Rosh Hashanah Message from the President of Maccabi World Union
The Hebrew Year 5775 now coming to an end has sadly been a very difficult year. Terrorist outrages in Paris in January and in Copenhagen in February were further proof of escalating antisemitism in Europe, likewise the murder of a Jewish prosecutor in Argentina, horrific developments that echo loudly from the darkest nightmares of our past. They again underlined the vital importance of Jews the world over participating actively in the struggle against antisemitism and for Israel's right to exist. Our strongest defense is our total solidarity, standing united and courageously together at all times with our Jewish brothers and sisters everywhere and with the people of Israel!
These matters weighed heavily on Maccabi leaders as we approached our Movement's absolute highlight of 5775, the 14th European Maccabi Games from July 27 to August 4 in Berlin, Germany. I emphasize that these Games were the most visible peak of the dedication to our Movement's work and commitment to our ideals that continued so strongly throughout the year in all our areas of responsibility as bearers of the Jewish-Zionist flag in nearly 80 countries. Our Maccabi Games in Berlin were created on the fact of that dedication and commitment, and in that sentiment, I repeat what I wrote in my message on August 6th:
"The significance of Jewish athletes returning to the Berlin Olympic Park, the very place where 79 years ago Jews were prohibited from participating in the World's Games, cannot be stressed enough! It is difficult to describe the emotions everybody experienced during the Opening Ceremony that displayed the survival and revival of the Jewish People! Right there at the center of Hitler´s showground, thousands of Jewish athletes and supporters sang Hatikvah to proclaim that the People of Israel lives! Kol Hakavod to the European Maccabi Confederation and Makkabi Germany! AM YISRAEL CHAI!"
Our Movement advances: In Santiago, Chile, the 13th Pan American Maccabi Games Organizing Committee is working at full speed to meet expectations of all participating delegations. I send our warmest greetings to the team preparing our Games in Santiago,and I express our total confidence that they will be wonderfully successful and inspiring. With my wife Eva, I eagerly look forward to joining you in December! The extraordinary efforts of Regional Maccabi Games Organizing Committees in Berlin and Santiago build on the firm foundations of ceaseless work and dedication of our volunteer leaders and professional staff in all our Territorial Organizations and continental Confederations, the cornerstones of Maccabi's success.
The European Maccabi Confederation will hold its Congress in Budapest, November 11-15. Our Latin America Confederation, CLAM, will hold its conference in conjunction with the Santiago Games. Here, the CLAM Executive under Roby Croitorescu's leadership will end its term, and I extend a big TODA RABAH to Roby for his excellent leadership over the past 8 years. I wish the incoming Executive success as they take up their responsibilities.
Warm greetings to Maccabi Australia that will be celebrating its 90th Anniversary on November 26 in Sydney and 1st December in Melbourne.
To all Maccabim and your families, and to the organizations you lead with so much love and dedication, I send my personal best wishes. May our global Maccabi Family face 5776 in strength and courage, and may it be a sweet year of peace and prosperity for you, for the whole House of Israel and for the State of Israel!
לשנה טובה תכתבו ותחתמו
Leshana Tovah tikatevu vetechatemu!
May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year!
Be Strong and Courageous!
Maccabi World Union
Bekeff Hadracha welcomes 260 Hanichim
On December 22nd - 260 Hanichim from 8 clubs in Argentina (all operating under FACCMA), participated in the Bekeff Hadracha program from Maccabi World Union's Latin American desk.
After two years of participating in a special program to become Madrichim, the program's final segment takes place in Israel.
For 25 days, participants were traveling all over the country: from Rosh Hanikra, Safed, Mount Bantel, Ussafiya, Tiberias to Mitzpe Ramon, to, Eilat, the Dead Sea, Sderot, Kfar stockmen, Caesarea and finally Tel Aviv.
Participants attended various workshops pertaining to topics such as Israeli propaganda, Jewish identity, Maccabi values and history, the importance Jewish Identity and the centrality of Israel and the Jewish people in general, leadership courses, and more.
On January 19th, they safely returned to Argentina and are ready to now go back to their clubs and share what they learned.
