New York — Everybody knows how Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier, but few have heard how he helped ease racial tensions on one Brooklyn block.
The legendary slugger and his family moved to Tilden Ave. in Flatbush in 1948, a year after his historic breakthrough, and received a cold neighborhood welcome, except from the Satlows and their son, Steve, a huge Brooklyn Dodgers fan.
During the Robinsons’ first Christmas, Jackie learned the Satlows didn’t have a tree and decided to make sure the holidays didn’t pass without them having one with all the trimmings. The baseball great headed to the family’s home to spread some Christmas cheer and to surprise the Satlow kids with a tree – but he didn’t realize they didn’t have one because they were Jewish. The Satlows, touched by the gesture, displayed the tree next to their menorah.