Women in Sports

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Sue Bird & Alysha Clarke & Teammates with a trophy (Getty)

A selection of resources about extraordinary female athletes, including lesson plans, articles, and interviews.

(Athletes are listed here alphabetically)

Sue Bird, a dual citizen of the USA and of Israel, is an accomplished and famous basketball star. Bird excels in basketball in the WNBA Seattle Storm, and also has broken barriers - and positioned herself as a positive role model to many - by coming out publicly as gay . Bird's Italian-born, Russian-Israeli-Jewish father is the source of her Jewish roots, and she is proud of her Israeli citizenship.

Alysha Clarke is a Black, Israeli-American basketball star, who plays for the Seattle Storm. In addition to being incredible at basketball and a pillar of the community, Clarke learned of her Jewish heritage, explored it, and gained Israeli citizenship. Clarke is an excellent role model for girls, Black girls, and anybody learning about their Jewish roots. She's spoken out about voter suppression and helped lead her team to multiple WNBA championships.

Misty Copeland is the first African American performer to be appointed as a Principal Dancer for the American Ballet Theater in its 75 year history. This downloadable PDF lesson from the ADL provides an opportunity for students to learn about this legendary ballerina. Students can reflect on her experiences and story, and explore how stereotypes and role models influence career aspirations and decisions. 

Ágnes Keleti, a Holocaust survivor and Olympic gymnast, won six medals in gymnastics to cap off a ten-medal career, Melbourne 1956. 

Aly Raisman says she represents Americans and Jews when she performs. Raisman's routine and career is inspirational, as is her work to care for her gymnastics teammates and community.

A Tablet Magazine article about famous Jewish athletes includes a video of Raisman's famous floor routine to Hava Nagila, and Keleti's inspiring 1956 performance.

Kerri Strug is famous for a 1996 vault, on an injured leg, that got the USA the gold in Women's Gymnastics. Here you'll find some resources to help share her story - from Hillel, The Jewish Virtual Library, The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, and Facing History.

Serena Williams speaks about speaking out. In this candid, first-person essay, Williams opens up about her controversial 2020 match at the US Open, and why she’ll never regret using her voice to speak out against injustice. One of the greatest athletes in the world, in her own words, talks about why it's vital for her to use her voice for good.

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Setting

  • After School and Beyond
  • Congregational Learning
  • Day Schools and Yeshivas
  • Teen Engagement
  • Early Childhood