Andrés Cantor (b. 1962) was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina to Jewish parents of Romanian and Polish heritage. His grandparents fled to Argentina during the Holocaust. Cantor spent the latter half of his youth in California, where he played soccer for his high school team and edited the sports section of the school paper. After interning at the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain, he officially became a sports journalist. Cantor got a job as a play-by-play sports commentator for Spanish-language TV in America. Soon, he became famous for his long and loud “goaaaaaaal” calls. Though he did not come up with it, he has been credited with making it world-famous. He first used it during the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy, and introduced it to English-speaking audiences during the 1994 World Cup that was held in the US. By the 1998 World Cup, Cantor was featured making the goal call in a popular Volkswagen commercial (also in 2014), and the Telemundo network has since turned it into a ringtone. Aside from the goal call, Cantor is famous for his deep knowledge of sports and his excellent and insightful overall commentary. He was the main Spanish commentator for the 2004 and 2012 Olympic Games, and also did English commentary during the 2000 and 2008 Olympics, and commentary in both languages in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. He is currently Telemundo’s lead announcer at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. He also hosts a daily radio show called Futbol de Primera, broadcast across 100 different stations, and has written a book, Goooal! A Celebration of Football. Cantor voiced himself in a 2014 episode of The Simpsons (see the clip here). In 1994, he was America’s “Sports Personality of the Year”, and has received an award from the National Soccer Hall of Fame. He has won a whopping six Emmy Awards for broadcasting. FIFA described him as one of the greatest sports commentators of all time.
Slowly and by degrees, science is being brought to recognize in the universe the existence of One Power, which is of no beginning and no end; which existed before all things were formed, and will remain in its integrity when all is gone – the Source and Origin of all… This sum total of scientific discoveries of all lands and times is the approach of the world’s thought to our Adon Olam, the sublime chant by means of which the Jew has wrought and will further work the most momentous changes in the world.
– Waldemar Haffkine, renowned scientist and “saviour of humanity”
Carolina Raquel Duer (b. 1978) was born in Argentina, the daughter of Syrian-Jewish immigrants. She went to a Jewish school growing up, spent time on an Israeli kibbutz, and frequented the Buenos Aires Maccabi club. When once visiting a gym with a friend, she was spotted by a boxing coach, and agreed to be trained by him. She soon became an amateur boxer, winning 19 of 20 matches, while also working as a waitress in her family’s restaurant. By 2010, Duer had become a professional boxer and won the world’s super flyweight championship. This made her the first female Jewish boxing champion. She defended the title six times before moving on to the bantamweight division in 2013 and winning that world title, too. After defending her title yet again in 2014, Duer took time off to focus on her family. She became a boxing announcer on Argentine television in the mean time. Incredibly, not long after having a baby, Duer returned to the ring earlier this year and won the International Boxing Federation’s bantamweight title. She is now among the greatest Jewish boxers (male or female) of all time. Duer has been nicknamed “The Turk” and “Iron Barbie”. In her spare time, she often volunteers with disadvantaged youth, and has said, “I do a lot of work with kids on the street. I explain to them that boxing isn’t violent. It can be used to give them focus. It’s good for both body and mind.”
Words of the Week
Transgressions of man towards God – Yom Kippur atones for them. Transgressions of man towards man – Yom Kippur does not atone for them until one seeks forgiveness from one’s fellow – Talmud, Yoma 85b
Joseph Kessel (1898-1979) was born in Argentina to a Jewish-Russian family, the son of a doctor from Lithuania. He spent his early childhood in Russia before the family moved to France. Kessel became a pilot and a writer. In the former capacity, he served valiantly in both World Wars, and in the latter, wrote over 20 novels. Many of his novels were translated into a number of languages, and were later adapted into very popular French films. Today, the Prix Joseph-Kessel is among the top literary prizes awarded for French literature. Maurice Druon (1918-2009) was Kessel’s nephew. (He went by his stepfather’s last name). He was born in Paris and raised in Normandy. Like his uncle, Druon became a writer as well. His career was interrupted by World War II, when he fought with the French Resistance, and together with his uncle, wrote the well-known anthem of the Resistance (based on an earlier Russian song).
Following the war, Druon wrote Les Grandes Familles, a bestseller adapted to an equally popular film. Druon would write two sequels to this novel, together with dozens of other important literary works. Among those is the seven-volume Les Rois Maudits (The Accursed Kings). This series was adapted to a TV show in 1972, and again in 2005. It also served as the foundation and inspiration for George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, which was adapted to the current hit show Game of Thrones. In addition to his writing, Druon was France’s Minister of Cultural Affairs in the 1970s. Both he and his uncle Joseph Kessel were lifelong members of the prestigious ‘Académie française’.
Words of the Week
No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. – Albert Einstein