Newsmakers the Week of April 16, 2015


The Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame announces its new class of inductees.

Celebrating its chai anniversary, the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Adolph and Rose Levis Museum have announced seven new inductees for 2015, scheduled for ceremonies to be held May 28 at the Gershman Y in Center City. To be honored are the late Norm Constantine, who for years served as the Nittany Lion, mascot of Penn State, and was also known as “Mr. Penn State”; sports psychologist Joel Fish, who, during a long career, has served a combined half-century working with the Philadelphia 76ers, Flyers and the Phillies; South Jersey standout basketball player Samuel Jacobs, already a member of the Cherry Hill West and South Jersey Basketball Halls of Fame, who scored as impressively for Cornell University, helping them to an Ivy League title in 1988 as well as an NCAA March Madness bid; champion tennis coach Marty Gilbert, who helped popularize tennis in Israel, becoming national coach and director for the National Tennis Center in Jaffa/Tel Aviv in 1987, some years after he won the Atlantic City Men’s Open at age 12; Ben Goldman, a golfer who took a series of club championships at the Ashbourne and Philmont Country Clubs to accompany accomplishments at the 1977 Maccabiah Games in Israel and winning the Philadelphia Amateur Championship as well as using the sport to help raise millions on behalf of area Jewish Community Centers while also serving the community as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia; journalist/author Franz Lidz, for 27 years senior writer at Sports Illustrated and author of the memoir, Unstrung Heroes, made into a 1995 movie; and Arn Tellem, a players’ agent and vice chairman of Wasserman Media Group, with a client list that includes Derrick Rose, Tracy McGrady, Chase Utley, Darren Daulton and Joel Embiid.

Rabbi Gregory Marx of Congregation Beth Or in Maple Glen has his own role to play in the production of To the Moon, an 1812 Productions world premiere, debuting for a month long run on April 16. His late father, Marvin, was head writer for Jackie Gleason, whose life is the focus of the show. And to assist 1812 with its production, the rabbi opened the vault, where original scripts that had never made it on-air were stored at his home; Marx loaned them out to the team — the play is by Jennifer Childs — and, with his mother, Doreen, shared memories of life with father. Marvin Marx, along with his writing partner, Walter Stone, was responsible for moving Ralph Kramden, originally a focal piece of Gleason skits, onto center stage in the fabled The Honeymooners and also shaping the characters of Ed Norton and their wives, Alice and Trixie. “The greatest treat for my father,” writes the rabbi in introductory remarks for the Playbill, “was to write the words on Monday and see them aired nationally on Saturday night.”


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