Jill è nata il 4 luglio del 1961 a New York e fa parte di quella che forse è la famiglia di campioni più numerosa al mondo.
Sua mamma Gail Greenberg è stata cinque volte campionessa del mondo, suo padre, Steve Shane è stato campione nazionale americano, ed il suo patrigno Mike Moss, è stato vice campione del mondo.
I fratellastri Brad e Andrew sono stati entrambi ACBL King of Bridge (rispettivamente nel 1989 e nel 1991) e Brad ha anche vinto la medaglia di bronzo ai mondiali di Estoril.
Ha sposato in prime nozze un bridgista di livello nazionale Bob Blanchard con il quale ha avuto due figli, Shane (1987) e Justin (1988) ed ha vinto diversi titoli regionali.
Nel 1998 ha sposato in seconde nozze Bobby Levin, un'altro famosissimo bridgista del quale era amica fin dalla gioventù e dalla nuova unione è nato Andrew Levin.
In coppia con Bobby, Jill ha vinto il Campionato Europeo a Squadre Miste nel 2003 e ha conquistato la piazza d'Onore in quello Mondiale a Coppie del 2006.
Jill è una Word Women Grand Master ed ha anche vinto la Mc Connell Cup nel 1994, le Olimpiadi nel 1996 e la Venice Cup nel 2003 e nel 2007.
Nella sfida Europa-America ha collaborato alla vittoria della Squadra a stelle e strisce nelle edizioni del 2006, del 2010 e del 2012.
Laureata in legge e novellista, Jillian ama anche il poker, il tennis e lo sci. Fece grande scalpore la presa di posizione politica dell'intera Squadra femminile USA vincitrice della Venice Cup di Shanghai, quando nell'ottobre del 2007, durante la cerimonia di premiazione, alzò un cartello con su scritto: "We did not vote for Bush".
Sul piano nazionale ha vinto 12 NABC tra i quali ricordiamo lo Sternberg del 2004.
Ha anche capitanato la squadra USA che ha vinto la Rosenblum Cup nel 2022.
Per non smentire la tradizione di famiglia, il figlio maggiore Shane Blanchard si è sposato civilmente con la campionessa svedese Sandra Rimsted e a noi non resta che aspettare che i geni delle famiglie Levin—Blanchard—Shane—Greenberg—Rimstedt ci diano il prossimo super campione della serie!
Jill was born in 1961, 4 July in New York and is part of what is perhaps the most numerous family of bridge champions in the world.
Her mother is bridge Hall of Famer, Gail Greenberg, a world gold and silver medalist and a North American champion 17 times over. Her dad, Steve Shane, is a national champion.
If bridge greatness could be genetically engineered, Jill Levin had a head start. But it’s intelligence, imagination and hard work — not genes — that have made her one of the top women bridge players in the world.
Although the family played many games, Greenberg adamantly did not want her children to learn bridge growing up. “I think that young people’s priorities should be on their studies, their friends and sports,” she says. “I’ve seen many brilliant people get off track because of bridge.” Greenberg herself, beckoned by bridge, abandoned her dreams of going to medical school after graduating from Barnard College.
In high school, Jill wanted to go on expensive ski trips. As chance would have it, the chaperones for the trips needed a fourth for bridge. Though she still had no formal teaching, she felt she had picked up enough of the game to finagle a deal that allowed her to play bridge and ski free.
When she was 17, Jill developed a huge crush on handsome, 21-year old Bobby Levin. Levin and Jill became good friends. Later, as each married someone else, the two couples would spend a lot of time doing things as a foursome and often vacationing together.
Jill continued to play at regional’s while she completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan with a major in political science in three years, and graduated from Columbia School of Law, where she was a Charles Evan Hughes Fellow and Stone Scholar.
Jill believes that her being able to accomplish these things made bridge a little more acceptable at home for her younger brothers. Brad Moss and Andrew Moss participated in Junior bridge programs and each was named King of Bridge as a graduating high school senior — Brad in 1989 and Andrew in 1991.
After passing the New York bar exam on her first sitting, Jill went to work for a year at a big Park Avenue law firm and found that corporate law did not suit her at all. Years later, she would find a more palatable use for her law school education: she devoted four years to pro bono work, representing public housing tenants in termination proceedings.
In 1982, Jill married Robert Blanchard, whom she met while playing bridge, of course. One of the events Jill and Blanchard enjoyed playing together was the Goldman Pairs. First contested in 1929, the Goldman Pairs is the country’s oldest regional pairs competition, and the premier event of the Eastern States Regional in New York.
With time the Blanchard's became separate, and despite efforts to hold the family together, they eventually divorced.
Meanwhile, Levin was struggling in his marriage.
In 1998, the longtime friends married when the rabbi married Jill and Levin, he also married the three children — Shane, Justin and Levin’s son, Andrew.
Commuting an hour and half twice a day from Riverdale to her new job — managing Greeenberg’s Honors Club in New York and teaching bridge, Jill found the plot for a novel taking shape in her head. Levin encouraged her by getting her a microcassette recorder to capture her notes as she drove. In 2002 — too far ahead of the poker wave to ride it — “Bet, raise, or Fold” was published. Her novel is about a single mother’s struggle to support herself and her son using her card skills.
Highlights of Jill’s bridge career include 12 NABC championships, a silver medal n the World Mixed Pairs playing with Levin, five world women’s team championships (1994 McConnell Cup, 1996 Olympiad, 2003, 2007 and 2013 Venice Cup), and three Buffett Cup victories. She is now the cochairman of the Buffett Cup.
In 2022 she has been npc of USA team that won the Rosenblum Cup.
Meyers, Jill’s partner on the 2007 Venice Cup team and several of the NABC winning squads, calls Jill her dear friend. “She’s a love. She’s probably the smartest person I’ve ever met. She’s also the toughest person I’ve ever met. But she’s a big mush underneath it all.”
In light of her achievements, it says something about Jill that her favorite bridge memory is of her sons, Shane and Justin, winning together.
For a brief period at the 2013 Fall NABC, it looked as if Jill’s squad — partner Jenny Wolpert and teammates Levin and Steve Weinstein — had won the Mitchell Open Board-a-Match. They had even posed for the first-place photo when they learned that something amiss with the scoring had been corrected and they actually finished second.
Get ready to move over, Shane and Justin. Had Jill and company won the Open BAM.
Meanwhile, Shane has married Swedish bridge player Sandra Rimstedt in a civil ceremony. They plan a more social wedding in the near future.
Imagine, a Levin—Blanchard—Shane—Greenberg—Rimstedt bridge pedigree!
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