Oliver Ferber

Oliver Ferber

On a cold November morning in 2021, Oliver Ferber, then 16 and an outstanding cross country runner at his Maryland Jewish day school, stood still while behind him his teammates raced furiously toward state championship glory.

Sam Belinkie had asked him to submit a letter to the meet director in hopes that it might move the race from Saturday to Sunday; but it had little impact.

Early Life and Education

Oliver Ferber of Rockville’s Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School (JDS) stands out among his cross-country team’s stars as both an athlete and an observant Jew who keeps Shabbos. When the 2021 state championship race fell on a Saturday, Oliver faced an ethical dilemma; competing or keeping Shabbos.

After extensive negotiation with the meet director, Oliver successfully convinced her to switch the date of the next championship race so it would take place on Sunday – thus enabling Oliver to compete and JDS winning their state title that year.

Cameron Mackintosh revived the show for a North American tour in 2008, featuring Ron Moody as Fagin and Burn Gorman as Bill Sikes; Sarah Lark returned as Nancy while Ian Holm took up his roles of Artful Dodger.

Professional Career

Oliver has earned the trust and respect of major French rap acts such as Soprano, Maitre Gims, Jul and Youssoupha as a respected tour producer and expert sound identity. Furthermore, Mangroove Music under his management runs with passion and rigor.

Oliver joined his local fencing club during Covid school closures as an outlet to socialize outside of his family, with practices scheduled four times each week and including Shabbos.

Belinkie had tried unsuccessfully over time to move state championship races off Shabbat without success; but this year he convinced Dunston to do just that, and Oliver and his teammates were able to compete and ultimately win. A special blue carpet event was organized in Oliver’s honor as a mark of celebration of this achievement.

Achievement and Honors

Oliver Ferber, a cross country athlete for Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School (CESJDS), decided to become Shabbos observant as part of his high school athletic experience and forgoing scheduled state championship races that occurred on Shabbat to do so drew national media coverage. His decision spurred debate across many Jewish organizations.

When his teammates asked why he did not run, Belinkie explained it violated his religious beliefs to run on a day beginning at sunset Friday and ending sundown Saturday – what’s known as Sabbath. To resolve his issue he wrote Greg Dunston, longtime director of the state championship race, asking that it be moved from Friday evening until sundown Saturday; after which it happened: The following year it took place on Sunday as per their request and after years of effort by Belinkie and Ferber to move the meet there

Personal Life

Scott and Karyn saw Oliver’s growing religious dedication as just another phase in his development; yet he already brought more mitzvah observance into their home – such as setting aside meat from dairy meals at meals or refraining from eating after sundown.

As his decision not to compete in the Maryland state championship race of 2021 proved, it presented both him and his family with a serious challenge. Held on Shabbat morning – which would likely cost JDS the title – Jason Belinkie warned him that missing it may cost them the championship title; that would be seen by them as betraying all their teammates and coaches, who had worked so hard together; it wasn’t fair for them to expect him to sacrifice so much of himself for them.

Net Worth

Oliver Ferber is a wealthy Athletics Competitor with an estimated net worth of $5 Million. A former long-distance runner who competed in two half marathon world championships, he currently works as the Red Bull GmbH Global Head of Soccer.

Ferber’s loved ones might have been bemused by his sudden religious commitment, yet they largely accommodated it: His mother prepared his meals beforehand using special warming equipment so they would still be warm on Shabbat; and his friends made weekend plans before sundown so he could switch off his phone before starting Shabbat.

Ving Levy, Cooper Sutton and Yosef Yavner hail from Teaneck, YU and Mevaseret respectively, with Avi Stotland representing the Vegas Chabura. Oliver Ferber hails from Bethesda Maryland.

Oliver Ferber
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