teltscher ranked among the world’s top 10 tennis players three times from 1980-84. He was ranked among the U.S. top 10 singles players for seven of eight years between 1980 and 1988. As a professional, Teltscher won 10 Grand Prix championships. As a doubles player, Teltscher was ranked sixth in the U.S. with Francisco Gonzalez, fourth in 1980 with Terry Moor, and eighth in 1981 with Moor again. In 1983, he won the French Open mixed doubles title with Barbara Jordan.
- Allen, an author, reporter, and columnist for more than half a century, mostly covered baseball for the New York Post (1962-89), Sports Illustrated, and the Gannett Journal News. He has written 40 sports-themed books, including best sellers on Joe DiMaggio, Casey Stengel, and Billy Martin.
- Ostfeld was recipient of the International Olympic Committee’s 2005 European Women and Sport Award for her work as a player, administrator, and coach and her dedication to women’s sports in Israel. Since 1998, she has coached the Anda Ramat Hasharon team to four championships and State Cup basketball titles. As a player for Israel’s Ramat Khen, she scored a record 108 points and is listed in the Guinness World Records for most points scored in a single game.
- A sports columnist for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and the National Jewish Post during the 1940s thru early 1950s, Ribalow wrote three books on Jews in sports following World War II, including The Jew in American Sports, first published in 1948 and reprinted several times; Jewish Baseball Stars (1984), and Great Jewish Chess Champions (1986), cowritten with his son, Meir. He was also a contributing writer on the subject of “Jews in sports” to the Encyclopaedia Judaica. Hadassah has named its annual literary award the Harold U. Ribalow Prize.
The honorees will be formally inducted in July at the IJSHOF Museum on the campus of the Wingate Institute, Israel’s national sport center in Netanya.
This will mark Allen’s first trip to Israel. In an e-mail to NJ Jewish News, he said he was excited about the journey, but “I’m hoping there is peace in Israel before my visit.”
Since 1979, 337 athletes and sports personalities representing 24 countries have been elected to the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.