Monthly Archives: June 2011

Any Readers have Information about Shooting Sports at the European Maccabi Games?

The 13th annual European Maccabi games are set to begin in a couple weeks. Shooting sports are scheduled for July 7 and 8: Free Rifle, Free Pistol and Air Pistol. Unfortunately, my emails are not getting through to the organizers.

If you have any information please let me know. Even better, if you are a participant please contact me so I can ask you about the experience! Email me a jewishmarksman(at)

Good luck to all the competitors!

Calling all Jewish Archers!

This week I received an email from the Israel Archery Association. Please read their message below. If you know of any Jewish archers interested in getting archery back into the Maccabiah games, please contact them! I would also be interested in adding them to the blog along with our rifle and pistol athletes. Here is the message:

Archery in 2013 Maccabiah Games in Israel?

Tel-Aviv June 2011


Every four years, the Maccabiah Games are held in Israel. They are the world´s largest and best Jewish athletic competition, drawing participants from every corner of the globe and in a great variety of sports, in an impressive display of Jewish unity and spirit.

Thus far, archery has not been included in the Maccabiah Games due to an insufficient number of participants. We, members of the Israeli Archery Association, have decided to remedy the situation and have our beloved sport included in the 2013 Games. In order to do so, at least four national teams of three-four archers must apply for participation no later than July 2012. To this end, we are seeking active Jewish archers throughout the world.

If you are an active Jewish archer and are interested in representing your country in this event, please contact us at

We hope you will join us in helping Jewish and Israeli archery achieve the recognition it deserves.


The Israel Archery Association

Black Hawk Bagel Boys Set to Storm Camp Perry

The NRA and CMP National Matches are fast approaching. Last year, we saw Jessica Levine do an awesome job representing the tribe in 3-position small bore. This year, we may be in for a special treat, as announced by Hap Rocketto:
Among the Black Hawk Rifle Club team entries planned for the 2011NRA Smallbore Rifle Prone Championships Perry will be a team named The Black Hawk Bagel Boys.

Organized by “Reb” Randy Schwartz, the entire cadre of the Chosen People who inhabit the Black Hawk Rifle Club membership rolls will compete as a team. The following Black Hawk kosher kids; Dennis Lindenbaum, Randy Schwartz, Don Lerner, Eitan Baranzani, Steve Rocketto and Hap Rocketto are penciled in for this event. Larry Hoffman will be Head of the Bagel Boys Lox Box (Peanut Gallery to the Gentiles) at Perry.

We believe that this is the first time a team composed entirely of the Sons of Abraham has competed for the Black Hawks and at Camp Perry.

There is some scuttlebutt that they may need a replacement shooter. If you know a great Jewish small bore prone shooter, let me know at and I’ll pass the word.

Leo Bletnitsky: President of the Las Vegas Jewish Shooting and Cigar Club

Today’s interview is with Leo Bletnitsky, founder of the Las Vegas Shooting and Cigar Club. His club is the second I know of, with a very similar Jewish shooting club in Detroit. Below you can learn about Leo and his new club. We wish him good luck!

1. Where did you grow up, and where do you live now?

I grew up in San Francisco, college in San Diego and now live in Las Vegas.

2. What do you do for a living?

I’m an IT consultant for medical offices and small/medium companies. I am also a part-time Deputy Constable.

3. Who introduced you to firearms? How old were you the first time you went shooting?

My father and a friend of the family when I was 14.

4. Are you involved in any shooting sports? What shooting sports have you competed in? Have you earned any awards or classifications?

I have not competed other than with friends. Mostly with hand guns.

5. What do Jewish family members and friends think about your shooting?

Most are either curious or positive. A few have an issue, but they are not close friends so it does not matter.

6. What do you like most about shooting and the shooting sports?

It’s both challenging and useful at the same time.

7. Do you have any goals right now in shooting?

Just to continue improving marksmanship, both accuracy and speed.

8. What prompted you to start the Las Vegas Jewish Shooting and Cigar Club? How did you come up with the idea?

I am the president of the Las Vegas RJC Chapter and wanted to do something that would appeal to the whole community, and to enhance the ability of Jews to defend themselves and maybe that empowerment would counteract the strong liberal leanings in the community. I spoke to a friend who was a member in Detroit of a similar club and we decided to move forward. I spoke to some community leaders and all except one where supportive.

9. What are the goals of the club?

  1. Create greater comfort for Jews with Guns and gun ownership.
  2. Create a social outlet for enthusiasts.
  3. Create new gun enthusiasts.
  4. Increase gun safety for people in the community.
  5. Child Safety programs.
  6. Move people on the left a bit toward the center by turning something they fear into something they enjoy and respect.