Maccabi World Union expresses total solidarity with Francophone Jewish Communities
"…We trust that the Jews of France will find courage and strength to overcome the terrible ordeals inflicted on them and the wisdom to advance in the noble path of Judaism and Zionism. May Peace be upon you and the whole House of Israel!"
From a letter sent to George Haddad, President Maccabi France, Paris from Maccabi World union President LEO DAN BENSKY (Helsinki) & Chairman YAIR HAMBURGER (Tel Aviv)
Full letter says:
On behalf of our worldwide Maccabi Family in Diaspora and Israel, we ask you to convey our heartfelt condolences and deeply personal sense of shock and bereavement to the families of the victims of the barbaric terrorist rampage in France. We trust that they will take such comfort and consolation as may be found in the vivid memories of their loved ones and the esteem and love so many people in so many countries feel for them. May they know no more suffering, and be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion.
Maccabi World Union expresses total solidarity with Francophone Jewish Communities at this painfully difficult time. We concur fully with Prime Minister Netanyahu's consistent and accurate description of this evil impulse and the cruel philosophy that impels it as "an attempt to impose a new Dark Age on humanity." While we hope that all leaders and forces of liberty and enlightened civilization will now mobilize effectively against this scourge, foremost and above all, we trust that the Jews of France will find courage and strength to overcome the terrible ordeals inflicted on them and the wisdom to advance in the noble path of Judaism and Zionism. May Peace be upon you and the whole House of Israel!
With our deepest sympathy and highest respect,
LEO DAN BENSKY, Helsinki YAIR HAMBURGER, Tel Aviv
President, MWU Chairman, MWU
A walk of health" organized by Maccabi Italy in Rome,
When Claudio Pavoncello Macchinetta, asked me to organize, by recommendation of Vittorio Testori "Cholo", a Roman horse carriage ride for the sick children of the oncological hematology department of the Bambino Gesù (Baby Jesus) in Rome, it seemed immediately as a brilliant idea.
Years ago we organized, in cooperation with Vetturini Romani, a procession of many carriages for the participants of the European Congress of Tel-Aviv University, from the hotel where they stayed in Piazza della Repubblica to the Main Synagogue. Distinguished professors, Nobel Prize winners, the then Deputy Prime Minister of Israel, Dan Meridor, they were excited and still remember it with joy, as a once-in-a-life-time experience.
The experience was repeated with great success last summer, for the young guests of the Jewish Community of Rome that came from Sderot, attacked by Hamas rockets.
But Claudio is not new to these initiatives. For many years he organizes in the Bambino Gesù in Rome a market, the sales of which benefit the families of hospitalized children, forced to rent hotel rooms, to stay close to their loved ones.
Every children hospital in Israel knows him; there also he brings a smile to sick children, giving t-shirts of Italian football teams, and wheelchairs kindly donated by great friends of Maccabi.
The Schneider Medical Center in Petah Tikva, Tel Hashomer in Ramat Gan, Only Family of Nazareth, Hadassa in Jerusalem and many others, not to mention Tsad Kadima for the care of brain-injured children.
Yes, I was convinced that the sightseeing tour for the sick children of the Bambino Gesù would have been a winning choice.
I called Angelo Sed, President of Vetturini Romani, he gave me carte blanche, I will have no problem with the carriages.The main thing was done. But I could not imagine the bureaucracy, with so many permits needed.
When the D-date was approaching, there came a cold shower. In the Hospital no one had been informed of the initiative and our main partner, the one that would open the doors of the hospital, writes me an e-mail on behalf of their President: they want me to stop the initiative, they warn me from using their name, they do not approve our initiative and do not want to have anything in common with us.
At that point the good initiative was flying away, I am convinced that it would be a sin to stop it and that it is a great opportunity for these poor guys.
I do not give up easily, I am very stubborn, if I believe in something, I must bring it to fruition.
But the road was not easy. As our partner headed back, after the first difficulty, the first clash with the governing bodies of the hospital, I knew it would not be easy.
Many know that Bambino Gesu is synonymous with professionalism and love for the kids, a trademark, everyone would like to have their business card imprinted with their logo, an endless line of companies, and getting the permission is certainly not easy.
I called Alessandro Lapino, Head of the Press Office of the hospital, and he put me in contact with Dr. Lucia Celesti from the Health Department, to whom I sent the program of the day.
After a few days (5 days before the event) finally the project was approved by the Health Department. I got in touch with Dr. Ciaralli, who was required to invite the sick children of the Day Hospital and off therapy, to participate in the tour.
We called it "A walk of health"; we wanted to give a day of normalcy to these less fortunate children.
The AS Roma immediately engaged: depending on the commitments of the first team, they will send their player. Virtus Roma basketball, through its captain Lorenzo D'Ercole, will send a video to support the event. Luca Toni, center of Verona and World Champion in 2006, will send one of his autographed jerseys to the Department in the event that he would not be able to attend.
Finally we have an appointment, it's September 28, Sunday morning at 9 am in Piazza del Colosseo.
Sunny day, the carriages appear like in a parade.
I get a call from Federico Balzaretti: "Vittorio, I am coming".
I get a call from Andrea Sartoretti, a Buffalo from a famous television series: " I am coming."
Boys and girls from Bambino Gesu start arriving little by little, accompanied by their loved one. They are shy,not trusting. Seeing Balzaretti there shakes them, they start taking pictures.
Our "souvenirs sellers", feel the solidarity and cover the kids with gifts. Statues of the Wolf of Rome, the Colosseum, magnets. Even the "centurions" themselves leave their customs to play and take photographs with the children. A traditional photo and a dozen kids with their companions climb into the carriages.
A beautiful ride, combined with a gastronomic experience that children all over the world are crazy about: pizza and coca cola donated by Alice Pizza. Seeing the joy of these kids fills you with joy and happiness.
Let's go back to the Colosseum. Maccabi Italy wanted to pay homage to the kids, the families, a testimonial, an object that will remind them of this wonderful day, a Roman chariot imprinted with the date and the name "A walk of health."
We salute you, for having done a beautiful thing, we gave a smile and moments of normalcy to those who, unfortunately, have very few of these moments, but we hope that they will have more, always more.
A vein of melancholy over us, though, because those scenes, those expressions, the wonder, the joy will remain tattooed in our soul, the tears of relief of Cholo and Philip Calo, the youngest Maccabi Soccer players, will be images of a day to mark on your calendar.
More difficult than organizing the Maccabiah, the games in Rome, Aquilla, but this is us, this is Maccabi.
I thank those who made it possible, the Vetturini Romani, Thomas Giuntella, AS Roma, Virtus Roma, Verona Football, Federico Balzaretti and Andrea Sartoretti, Angelo Tigre, Bruno Pavoncello, Roberto Di Porto, the "souvenirs sellers" and "the Gladiators", but we all have to thank the guys of the Bambino Gesu, for giving us the chance, the opportunity, to do the right thing.
News from Maccabi Russia, September-October 2014
Maccabi Russia basketball team won the tournament among national diasporas of St.Petersburg.
- Yakov Atrokhov got ranked second in the world in his age (60-65) in an international tennis tournament in Turkey.
- The teams of master volleyball (men and women) played and won matches with master players of the diaspora of Bashkiria and Armenia.
- A fencing tournament (foil) was held between the teams of "Maccabi" and "Sokol."
- Master Sambo combat and Judo athletes participated in the World and European championships among masters and in the World Police Games in Judo and Jiu-Jitsu.
- Misha Borok won the second place at the World Championships in Bucharest in Jiu-Jitsu for 15 years old.
- Ilya Borok won the third place in the championship of Russia in Sambo combat, and became the champion of Europe and the Martial Arts Olympics among adults in Jiu-Jitsu. (Coach Grigorij Borok from Maccabi St.Petersburg).
- Futsal team won the tournament for the Governor's Cup, attended by more than 40 teams.
- Youth futsal team won the second Cup of League of Nations conducted by the Legislative Assembly of St.Petersburg.
- A mini Maccabiah was held in air guns shooting, checkers, chess, table jockey, futsal and "fun relay race" among Jewish schools.
- Alina Polyanskaya became a champion of St.Petersburg in acrobatics.
- Olga Rasseyno won the swimming tournament in Karelia among veterans.
- Polina Kunichenko became the champion in the international squash tournament among masters.
- Maxim Levitin won the international badminton tournament among masters.
