Along with the Gershman Y, the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Museum was forced to find a new home after its lease at 401-11 S. Broad St. was not renewed.
Sometime in early 2019, the hall will reopen in the lower level of the Jewish Community Services Building at 2100 Arch St. in the city’s Logan Square area. The decision on a new home came after the hall considered several venues, both in town and in the suburbs.
“Our preference was always to be in the city,” hall Chairman Stephen H. Frishberg said. “We looked at places, but nothing clicked. The [Jewish] Federation heard we were looking and told us they would be glad to make space for us in their building if we wanted it.
“We’re pleased how things worked out.”
Construction on the hall’s new venue will begin sometime in January, with a targeted opening date of March 1, Frishberg said.
“We’ll be updating,” he said. “It will be a nice combination of the old and new. We’ll be featuring video monitors with touch screens for all the inductees.
“This will really help our exposure and we’ll be able to arrange for tours and work well for students and other groups. This will be a change as compared to how things were set up previously, but it will be what fits with today.”
Founded in 1996, the hall’s mission is to honor and take pride in the achievements of Jewish athletes and others in the world of sports who have grown up or worked in the Greater Philadelphia area.
It contains a diverse collection of athletes and others involved in sports activities that includes 16 Olympians, five of whom are medal winners, two world boxing champions, three women lacrosse players who were First Team All-Americans and others who were outstanding sportswriters, announcers or owned and/or managed professional franchises.
Jayson Stark, a 2017 inductee, familiar to most area sports fans from his work in The Philadelphia Inquirer, on ESPN and with the online The Athletic, recently was named recipient of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America for “meritorious contribution to baseball writing” and will be permanently recognized in an exhibit in the Baseball Hall of Fame’s library.
The hall has scheduled its 2019 induction ceremony for April 30 at Congregation Rodeph Shalom at 615 N. Broad St.
Chuck Brodsky (singer-songwriter of sports), Colby Cohen (former NHL player and Stanley Cup winner, now TV analyst), Michael Koplove (former MLB pitcher and now scout), fencer Christopher O’Laughlin, Howie Roseman (Eagles executive vice president of football operations) and Myra Sack (Dartmouth women’s soccer star) will be enshrined.
“We weren’t sure when our new spot would be ready,” Frishberg said. “Rodeph has great space and a beautiful sanctuary where we can stage our induction. We appreciate their help.” l
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