10. Has there been a meeting yet? How did it go?

We had our 1st meeting on May 16th at an Orthodox Shule. We had about 50 people attend and all are eager to move forward. Many others apologized for missing it due to scheduling conflicts.

11. Have you “converted” any Jews into gun owners or shooters? Any interesting stories to tell about with that?

Not yet, but I’m actively working on it.

12. Is there anything else you would like to say to the readers?

Firearms are the great equalizer. They give a small woman the ability to resist a large attacker and just imagine what the Warsaw Ghetto would have been like if all the Jewish families had been armed either in the Ghetto, or before they were relocated. The world is often a dangerous place for Jews especially, and it is each person’s job to defend themselves and their family!In addition to the above, shooting is a lot of fun!

13. If someone is interested in your club, how can they learn more about it?

They can go to or Like us on Facebook
We are still working on improving the web site, as time permits.

Alan Ballew – Jewish Marksman

Using google searches, I sometimes come across Jewish shooters who have left this earth, and their passion for shooting sports was strong enough that their families felt it worthy of mention in their obituary. As I find them, I will schedule them in advance to post on the shooter’s yahrzeit. I think these obituaries are interesting, because they show that Jews from all walks of life can have an interest in shooting sports.

Below is the obituary of Alan Ballew, who “attended Murray State University and was an award-winning marksman on the MSU rifle team:

Tuesday, 6/8/2004 – 19 Sivan 5764

Alan Ballew, 62, of Fairfield, California, passed away Monday, May 31, 2004, while at work. He was born in Malden, MA, and grew up in Paducah, Kentucky, where the family settled in his childhood. He attended Murray State University and was an award-winning marksman on the MSU rifle team. Mr. Ballew served honorably in the United States Army. He had been an active member of Congregation Shaare Emeth in St. Louis, MO, holding various offices in the brotherhood.

He was preceded in death by his father, J.E. Ballew, and a brother, Leonard Ballew.He is survived by his beloved wife, Phyllis Crider Ballew; a son, David Ballew, daughter-in-law, Mary, and granddaughter, Paulena, all of St. Louis; a daughter,Jennifer Ballew of Vacaville, CA; his mother, Elsie Ballew of Louisville and formerly of Paducah; brothers, Ervin Ballew of Dallas, TX, and Michael Ballew of St. Louis; sisters, Suzanne Ballew of Chicago, IL, and Dr. Laurie Ballew of Louisville; and many nieces and nephews. Other survivors in Kentucky include his mother-in-law, Margaret Crider, and brothers-in-law and their wives, Carroll and Fay Crider and Allen and Karen Parrent.

His funeral service was held Thursday, June 3, 2004, at Bryan-Baker Funeral Home in Fairfield, with Rabbi Steve Vale officiating. A graveside service and burial will be held at 11 a.m. today (Tuesday), June 8, 2004, at Temple Israel Cemetery in Paducah.

Dan Lederman: Jewish Pro-2nd Amendment Politician (and Marksman)

Over the weekend, the Jerusalem Post did a piece on Dan Lederman, a Jewish, Republican state legislator in South Dakota who strongly supports Israel. I did a little research, and it turns out Lederman is very pro-2nd Amendment, and the NRA has given him a Defender of Freedom Award. He is quoted on his website:
“I am grateful the NRA awarded me an A+ rating. It is an affirmation of my firm belief and the belief of Second Amendment supporters across the state that our constitutional right to bear arms must be protected. This rating could not be timelier as pheasant season opens on October 16th. In time honored tradition, tens of thousands of South Dakota residents and hunters from around the country will travel across the state to exercise their Second Amendment freedoms. … There is still more work to do to protect the Second Amendment, [r]ecent Supreme Court rulings in Heller and McDonald have laid the groundwork for states to reform laws to bring them in line with these rulings. If elected to the State Senate, I intend to bring forward a bill that would allow law abiding individuals to keep a fire arm in their locked vehicle while parked in an employer’s parking lot. Gun owners and gun rights proponents continue to be supportive of these efforts. Citizens’ Second Amendment rights should not be checked at the entrance to an employers’ parking lot.”

Dan Lederman seems like my kind of politician…pro-Israel and pro-Second Amendment….what more can conservative Jews ask for? It is great to see his success in a state with a small Jewish community, and hopefully someday soon we’ll see him on the national scene. (I don’t know much about his background in shooting sports, although the photo above at least proves he’s gone shooting at least once!)

For my growing list of prominent Jews who support the Second Amendment, click here.