Before Shlomo Glickstein, there were no other Israelis that had made it in the world of Tennis and it was his career that paved the way for others who came after him.
Since 2012, the NJY Camps has partnered with Shlomo Glickstein, who is the current president of the Israeli Tennis Association. Each summer since, Shlomo spends two weeks at camp imparting the knowledge that he gained during a very successful tennis career in the 1980’s to other Jewish tennis enthusiasts.
But did you know that for a while, Shlomo even contemplated giving up the sport?
As a youth place, Glickstein showed great promise in many sports but by the age of 16 focused solely on tennis. Head Israeli coach, Ron Steele even commented on Shlomo as a 12 year old saying “undoubtedly the best tennis prospect in Israel”. Yet despite this, when Shlomo reached the compulsory age of 18, he began his military service, even finding time to represent Israel at the Davis Cup each year while in the army.
It was during this time that Shlomo questioned his future as a tennis player, but when his father passed away in 1978, he chose to honor his father’s name by becoming a professional tennis player. It was at this point that he began rising through the national ranks while consistently winning the Israeli National Championship each year. Glickstein famoulsy beat players like Raul Ramirez, Harold Solomon, Eliot Teltscher and Ivan Lendl, who at the time was ranked number 1 in the world. In 1981, Glickstein won the South Orange, New Jersey Grand Priz, becoming the first Israeli to win a tennis grand prix. At the peak of his career, Shlomo was ranked No. 22 and was travelling the world, competing in all of the opens and having fierce matches with players like John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg.
If you see Shlomo around camp and have the chance to speak to him, you will notice that he’s quiet and humble. As a teacher, he’s very caring and takes pride in offering one on one instruction to his students. Shlomo’s values are immovable, which is part of the reason that we relish working with him. One thing he will always tell you is that no matter the situation ‘I always knew that I was playing for Israeli flag and the Jewish people’. It’s unquestionable that in his mind, Shlomo knew the importance of the platform he had as a professional tennis player.