Embracing World Jewry Through Sports

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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided that in 2016, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will host the XXXI Olympiad. In 2017 Israel will host the 20th Jewish Olympics, the Maccabiah Games.

In 1932, Yossef Yekutieli’s vision came to life, when the first Maccabiah Games opened in Israel and took place in Tel Aviv. The Games, the first ever, were held during the British Mandate of Palestine, and were opened by then Tel Aviv Mayor Meir Dizengoff, who rode through the streets of Tel Aviv on a white horse. The opening ceremony witnessed the release of 120 carrier pigeons, 10 pigeons for each of the 12 tribes of Israel, their mission was to send to the world the news of the opening of the first Maccabiah games and that the Jews are back in their homeland and are taking on sports and fun.

Almost 400 athletes from 18 countries participated in the first Maccabiah games including over 60 athletes from Arab countries such as Syria and Egypt.

In 2013, 9,000 athletes from 75 countries participated in the Maccabiah in a large variety of sports. The wishful goal for 2017 is to see at the Games 10,000 participating athletes from 90 countries.

R Host Ron Azarkman Eyal and wife Eti Tiberger Hostess Zohar Azarkman Macabi Carasso Photo Orly Halevy
RHost Ron Azarkman, Eyal and wife Eti Tiberger, Hostess Zohar Azarkman, Macabi Carasso

In order to arrange a successful games event, the time to get organized began last week when a group of Zionist sports enthusiasts held a meeting at the lavish home of Ron and Zohar Azarkman, in Los Angeles, with Eyal Tiberger Executive Director, Maccabi World Union, Leo-Dan Bensky, President, Maccabi World Union from Helsinki, Finland. Maccabi Club Finland is the oldest in the world, since 1906, that was active even in war time. Also, there was Macabi Carasso, Maccabiah Ambassador-at-large and Steve Soboroff, Maccabi Los Angeles Chairman, a member of the Committee of 18 of Los Angeles.

The Maccabiah Games are the largest Jewish mingling and get together happening the world over. No politics, no war business, no animosity involved; it is simply a unity conference through sports. It is the flagship event of the Maccabi World Union, listed the 3rd world event in the sports.

The Maccabi organization is proud of its 450 active clubs around the world, in 64 countries. It is a Jewish alliance and where there is Maccabi, there are Friends.

1st Maccabiah oppening ceremony
Yosef Yekutiely the initiator of the Maccabiah

No participant stays behind

The Maccabi World Union (MWU) guarantees that no one stays behind if one wants to partake in the games. Since 1906, for 108 years, no one had to stay away from the games because there was no money to allocate for his or her participation. There is no limit of what we, Jews, can all do if we have the wish and will.

In the upcoming 2017 Games, the goal is to do more than ever before because Israel is under fierce attack from all sides, in particularly from the media and of course from her reason enemies of no reason. The good news is that Israel’s foes fear the Diaspora’s power, because they know the Jewish Nation is a strongly linked network in which Maccabi is one of its strongest links.

Maccabiah 1932 Logo
Maccabiah 1932 Logo

Call for action appeal

Sports is the most popular pass time in the world; it is fun, it is adrenaline driven and it is prizes and recognition’s benefactor. For the next two years the Maccabiah Games organizers will tirelessly work to appeal to world Jewry and sports’ organization to help, in any way possible, to strengthen Israel and the entire Jewish Nation through the sports.

Financing the Games is costly, remember, no Jew wishing to participate will be turned away. In return, the Maccabiah Games participants will discover Israel as they have never done before, become part of it as well as a stronger link in Jewish unity, while becoming a link in the longevity of the Jewish People and their homeland, the State of Israel.

One can attach many cliches to the title of this article, all amount to one, ‘Unity is Strength.’

To help, to address your questions or simply make contact, visit www.maccabiah.com

During the 2006 second Lebanon War, Nurit Greenger, referenced then as the “Accidental Reporter” felt compelled to become an activist. Being an ‘out-of-the-box thinker, Nurit is a passionately committed advocate for Jews, Israel, the United States, and the Free World in general. From Southern California, Nurit serves as a “one-woman Hasbarah army” for Israel who believes that if you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.