In the attendance of the Director of the Jewish Community of Athens, Taly Mair, Robert Singer, Chairman of the Center for Jewish Impact, Edli Marcus, CEO of Maccabi Tel-Aviv Basketball Club, Member of Knesset, Simon Davidson and Basketball Legends Doron Jamchy and Aulcie Perry, a special ceremony at the National Holocaust Memorial in Athens took place. Today, Tuesday, an official wreath-laying ceremony took place at the National Holocaust Memorial in Athens, a memorial that commemorates the thousands of Jews that were murdered during the Holocaust. The event is part of the ongoing project of "One Team – One People", a project that is led by the Center for Jewish Impact, Maccabi Tel-Aviv Basketball Club and the Department of Israel and the Holocaust Commemoration at the World Zionist Organization. The project focuses on strengthening the connection between Israel and the Jewish communities across Europe, as well as on promoting the unifying power of sports and to stand against antisemitism and hatred, through the presence of Maccabi Tel Aviv as they play in the Euroleague.
Before the ceremony, a special discussion was held at Pierce American College of Greece, under the theme of “Sport and Antisemitism at the Modern Age” with more than 100 Greek students, both Jewish and Christians. The discussion followed an exhibition game, cheering drills and solidarity activities between the The discussion was led by Robert Singer, Chairman of the Center for Jewish Impact, Edli Marcus, CEO of Maccabi Tel-Aviv Basketball Club, Member of Knesset Simon Davidson, Basketball Legend, Aulcie Perry, Basketball Legend and current Maccabi Tel-Aviv Vice President of Marketing and Community, Doron Jamchy, Director of the Jewish Community of Athens, Taly Mair, Sarit Handknopf, of the Department for Israel and Holocaust Commemoration at the World Zionist Organization and other officials.
The "One Team – One People" project is a unique cooperation that was created through the acknowledgment of sports as an important tool to promote tolerance, all while standing with the Jewish communities of Europe considering recent antisemitic events that occur in Europe and the rest of the world.
Albertos Taraboulous, President of the Jewish Community of Athens: “The Jewish community of Athens is pleased to stand with sporting champions, Maccabi Tel Aviv, together with the Center for Jewish Impact and the World Zionist Organization to recognize the significance of Athenian Jewry today, and to remember the atrocities that we endured during the Holocaust. As a country which celebrates sports, we greatly admire the mission of promoting the values of sports for a more tolerant society for all.”
Robert Singer, Chairman of the Center for Jewish Impact said: "We are proud to stand here on the land of Greece and commemorate the thousands of Jews that were murdered and the great communities that were destroyed during the holocaust. This is a symbol of the Jewish people as a strong and proud nation. Today, in days when antisemitism is on the rise, we must raise awareness and promote tolerance between the different communities. "One People – One Project" is a unique project because it uses the sport values as part of the universal fight against antisemitism, racism, bigotry and Holocaust denial. We will continue to promote with our partners the meaningful connection of the Jewish communities abroad with the state of Israel, through Maccabi Tel Aviv matches at the Euroleague."
Adv. Shimon Mizrahi, Chairman of Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball Club, said: "The Jewish community of Greece, and Athens specifically, is one of the most ancient in the world. When we remember their legacy, we shall also remember the community of Thessaloniki, that was the largest Jewish community in Greece, and nearly three-quarters of it were lost in the Holocaust. Many of its men and women that survived, came to Israel and settled in the old business center of Tel Aviv and became the first workers of Tel Aviv harbor. We stand here in order to remember and never forget, as we did last in the cities of Milan, Berlin and Belgrade".
Tova Dorfman, Deputy Chair of the World Zionist Organization: "Sports is a great platform that can unite, break barriers between people, reduce stereotypes and connect the nations of the world. We are happy to take part in a project that does this in the best kind of way, with partners that are minded to the cause of promoting tolerance, remembering the Holocaust and building the bridge between the Jewish communities. We will remember the legacy of the great Jewish community of Greece that was erased in the Holocaust as a sign to the eternity of the Jewish people."
MK Simon Davidson, Chairman of the Sports Committee at the Knesset: "I am excited to be a part of this empowering project of "One Team-One People", a great partnership between Maccabi Tel Aviv, the Center for Jewish Impact and the World Zionist Organization. As a son to Holocaust survivors that was born in Lithuania and today the Chairman of the Sports Committee at the Knesset, I see the importance of this project. I wish to thank Sarit Handknopf, Executive Director of the Department for Israel and Holocaust Commemoration Worldwide at the WZO, Robert Singer, Chairman of the Center for Jewish Impact, and the management of Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball Club that lead this meaningful project. We will continue to fight antisemitism and remember the Holocaust."
Sarit Handknopf, Executive Director of the Department for Israel and Holocaust Commemoration Worldwide at the WZO: "The activities that we lead with our partners are important to commemorate the Holocaust for future generations. These are meant to tell and preserve the greatness of the Jewish people and its power, by promoting the values of tolerance and brotherhood that sport is representing, and to conserve the Jewish culture and Zionism among the Jewish communities around the world in those dangerous times of rising antisemitism."