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Dr. Alex Sternberg has a distinguished multidimensional career spanning over 50 years: in physiology, medicine, karate, sports, science, holocaust research, and Jewish history.

He emigrated to the United States in 1961 with his family from Hungary. Within a few years after settling in NY, he was enrolled in Yeshiva Torah Vodaath from where he graduated in 1968. In the mid-sixties, Alex joined the Tong Dojo, a Brooklyn, Bedford Stuyvesant/Brownsville based karate school. Tong Dojo was one of the leading producers of America’s champions, with a culturally and racially diverse student body. Alex earned his Black Belt in 1968 and is presently an 8th degree Master of Shotokan karate.

During a long and illustrious career, Sensei Sternberg won over 75 regional, national and international karate medals, propelling him to be listed by leading Karate publications as one of “America’s Top 10 Champions”. After retiring from competition, he coached the USA national team in international events, including world championships. In 1982, Dr. Sternberg became an international referee, certified by the World Karate Federation (mem. International Olympic Committee). His distinguished career as a referee led him to become the chief referee of the USA, culminating in recognition from the World Karate Federation for 25 years of outstanding service.

Dr. Sternberg has appeared on the covers of most karate journals, recognized as one of the foremost experts of karate in the world. In 2015, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the USA Karate Federation for “Lifetime Achievement”.

He began teaching Jews karate in 1968. To date, he has taught tens of thousands of Jewish youngsters, many of whom became teachers themselves. Presently, his students teach in many cities across the USA, Europe, and Israel. It is no exaggeration to say that the name Alex Sternberg is synonymous with Jewish Karate.

In 1968, he was invited by Rabbi Meir Kahane to join the emerging Jewish Defense League. At that time, Alex was teaching Jewish youngsters Karate in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Kahane thought he was just the right fit for the group. The organization was new with a handful of members. After meeting with Rabbi Kahane and listening to his ideas, Alex, a child of Holocaust Survivors, was inspired by the motto of “Never Again” and joined the group.

Under the tutelage of Kahane, Alex continued his Zionist education begun through his previous involvement with Betar. He read books about the Revisionist Zionist movement, about Zev Jabotinsky, Joseph Trumpledor, and Menachem Begin and others. The building of Israel through the sacrifice of members of the Etzel, Lehi, and Palmach inspired him. Members of the JDL were taught such history and soon Alex was teaching it. Jewish pride and dignity and self-sacrifice were cardinal values taught in the

In 1973, he was appointed Chairman of Karate for the USA Maccabi Association. He spearheaded the international effort to include this sport in the Maccabiah Games and led USA teams in over 40 years of Maccabiah competition. His activities in the Maccabiah movement led him to be recognized as a “Legend of the Maccabiah” by Maccabi USA and by the World Maccabiah movement for maintaining “over forty years of excellence” in the Games.

In 1980, Dr. Sternberg returned to university to complete his academic education. He earned graduate degrees in exercise physiology (MSc.ed), Sport Science (Sc.D), Public Health (MPH), culminating with a doctorate in Environmental and Occupational Health (Dr.PH) from the SUNY College of Medicine at Downstate. He was the director of the Pediatric Pulmonary Function and Exercise Physiology Lab at Downstate Medical Center and conducted clinical research in pulmonary disease and exercise intolerance, Asthma, and Obesity. He published the results of over 25 research projects in numerous medical journals. He retired from the Department Pediatrics in 2014.

He is the author of “From Kata to Competition-The Complete Karate Handbook” and “Open Your Heart With Martial Arts”. His latest book is “Recipes From Auschwitz- The Survival Stories of Two Hungarian Jews with Historical Insight”.


An avid student of anti-Semitism and Jewish history, Dr. Sternberg lectures on a range of topics on Jewish history including modern Israeli history and Zionism. He publishes articles in both Israeli and USA publications.

He is married to Ilyse Sternberg a partner in Maidenbaum and Sternberg LLC, and is the father of Dov and Yonatan.

Black Belt Magazine Cover
Alex Sternberg karate dojo
Alex Sternberg meeting with Sen. Blunt
with Sen Stabenow and us.jpg
Rabbi Meir Kahane
Ben Gurion with members of Jewish defence
AS attending a UN conference on Holocaus
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