Tag Archives: Champion

Jew of the Week: Aulcie Perry

Aulcie Perry with Israeli kids at his summer camp

Aulcie Perry (b. 1950) was born in New Jersey and went to university in Florida on a basketball scholarship. Between 1974 and 1976, Perry played for a number of professional basketball teams, and was signed by the New York Knicks at one point. After being discovered by an Israeli scout, Perry signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv and moved to the Holy Land. In his first year, he led Maccabi to its first Euro Cup championship. He would go on to play nine seasons with Maccabi, helping them win six Israeli Cups and two Euro Cups. Meanwhile, Perry fell in love with Israel and the Jewish people, and decided to formally convert. He took on the new name Elisha ben Avraham. Unfortunately, Perry got into some drug troubles and would be arrested in New York. He spent several years in prison before returning to Israel. Perry worked hard to clean up his image and become a positive role model. To this day, he sponsors a basketball camp for Israeli kids, and coaches a Maccabi Tel Aviv youth team. The rest of the time he manages a Burger Ranch (Israel’s McDonald’s). Perry is credited with sparking a basketball craze in Israel, and making the sport popular there. He also paved the way for many future basketball stars to sign with Israeli teams, including Anthony Parker and Amar’e Stoudemire in recent years. The term “Aulcie Perry” is still an Israeli slang for a very tall person.

Simchat Torah/Shemini Atzeret Begins Tonight! Chag Sameach!

40 Years of African-American Hoopsters in Israel

Renowned Philosopher and Chabad Emissary Rabbi Dr. Yitzchak Block Passes Away

The Treadmill’s Dark and Twisted Past

The Mossad’s Secret Operation in Sudan (And Upcoming Hollywood Film)

Why Obama Was a Terrible President

Report Confirms Jewish Prosecutor of 1994 JCC Bombing Was Murdered

Electrical Experiments With Plants that Count and Communicate

Words of the Week

When G-d desired to create man, Truth said: “He should not be created, for he will be full of lies.” Kindness said: “He should be created, for he will be full of kindness.”
– Midrash Rabbah, Bereishit 8:5

Jew of the Week: Rafael Halperin

Rafael “Mr. Israel” Halperin

Rafael Halperin (1924-2011) was born in Vienna, immigrating to Israel as a child along with his family who fled rising tensions in Europe. Despite living in Ultra-Orthodox Bnei Brak, and studying in yeshiva, Halperin was drawn to body-building and exercise. To everyone’s surprise, Halperin’s rabbi, the famous Chazon Ish – one of the greatest Jewish leaders of the last century – actually permitted Halperin to pursue his new passion! After learning the depths of the sport in the U.S., Halperin returned to Israel and opened The Samson Institute – Israel’s first chain of gyms and health clubs. He soon organized the first ever Mr. Israel contest, and drew the attention of a wrestling promoter. As a professional wrestler, Halperin earned the nickname ‘Samson the Second’. Among the most famous wrestlers at the time, he refused to throw matches or participate in match-fixing, which has always been the norm in wrestling. [Click here to see Halperin in action.] Amazingly, he was also the personal trainer for Ethiopia’s emperor Haile Selassie, the father of Rastafarianism. Halperin was adept in business, opening many restaurants and hotels across Israel, as well as the country’s first automated car wash. His greatest success was ‘Optica Halperin’, Israel’s largest chain of optical stores. To the last days of his life, Halperin was a businessman. A year before his passing, he opened ‘Zisalek’, Israel’s newest glatt-kosher ice cream parlour. Devoutly religious throughout his life, Halperin officially received his rabbinic ordination in the 1970s, and in his later years worked to develop a credit card that wouldn’t function on Shabbat. Oh, and he also started his own political party called Otzma, published several books including an encyclopedia, worked as a diamond cutter, was once Israel’s karate champion, and fought in the Yom Kippur War. What have you done lately?

Words of the Week

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.
– Albert Einstein