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Twenty-third annual Klutznick-Harris Symposium on Jews in the Gym
Leonard Greenspoon, Klutznick Chair in Jewish Civilization, Creighton University

 What—or rather, who—do you get when you mix a Columbia University PhD graduate, with a Yeshiva University professor, an expert on sports history, an experienced marathon runner, and a basketball coach? If you’re lucky, and we are, the answer is Jeffrey Gurock.
 Dr. Gurock, Libby M. Klaperman Chair of Jewish History at Yeshiva University, is the keynote speaker for this year’s Twenty-Third Annual Klutznick -Harris Symposium, Jews in the Gym: Judaism, Sports, and Athletics. Gurock’s presentation, titled “American Jewry’s Contemporary Scoreboard: Home and Away,” will take place at the Omaha Jewish Community Center on Sunday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 pm.

Dr. Jeffrey Gurock
 Gurock, a popular and accomplished speaker, is widely known for his work on American Jews and Sports and for his innovative writing on Orthodox Judaism. Among his many books on these topics are A Modern Heretic and a Traditional Community: Mordecai M. Kaplan, Orthodoxy and American Judaism; Orthodoxy in Charleston: Brith Sholom Beth Israel and American Jewish History; Orthodox Jews in America; and Judaism’s Encounter with American Sports. Sometimes he is able to combine both of his interests, as he did in a fascinating presentation at an earlier Klutznick-Harris Symposium on Jews and Popular Culture, with his paper The Crowing of a ‘Jewish Jordan’: Tamir Goodman, the American Sports Media and Modern Orthodox Jewry’s Fantasy World.
 Gurock is enthusiastic when he speaks about his keynote presentation for this year’s Symposium: “My talk uses the metaphor of sports to understand where Jews and Judaism stand today in terms of acceptance in a tolerant American host society; at the same time I discuss the problems of Jewish continuity through the lens of sports. Sports, as a ‘community-defining situation,’ is a serious subject that can be used to understand larger trends in modern Jewish history.”
 A self-described “gym rat, who is a sports legend in my own mind,” Gurock spends a great deal of his time away from the office and on the road or court. He has run the New York marathon twelve times and the Boston marathon twice. In his over thirty years at Yeshiva University, he has frequently been called upon to serve as an assistant coach for the men’s basketball team. He adds that the men’s team is called the Maccabees; the women are styled Lady Macs.
 It is clear that Gurock not only studies sports, but also enjoys participating in them. This is also the case with most of the other presenters at this year’s Symposium. More than a dozen individuals from throughout the United States and Europe will make presentations on topics ranging from Jews and sports in antiquity to Jewish athletics today. There will also be consideration of differing attitudes toward sports by Jews and the various ways in which non-Jews have perceived Jews in athletics.
 The Symposium lasts two days. Beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 24, more than a half dozen speakers will enlighten and entertain audiences at the J. Another group of presenters will appear on Monday, Oct. 25, at the Skutt Student Center on the Creighton University campus. Presentations at Creighton will begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude with a lunch and keynote address that starts at 11:30 a.m.
 This event is made possible by the generosity of the Harris Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Kripke Center for Religion and Society at Creighton University, the Ike and Roz Friedman Foundation, the Riekes Family, and the Henry Monsky Lodge of B’nai B’rith. It is also supported by the Center for Jewish Education.
 All of the presentations are free and open to the public. For further information, please call Fran Minear at 280.2303 or email her at Details about all of the presentations, as well as pictures of presenters, can be accessed at the Klutznick Chair website: