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Nussbaum ’84 examines Jewish boxing in film


James Ford Nussbaum ’84 hosted a screening and discussion for his documentary, IMPACT: Jewish Boxers in America, in Emerson's Beard Room on February 25. (Photo by Natasha Sara Abellard, MA '16)

James Ford Nussbaum ’84 hosted a screening and discussion of IMPACT: Jewish Boxers in America, a film he produced, in the Beard Room of the Little Building on February 25 in an event co-sponsored by Emerson College Hillel and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations.

Nussbaum’s documentary highlights the past and present challenges of Jewish boxers.

The film, which took about two and a half years to complete, details the history and peak of Jewish boxers, including Golden Glove champion Ed Gersh and the great Barney Ross. Aside from its rich history, Nussbaum says that the film is great because of the use of a direct cinematic approach.

“I believe that the stories should be told by the people in the stories,” he said. “It is a technique that’s open and honest.”

Nussbaum provided examples of discrimination against boxer Ron Lipton, a former police officer.

“He experienced a tremendous amount of anti-Semitism while on the police force,” Nussbaum said. “They sent him into dark areas hoping that he was going to get killed because he was Jewish.”

Nussbaum said he hopes the film will shatter existing stereotypes about Jewish people.

“The attraction of this story was the fact that it was a little off center,” and showed Jewish people in a varied light, he said.

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