Star in the Ring is the first documentary to explore a time in history that is almost forgotten – When Jews dominated the sport of boxing in America.
Fact – Between 1901 and 1939 there was only 1 year that didn’t have a single Jewish Champion.
Fact – Between 1915 and 1935 there was only 3 years that didn’t have 2 Jewish Champions per year.
Fact – Between 1917 and 1935 there was only 5 years that didn’t have 3 Jewish Champions per year.
In reality, Jewish participation in boxing makes perfect sense. Boxing is an immigrant sport, easily accessible to the underclass, and millions of Jews immigrated to America between 1890-1940.
There were only two important sports in America at this time – baseball and boxing — for immigrants newly arrived to America, who did not speak the language and couldn’t afford ‘America’s past time’ equipment, and did not have access to playing fields – baseball was really not an option.
In the Cities, Immigrant kids hung out in the streets in their own ethnic areas. Many fought with other neighboring ethnic kids. ‘Our best against your best’ led to a way for all of them to earn money, a way to help their impoverished family eat. In fact, a boxer could earn more in a four round preliminary bout, than his sweatshop, laboring parent could earn in a week! It also made the new immigrants feel more American and tough to the other groups around them.
Star in the Ring will focus mainly on the years between the First and the Second World Wars – what is known as ‘The Golden Age of Boxing’
The film will profile four of the greatest boxers of all time (who happen to also be Jewish) Benny Leonard, Barney Ross, Lew Tendler and “Slapsie” Maxie Rosenbloom. Weaving their stories together with other Jewish boxers in highly stylized visually use of film, graphics in a way that is the opposite to what is sometimes seem as boring when it comes to historical documentaries.
Learn about life in the Jewish ghettos of New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and other places where boxing was the way of life.
We will hear from the most learned historians in the subject about this wonderful time in sports history, painting a vivid picture of the immigrant experience leading these people to the ring, to the top of the sport and into boxing history (both in and out of the ring).
Star in the Ring will examine how and why Jews left the sport and why this rich chapter of the Jewish experience in America has been forgotten.
Who better to hear from then Max Baer Jr. (Yes, Jethro Bodine from the Beverly Hillbilies!) to help clarify the age old controversy - Was Max Baer really Jewish?
Learn from Roy Tendler – son of the greatest southpaw, Lew Tendler - What really happened in the ring when Benny Leonard ‘talked’ his way to a victory over his father, Lew Tendler.
Was Abe Attell really the bagman for Arnold Rothstein during the 1919 White Sox scandal? We learn about his from his grand daughter.
Did Barney Ross Really work for Al Capone – and was he a friend of Jack Ruby?
Sprinkled through out the film will be fans who cheered there hero’s on when they entered the arena – screamed when they won and cried when they lost – always feeling that they were represented in the squared circle.
Bringing the sport full circle, we will hear about the modern day immigrant Jewish boxer from two modern day immigrant Jewish boxers – Light Middleweight Champion Yuri Foreman and Welterweight Contender, Dmitriy Salita.
Star in The Ring has appeal to all audiences - after all, America is a nation of immigrants and the experience at the turn of the 20th century for immigrant Jews was similar for other immigrant groups at the time, such as the Irish and Italians, and is the same today for Mexican and African immigrant fighters.
Please help Support this important part of History - Jewish, American and Sports, for generations to come.