Israelis You Should Know: Angelica Rozeanu

The Fellowship  |  November 11, 2016

Lived: October 15, 1921 – February 22, 2006

Known for: Israeli-Romanian table tennis player who was one of the most successful in the history of her sport.

Why you should know her: Born to a Jewish family in Bucharest, Romania, Angelica Rozeanu was stricken with scarlet fever at the age of 8. While recuperating, young Angelica learned to play table tennis. A quick student and gifted player, by the age of 12, she won the Romanian Cup. Three years later in 1936, she won Romania’s national champion, a title she would keep for the next 21 years.

This astonishing run was interrupted by World War II, during which Angelica was barred from even entering a gymnasium, much less defending her title.

After the war, Angelica won her first World Championship in 1950, a title she would win six years in a row, a feat that has never been matched.

Angelica made aliyah (immigrated) to Israel in 1960. Once in the Holy Land, she won the Maccabiah Games Championship in 1961 and was Israel’s champion from 1960 to 1962.

For her accomplishments and astounding career, Angelica Rozeanu was inducted into the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1981, into the International Table Tennis Federation Hall of Fame in 1995, given the Knesset Medal in 1997, and awarded the title of Honorary Citizen of Haifa in 2001, before passing away in 2006 at the age of 84.

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