“Since there are not a lot of Jewish athletes, I definitely feel pressure,” Dmitriy Salita says. “It's irresponsible to say that you don’t feel pressure.” Salita, a professional boxer with a record of 35-1-1, immigrated to New York from Ukraine in 1991. Upon arrival in America, he was stunned to see entire streets of Jewish communities, and he quickly combined two devotions: Judaism and boxing. Salita says religion and community have given him the drive to succeed both inside and outside the ring. “Boxing is a spiritual experience,” Salita says. “I think a boxing gym, more than anywhere else, attracts different persons of different personalities. It really helped me learn American culture.”
This short documentary is part of an ongoing series from Moonshot Productions called New Yorkers. The producers discuss the project in an interview with the Atlantic Video channel here. Don't miss their profiles of a Shaolin warrior monk and an obsessive graffiti artist named Guess.