Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Jewish International Soccer Star Dean Furman Wins Over South Africa Playing for National Team

January 29, 2013 2:21 pm 6 comments

Dean Furman Photo: Facebook

With two games behind him in his most recent national team call up, South African soccer star Dean Furman has thus far fully endeared himself to fans. With a Man of the Match performance versus Angola last week and a solid outing in a 2-2 draw against Morocco on Sunday that propelled the squad to the next round of the Africa Cup of Nations Tournament, it’s not hard to see why.

“Feisty Furman wins the hearts of Bafana fans,” screamed a headline in South Africa’s Sunday Tribune using the moniker for the national team. “Furman Bafana’s Foreman” wrote the Times of South Africa.

Furman, who is Jewish, was somewhat of an unknown entity in Africa before his first call up in September, as he spent most of his youth in England. Now the 24-year-old is making a name for himself among South African football fans and Jews in the country. One blogger for Talk Radio 702 said the station spent the week taking calls from many Jewish listeners calling in claiming a connection to the star.

For a country obsessed with race, Furman’s skin color and religion could be a big deal, but so far he’s approached his role on the team like any other player would.

“It’s not something I think about at all when I’m out there,” Furman said, speaking with The Algemeiner of his Judaism. “It’s not even something that comes into my mind. It’s just about playing football and trying to do the best that I can for my team. I put it aside, put my head down and just get on with the job.”

Furman plays for the English side Oldham in the country’s third tier, but has chosen to represent his country in recent weeks, skipping out on several club matches.

“When your country comes calling it’s very hard for me to turn it down. I’m very proud to be involved in national sport and I want to get as many caps as possible, ” Furman told The Algemeiner.

As for the future, Furman is looking no further than Saturday, when South Africa plays Mali. “We’re excited for the game. It’ll be  tough but we’re looking to continue progressing through the tournament.”

A South African newspaper headline voicing support for Furman.


  • Mick Holland you are an ignorant idiot , south african love dean . when he touches the ball they go DEAAAAAAAN , remember Mark Fish they would say FISHHHHHHHH , mathew booth BOOOOOOOOOTH , get the grip , Jews always cry racisim , can youy give me a single reason why they will hate him . stop being ignorant and learn other cultures

    • Miki, thanks very much for putting me right. What sounded like booing must have been thousands calling out MLLLUUUUNGGGGUUUU! I stand corrected and now, better educated. Yes – a great shame about the penalties.

      Ah China, you seem to be a little agitated. Two comments and both of them quite argumentative. I agree with you that I may be ignorant, in that I do not follow African football culture, but I’m certainly not an idiot. In my judgement an idiot is a person who hands out insults without thought, or any knowledge of the person he or she is calling names, while hiding behind a pseudonym… either an idiot or child.

      I cannot give you a reason why anyone should hate Mr Furman other than what seemed to me at the time as the same racist cat-calling we suffered from in England many years ago. Happily, gone are the days when black players were met with monkey chants and had bananas thrown at them as they plied their trade on the pitch. My comment below was that there seemed to be an inversion of this in operation during last night’s game.

      Your attitude puzzles me and you come across as an unfortunately very bitter individual.

  • He is not jewish international, he is a proud South African international ,What has religion has to do with football , he actually plays with a half team christians , but no writer writes about christian international . Jews like publicity too much like kids , grow up , leave our hero alone and write about your given land .

  • They are not booing. They are praising him! They say mlungu. In context, it means white boss, I think. He is the break out star of the team. Came from nowhere to become best player. Too bad he and others missed the penalty today.

  • He’s getting some dreadful treatment from the crowd this evening. Every time he touches the ball he’s being given the bird. Dreadful racism being shown by the thousands of people in the stadium. Visiting black players are subject to this kind of treatment in places like Slovenia, or Serbia, but that doesn’t make it right! It’s worse than the very bad old days in the UK when black players were subjected to pretty bad cat calling.

    Grow up Africa!

  • Andrew Hofmeyr

    Question: watching mali SA and wondering why the crowd starts almost booing when Furman gets the ball? Any ideas as it seems benevolent, wondering what his nick name was… Thanks

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.

