A series of Holocaust remembrance events took place in Barcelona this week as part of the One Team-One People Initiative, a partnership between the Center for Jewish Impact, Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball Club, and the department for Israel and Holocaust Commemoration at the World Zionist Organization.
Throughout the week, a series of events were held together with the local Jewish communities of Barcelona as part of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. These events were held as part of the One Team-One People Initiative, co-led by the Center for Jewish Impact, Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball Club, and the department for Israel and Holocaust Commemoration at the WZO. The initiative seeks to promote sports as an effective tool to combat antisemitism and hate and strengthen the bond between Israel and the European Jewish communities through Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv's EuroLeague games.
The main event took place at the Jewish high-school Collegio Hatikva in Barcelona in partnership with the CIB Jewish community. The event revolved around using sports to fight antisemitism and racism, with the participation of more than one hundred high school students, including some non-Jewish students. Six candles were dedicated to six Jewish athletes – including those who perished in the Holocaust and others that survived despite all odds. The events included remarks by Center for Jewish Impact Chairman Robert Singer, and CEO, Sonia Gomes de Mesquita; Former Maccabi Tel Aviv legend and their current VP of Sales Doron Jamchy, the president of the CIB community Raymond Forado, and other distinguished guests. The memorial ceremony was followed by a friendly basketball match between Maccabi Tel Aviv's players and the students to demonstrate that a basketball court is a place where everyone is equal.
The day prior, a Zikaron Basalon event was held together with the ATID Jewish community, where Michal Dotan Levin, a third-generation to holocaust survivors from both sides, shared her moving family story.
The "One Team-One People" project is a unique partnership born out of the shared recognition of the importance of using sports to promote tolerance and prevent hate in society, and out of the will to express solidarity and support with the Jewish communities in light of continued antisemitism all over the world, especially in Europe.
Sonia Gomes de Mesquita, Executive Director of the Center for Jewish Impact: "This week we are commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance day together with our partners, Maccabi Tel Aviv and the World Zionist Organization, fighting antisemitism and racism using sports. It's a crucial mission for us at the Center for Jewish Impact to engage in personal and meaningful dialogues with local Jewish communities and empower young people to understand the importance of Holocaust remembrance."
Doron Jamchy, VP of Sales and Marketing and former legendary player, Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv: "On the days adjacent to International Holocaust Remembrance day, facilitating this important discourse with the youth of Barcelona is vital to our work, highlighting the values of sports and respect to every human being. Together, we continue to fight antisemitism and raise awareness about the atrocities of the Nazi regime. We are the last generation with Holocaust survivors among us, and it is our responsibility to pass on their legacy."
Sarit Handknopf, Executive Director of the Department for Israel and Holocaust Commemoration at the World Zionist Organization: "The importance of preserving the memory of the Holocaust and its lessons highlights the need for more moderate rhetoric in Israel. The unprecedented levels of incitement require leaders and public figures to promote values of tolerance and acceptance. Our project, in collaboration with partners, leverages the power of sports to advance these ideals, prevent hate, and ensure the Holocaust's memory is preserved for future generations."