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Acceptance -- Greenberg

In the 1930s, many Jews were revered as athletes, entertainers, scholars, and community members. Americans went to Marx Brothers movies, snapped their fingers to George Gershwin melodies, swung with Benny Goodman tunes, and cheered home runs by Hank Greenberg.

Image of Hank Greenberg

Detroit Tiger Hank Greenberg was the first Jewish superstar in American baseball. He was voted Most Valuable Player in 1935 and in 1940. Called Hammerin' Hank for his super batting average, Greenberg was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1956.

Greenberg was beloved in Detroit, especially among Jews, and was the first major league player to join the service after Pearl Harbor was bombed. Greenberg served in the Army Air Corps.

Come Yom Kippur -- holy fast day wide-world over to the Jew --
And Hank Greenberg to his teaching and the old tradition true

Spent the day among his people and he didn't come to play.

Said Murphy to Mulrooney,'We shall lose the game today!

We shall miss him in the infield and shall miss him at the bat,

But he's tru to his religion -- and honor him for that!'

Edgar Guest's famous poem describes Greenberg's dilemma when faced with playing baseball on the Jewish Holiday of Yom Kippur. Greenberg came back the next day and struck a home run that clinched the pennant for the Tigers.

Hank Greenberg
Courtesy Leonard N. Simons Jewish Community Archives
 
Image of Hank Greenberg baseball card Image of Hank Greenberg 2
Hank Greenberg baseball card
Courtesy Daniel Fermaglich
Hank Greenberg
Courtesy Daniel Fermaglich
Image of Albert Einstein

Genius among geniuses, Albert Einstein fled to America as the Nazis built power in Germany. His Theory of Relativity was denounced in Germany as "Jewish-Communist physics." Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics and was later selected by Time magazine as Person of the Century.

This Time magazine cover photo, was taken by Philippe Halsman, one of dozens of Jewish refugees whom Einstein helped immigrate to the United States.

Albert Einstein
Courtesy Time Magazine