Garden of Jewish athletes - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Garden of Jewish athletes

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Posted: Monday, January 30, 2012 2:00 pm

The women who attend Sun Lakes Jewish Congregation Sisterhood Shabbat on March 17 will walk into a special "athletic garden" honoring Jewish women athletes from the 1920s and 30s. They'll find a garden blooming with table centerpieces featuring roses, basketballs, orchids, volleyballs, lilies, golf clubs, tennis racquets, daisies, and golf balls designed and made by member Noreen Nadler.

Each centerpiece has a framed full-size photo of the athlete, including some photos that were taken more than 70 years ago. Some of the athletes include gymnast Agnes Keleti, swimmer Charlotte Epstein, and discus thrower Lillian Copeland. According to a news release, some medaled in the Olympics, while two never made it there because of persecution and threats from Hitler's Nazi regime.

"People tend to stereotype Jewish women and see them primarily in their roles as wife and mother whose home field is the kitchen. These stories shatter that illusion and illustrate that as far back as the early 1900s, Jewish women were achieving great accomplishments in all phases of life, even in those areas that at the time were primarily male dominated," said Sisterhood Sun Lakes Jewish Congregation president Joyce Spartonos.

Sisterhood Shabbat begins at 10 a.m. at Sun Lakes Country Club Phase One on Sun Lakes Boulevard off Riggs Road. For information or to make reservations, call Judy at (480) 883-9393 or SaraRuth at (480) 883-1791.

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