Was George Steinbrenner Jewish?

No, George Steinbrenner was not a Jew. The colorful former owner of the New York Yankees passed away today at the age of 80. He was a Christian, and apparently his children are Methodist.

There actually is a web site, Is George Steinbrenner Jewish? which asks and answers the question and takes up various and sundry Jewish baseball issues (and now needs to be renamed.)

Jewish actor Billy Crystal in 2008 wrote this about Steinbrenner in the Times:
...I was on my way to Game 4 of the 2001 Series, Yankees vs. Diamondbacks, when my mother had a stroke.

The doctors at the hospital told us to go home, not to exhaust her as she strained to make sense of what had happened. I wasn’t sure what to do with myself. How can you be, when your mother isn’t sure who you are? I am not a religious man, though I love my religion. Praying doesn’t come easily to me.

I went to the Stadium that afternoon because it made sense. I went to the area where we sat that day in 1956.

Alone among the 55,000 seats, I prayed. I sat there saying to myself, “Dad, if you’re here, help me get through this.” Mr. Steinbrenner saw me. He was the first one I told about her illness. A few moments later, he handed me an autographed team ball. “Give this to her from me.” Joe Torre personalized one to her as well. She passed away a week later.

George had Bob Sheppard recite her name on Old Timers’ Day as a member of the Yankee family who had left us. It sounded as if God himself announced her name in heaven. Our entire family were George’s guests that day. We will never forget him for that....more...

No comments: