By Gerald Blaise LaBita, Producing Director Theater LaB Houston
As a big fan of The Ann and Stephen Kaufman Jewish Book & Arts Fair at the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC for many years (decades) now, it has always been with great anticipation to see who the talented and esteemed writers that will present at the J each year. Rabbi Chaim Potok was a headliner of the Book Fair back in November 1982 and I had the good fortune to see, meet and hear Potok talk about his life, writings and literature. It was a special personal event because years earlier I had become a fan of Potok’s fiction work. I stood in a very long line that night armed with my first edition hardback books and was able to say hello and have him sign my copies of The Chosen and My Name is Asher Lev.
The very first ever Olympic swimming champion learned to swim because his father drowned. Alfred Hajos was a Jew from Hungary. He won the 100m Freestyle and the 1200m Freestyle at the 1896 Olympic Games in Athens. His races were held in the Mediterranean Sea where the water temperature was 55 degrees. He was able to swim the 100m Free is 1 minute and 22 seconds and the 1200m Free in 18 minutes and 22 seconds while swimming through 14 foot waves. The Athenian Journal Acropolis called him the “Hungarian Dolphin.” He was the youngest winner at the games at the age of 18 years old.