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Did You Know? Now You Know


Editor’s note.  In this Reflector, we continue our Did you Know series sharing brief excerpts from articles posted in Smart News that appear in various publications.

Deborah Lipstadt, Evan Gershkovich, Judy Blume on Time magazine’s list of “The 100 Most Influential People of 2023

By Judy Siegel-Itzkovich, The Forward, April 13

U.S. Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, journalist Evan Gershkovich, author Judy Blume and more than a half-dozen other prominent Jews are on Time magazine’s list of “The 100 Most Influential People of 2023.”

Others on the list include comedian Nathan Fielder, rapper Doja Cat, author Neil Gaiman, economist Janet Yellen, OpenAI co-founder Sam Altman, Disney CEO Bob Iger and actress Natasha Lyonne.

Time also saluted actress Lea Michele, who was raised Catholic but whose father was Jewish and who is starring on Broadway in Funny Girl as one of the theater’s most beloved Jewish women, Fanny Brice.

The tribute to Lipstadt, a Holocaust scholar and U.S. special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, is written by Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. He calls Lipstadt an eshet chayil, a Hebrew term from the Book of Proverbs for a woman of valor.


50 years ago, a Yankee became the first designated hitter — and ‘designated Hebrew’

By Frederic J. Frommer, The Forward. March 28,

In the major leagues, Ron Blomberg embraced his Jewishness, and earned a place in baseball history.

A half-century ago, a young Jewish player on the New York Yankees made history for not doing something on the baseball diamond. After taking an at-bat in the top of the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, Ron Blomberg stayed on the bench as his glove-toting teammates took the field.

Blomberg had become major league baseball’s first designated hitter. Or, Designated Hebrew, as he dubbed it in his memoir, Designated Hebrew: The Ron Blomberg Story.

Baseball, he wrote, brought his Jewishness into relief, in that he didn’t identify strongly as a Jew until he got drafted by the Yankees and moved north, where New York Jews made him one of their own. The designated hitter rule assured his place in baseball history.

Law & Order actress making Aliyah

By Jerusalem Post Staff, April 1

Law & Order actress Diane Neal has left the glamor of Hollywood for the sunny skies of Israel.

Diane Neal, famous for her role in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, has made Aliyah to Israel with the help of Nefesh b’Nefesh, the Aliyah and Integration Ministry and the Jewish Agency.

Nefesh b’Nefesh made the announcement over Twitter, tweeting “Mazal tov to @DianeNeal, the actress most notable from @lawandordertv SVU who recently made Aliyah! After reconnecting with her Jewish roots a few years back, Diane decided to take the plunge and leave Hollywood behind to pursue a more meaningful Jewish life in Israel.”