Current day month ye@r *


  • Arts and Culture Features Jerry Seinfeld to Make Comedy Debut in Israel

    Jerry Seinfeld to Make Comedy Debut in Israel – Famed Jewish-American comedian and actor Jerry Seinfeld is slated to make his comedic debut in Israel later this year. Seinfeld, who was born in Brooklyn to Jewish parents from the Ukraine and Syria, will perform in Tel Aviv’s Mitvtachim Menorah Arena on Dec. 19 as part of a world tour. The comedian is most known for his enormously popular NBC sitcom Seinfeld, which ran from 1989-1998 and is widely considered one of the greatest TV series of all time. […]

    Read more →
  • Features Food American Kids Taste Israeli Food, Offer Tidbits About the Country (VIDEO)

    American Kids Taste Israeli Food, Offer Tidbits About the Country (VIDEO)

    A new video circulating online shows eight American children reacting — mostly positively — to their first taste of Israeli eggplant salad/dip, known in Hebrew as “salat hatzilim” and in other parts of the Levant as baba ganoush. The clip, by, features U.S. youngsters given a plate with schnitzel, slices of pita, hummus and baba ganoush. “If someone had a name like that, they’d be so sad,” one boy said, mispronouncing it as “ba-ga-doosh.” A few of the kids were able to identify correctly the elements on the plate […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Pioneers/Philanthropists ‘Start-Up Nation’ Israel to Host Forbes Magazine Young Entrepreneurs Summit

    ‘Start-Up Nation’ Israel to Host Forbes Magazine Young Entrepreneurs Summit – Forbes magazine announced Tuesday that it will host its Under 30 EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Summit in Israel for the first time in April 2016. The conference is expected to bring together some 600 young entrepreneurs, with 200 from Europe, 200 from the U.S., and 200 from Israel. The summit has been hosted in Philadelphia for the past two years. It will include presentations, speeches, a pitch competition, and cultural immersion opportunities in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Beliefs and concepts What’s That Huge White Bridal Dress Floating Over the Tower of David?

    What’s That Huge White Bridal Dress Floating Over the Tower of David? –  “What’s that huge white bridal dress floating over the Tower of David?” That’s what visitors to Jerusalem’s Old City asked last week. The wedding gown, created by leading Israeli artist Motti Mizrachi, is part of the 2nd Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art, an event that blew into town as the Sukkot holiday got underway. Mizrachi, who lives and works in Tel Aviv, created the dress that floats majestically over the Tower of David, the main exhibition site […]

    Read more →
  • Features Opinion The Top 10 Places to Visit in Israel

    The Top 10 Places to Visit in Israel

    Israel is a holiday destination on many travelers’ bucket lists. No matter the style of holiday you are after, Israel has the answer. Whether you prefer to relax by the beach, hike up mountains in the desert, visit religious and historical sites, eat your way through the country or just enjoy some retail therapy, your journey through Israel will be one to remember. While there are obviously so many things to see and do, here is a list of 10 of […]

    Read more →
  • Pioneers/Philanthropists US & Canada Jewish American Fashion Mogul Ralph Lauren to Step Down as CEO

    Jewish American Fashion Mogul Ralph Lauren to Step Down as CEO – Jewish American fashion mogul Ralph Lauren announced his plan to step down as chief executive officer of the renowned fashion brand. The head of Gap Inc’s Old Navy brand will take over the position. The 75-year-old Lauren, who founded Ralph Lauren Corp. in 1967, will continue to serve as executive chairman and will continue leading the fashion house’s design team, according to a statement by the company. After the announcement, Ralph Lauren shares rose 3.79 percent while Gap shares […]

    Read more →
  • Featured Sports US & Canada Jewish Boxer Dustin ‘White Tiger’ Fleischer Scores Fourth Knockout Victory

    Jewish Boxer Dustin ‘White Tiger’ Fleischer Scores Fourth Knockout Victory

    Jewish boxer Dustin Fleischer, who said his quest is to become the first world champion descended from a Holocaust survivor, stayed unbeaten with a first-round knockout. Fleischer, nicknamed “The White Tiger,” moved to 4-0 with the defeat of Ira Frank on Saturday night in Beach Haven, New Jersey, near his home, he reported after the fight on his Facebook page. The 26-year-old welterweight has won all his bouts by knockout. Read full story at JTA.

    Read more →
  • Featured Israel Pioneers/Philanthropists Meet Israel’s Santa Claus, the Trustee Tasked With Handing Out Leona Helmsley’s Billions (INTERVIEW)

    Meet Israel’s Santa Claus, the Trustee Tasked With Handing Out Leona Helmsley’s Billions (INTERVIEW)

    Renowned New York attorney Sandor (Sandy) Frankel, one of four trustees of the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, was in Israel earlier this month to look at additional philanthropic options and to observe the progress of those endeavors already funded – to the tune of multi-millions. Frankel, who recently joined the prestigious Park Avenue law firm Otterbourg P.C., met with Israeli politicians and other bigwigs to get a sense from them about which projects in the country […]

    Read more →