Craig Breslow, an Oakland Athletics relief pitcher, has been called the smartest man in baseball more than once. And after graduating from Yale with a degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry, and nearly matriculating at NYU’s medical school, the title isn’t necessarily unwarranted.
But Breslow, a “proud” Jew and New Haven native, is getting some publicity for a different, if not entirely unrelated, moniker: the baseball player most likely to cure cancer. Since starting his Strike 3 Foundation for cancer research two years ago, Breslow has raised over $250,000 and helped Yale’s Smilow Cancer Hospital fund a pediatric bone marrow program. For his efforts, he’s the A’s nominee for the 2010 Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes on-field achievement in tandem with off-field humanitarianism.
The New York Times is reporting that Rabbi James Ponet officiated, alongside Reverend William Shillady, at the Saturday evening wedding of Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky.
Ponet is Yale’s Jewish chaplain and heads the university’s Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale. Read his bio here. At Yale, he’s taught a seminar on “The Family in Jewish Tradition,” with sexpert and Bintel Brief guest columnist Dr. Ruth Westheimer.
He has written about the Hanukkah story for Slate, and, back in 2003, the Forward reported that Ponet was among those who voiced concerns about controversial poet Amiri Baraka’s visit to Yale. During that visit, Baraka offered “evidence” that Israel was forewarned about the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
A Reform rabbi, Ponet received ordinationin 1973 from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
The Clinton-Mezvinsky nuptials took place about two hours before the end of Shabbat.
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