A New Exhibition Tells the Story of Jews and Cricket

Baseball has Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax, football has Julian Edelman, and basketball has Amar’e Stoudemire, but few American Jews have heard of Ivan Barrow, Norman Gordon, or Nessa Reinberg—who are some of the best-known Jewish cricketers. Currently Lord’s Cricket Ground in North London is hosting an exhibit titled Cricket and the Jewish Community, where one can learn about such figures. Georgia Gilholy writes:

By the 1830s, cricket embraced fully a muscular Christianity—“what certain groups claimed was the embodiment of morality, physical health, and mental well-being,” [the curator Neil] Robinson said. . . . Cricket is particularly popular at upmarket public schools among Christians, but that didn’t dissuade all Jews from entering the sport, upon which they soon made their mark.

Only one Jewish player has represented England as a Test (international-level) cricketer, Nessa Reinberg. In South Africa, many Jewish cricketers overcame discrimination and made the national team. . . . The legendary South African cricketer Norman Gordon was met with “Here comes the rabbi!” taunts when he bowled in a 1938 match. Unphased, Gordon played so well that he shut the heckler up for the remainder of the game, Robinson said.

Lesser-known figures also emerge in the show, including the Jamaican-born, Sephardi cricketer Ivan Barrow, who became a symbol of pride for the island’s old but small Jewish community. In 1933, he became the first West Indian to score 100 in an English Test and the first Jew to do so.

Read more at JNS

More about: Anglo-Jewry, Caribbean Jewry, South Africa, Sports


The IDF’s First Investigation of Its Conduct on October 7 Is Out

For several months, the Israel Defense Forces has been investigating its own actions on and preparedness for October 7, with an eye to understanding its failures. The first of what are expected to be many reports stemming from this investigation was released yesterday, and it showed a series of colossal strategic and tactical errors surrounding the battle at Kibbutz Be’eri, writes Emanuel Fabian. The probe, he reports, was led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein.

Edelstein and his team—none of whom had any involvement in the events themselves, according to the IDF—spent hundreds of hours investigating the onslaught and battle at Be’eri, reviewing every possible source of information, from residents’ WhatsApp messages to both Israeli and Hamas radio communications, as well as surveillance videos, aerial footage, interviews of survivors and those who fought, plus visits to the scene.

There will be a series of further reports issued this summer.

IDF chief Halevi in a statement issued alongside the probe said that while this was just the first investigation into the onslaught, which does not reflect the entire picture of October 7, it “clearly illustrates the magnitude of the failure and the dimensions of the disaster that befell the residents of the south who protected their families with their bodies for many hours, and the IDF was not there to protect them.” . . .

The IDF hopes to present all battle investigations by the end of August.

The IDF’s probes are strictly limited to its own conduct. For a broader look at what went wrong, Israel will have to wait for a formal state commission of inquiry to be appointed—which happens to be the subject of this month’s featured essay in Mosaic.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza War 2023, IDF, Israel & Zionism, October 7