Maccabi VAC Hungary helps the Scheiber Jewish school in Budapest
The Maccabi Fencing and Athletic Club provided significant support for the improvement of sports equipment to the Scheiber Jewish school in 2014.
Maccabi VAC Hungary purchased many sports accessories, a basketball backboard, badminton equipment, balls and additional instruments for the students.
The equipment was considerably renewed by Maccabi VAC's Equipment-Development-Program, which leads to a better quality of training in the school
FLF Seminar London - Business and Entrepreneur
November 6th - 9th, 2014, Young Professionals from 27 different countries and 4 continents arrived to London looking to learn something new for their personal and professional life.
Since London is the center of Business, it was the perfect venue to create an FLF Seminar for young professionals, focused on business and entrepreneurship.
Over 100 young people from countries including Germany, Gibraltar, Holland, Poland, Italy, Hungary, France, Sweden, Norway and even as far as USA and Canada, descended on the British capital for four days to take part of the FLF Seminar (hosted by Maccabi GB) under the leadership of Robert Cohen, EMC Honorary Sports Director and Future Leaders Forum (FLF) Coordinator. During their stay, the participants took part in networking sessions, swapped ideas and received talks from some of the brightest, Jewish names in the business world. These included Stephen Rosenthal, Head of Ads and Enterprise PR for EMEA at Google UK (who also hosted the talks in their Tottenham Court Road offices); Vered Itzkovitch from Bank Leumi UK; Jamie Simon from Banana Split Events; Uber's Director of Communications for EMEA, Ben Novick; Credo's Chief Investment Officer, Deon Gouws; and Zeek CEO, Daniel Zelkind ending with an lecture about Israel with a Middle East Expert.
There were also TED talks and workshops from entrepreneur, Antonina Samecka, Lifecoach, David Baker, and Nikola Chongarov - Bulgarian skier for their 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics team.
The Maccabi identity was not neglected; a special session by Rabbi Carlos Tapiero, MWU Deputy Director General was dedicated to the Non Profit Vs. the For Profit comparison, putting in the center Maccabi as a platform for volunteers to develop their business leadership skills into the organization.
As well as the business element of the Seminar, which ran from 6th-9th November, there were also plenty of opportunities for the attendees to socialise with other Jewish peers from around the world with a Kabalat Shabbat and Havdalah, run by Rabbi Carlos Tapiero; cocktail party and even a sightseeing tour of London.
As Robert Cohen said to Maccabi GB, "These four days were truly inspirational, educational and motivational. The key factor was that this was an International Seminar, which connected young leaders of the Maccabi World and I am so proud we were able to host it in London".
I would like to thank those who helped organize and run the event, all the companies and individuals who were sponsors or who gave their time to act as speakers and, of course, those who flew in from around the world to attend.
Special thanks to Motti Tichauer, EMC Chairman, for his unconditional support, the EMC Executive, the T.O.'s commitment to this ongoing leadership program and a big Thank You to the Jewish Agency For Israel (JAFI) for their help, support and contribution - allowing us to make dreams come true.
A further special thanks to two of the head sponsors, MT Finance and Sunrise Brokers for making this event possible.
JLGB are kingpins of the Maccabi GB and Marcus Fielding Inter-charity Bowling tournament
JLGB bowled over the competition on Thursday night as Maccabi GB hosted the 9th Annual Maccabi GB and Marcus Fielding Inter-Charity Bowling Competition.
The charity beat nine other teams to claim the title of ‘Lord of the Lanes’ for the first time since the competition began. However, the real impact of the event was the number of charity workers who donned their bowling shoes, with over 120 participating at Hollywood Bowl, Finchley.
Speaking about the Inter-charity Bowling Tournament, Maccabi GB’s Event Co-ordinator, Valerie Parnes, said, “Since the introduction of the Sport, Health and Wellbeing Programme [in September 2014] one of Maccabi GB’s objectives is to work closely with as many Jewish charities as possible. This event was a great opportunity for the staff of the different communal organisations to come together and network in a relaxed environment. It’s also nice to see bowlers of all ages and abilities come together and get involved in some exercise which is actually lots of fun to do.”
Special thanks must go to all the charities who took part including All Aboard, CST, Jewish Care, JLGB, JNF UK, Reform Judaism, Nightgale and Seed.