Barcelona, Spain — Today, Thursday morning, as a part of the “One Team - One People” initiative, the Center for Jewish Impact with partners from Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball and the World Zionist Organization’s Israel Holocaust Remembrance Department came together for a meaningful visit with Barcelona’s Jewish day school, “Colegio Hatikva” as a part of the school’s “Maccabiah Games,” which are taking place ahead of Maccabi’s Euroleague game against Barcelona.
The visit was led by Doron Jamchi, Maccabi Tel Aviv’s vp of marketing and community, and one of Israel's greatest basketball players. Shimon Rupa, chairman of the Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball Club, Adv. Shimon Mizrahi, CEO Adli Marcus and professional director of the Maccabi basketball school, Mr. Giora Eitan, also were at the event representing Maccabi Tel Aviv. Additionally, there were representatives of the Center for Jewish Impact, the World Zionist Organization.
These organizations work together to strengthen the connection between Israel and the Jewish communities in Europe, and to promote the values of sport as a tool to combat hatred and antisemitism, through the games of Maccabi Tel Aviv’s participation in the Euroleague.
The event was held as part of the "One Team - One People" initiative led by the Center for Jewish Impact, the Department of Israel and Holocaust Remembrance at the World Zionist Organization, and the Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball Club, which work together to strengthen ties between Israel and Jewish communities in Europe through Maccabi Tel Aviv’s participation in the Euroleague games.
During the visit, in front of hundreds of students and administrators, the participants noted the special connection between Barcelona’s Jewish community and Israel and emphasized the opportunity for sports to connect each side while promoting equality and acceptance of others in sport and society.
"One Team - One People" is a unique collaboration created out of a recognition that sport can be utilized as a tool to promote tolerance and stop hatred in society. It was inspired by a desire to express solidarity and support for Jewish communities in the shadow of a rise in antisemitic events around the world.
Yael Kamelmacher, Principal of Colegio Hatikva: “As a Jewish Zionist school outside of Israel, we are happy and excited about the opportunity to be a part of the "One Team - One People" project on behalf of the Center for Jewish Impact in collaboration with the Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball Club and the World Zionist Organization. We see the closeness between Israel and Jewish communities around the world as a central value and believe in the power that sports have to bring people together, fight antisemitism, build bridges between people and convey a message of peace. We are confident that this visit will leave a mark on our students that will be with them for the rest of their lives."
Robert Singer, Chairman of the Center for Jewish Impact: "The visit to Barcelona’s Jewish day school “Hatikva," an affiliate of World ORT, as part of the "One Team - One People” project is an important and symbolic opportunity for all of us. Education of our youth is critical to building a society free of hate and racism. We are filled with pride at the opportunity to connect Barcelona’s young people to Israel and Maccabi while at the same time bringing the important message that we in Israel stand with the community against manifestations of antisemitism and hate. We will continue to bring this important work to different communities and cities throughout Europe."
Adv. Shimon Mizrahi, Chairman of the Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball Club: "The connection between Spanish Jewry and the people of Israel is ancient and meaningful, particularly in the fields of Jewish literature and heritage. Of course, we must also remember those expelled from Spain who and their descendants who immigrated to Israel. It is uniquely personal and moving during our visit to Spain in general and to Barcelona in particular to connect first and foremost with the local Jewish community and tradition. Being in Barcelona today is a continuation of all the important visits we have made so far: Milan, Berlin, Belgrade and Athens. I take this opportunity to wish all of Spanish Jewry a kosher and happy Passover for all Spanish Jewry.”
Tova Dorfman, Deputy Chairman of the World Zionist Organization: “Investing in sports as a tool for connecting different countries and peoples and breaking down barriers is a valuable endeavor.
The "One Team - One People" project is an inspiring example that shows how the combined force of those committed to Israel and the Jewish people can come together to create an impact in preserving the memory of the Holocaust, fighting antisemitism and building connections between World Jewry and Israel. The Department of Israel and the Commemoration of the Holocaust will continue to examine and invest in projects that preserve the memory of the Holocaust and make it accessible to future generations. "