The One Team One People Project Arrives in Lyon, France
In Lyon, France, basketball served as a reminder of its power to promote tolerance and diversity as part of the One Team One People project. The project, now in its second year, coincides with the European Parliament's Anti-Racism and Diversity week, observed across Europe. "One Team, One People" is focused on strengthening the relationship between Israel and the local communities, promoting tolerance, and fighting bigotry and hate through sports. The project is led by the Center for Jewish Impact, Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball Club, and the Department for Israel and Holocaust Commemoration at the World Zionist Organization.
A unique collaboration focused on promoting sports as a tool to fight hate speech and promote tolerance in society took place today in Lyon, France. Legacy players and management of the Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball team, ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne Basketball Club, representatives of local sports clubs and schools, and the Center for Jewish Impact and the World Zionist Organization's holocaust Commemoration Department joined forces in a series of events as part of the "One Team, One People" project.
At the EREA Pellet school in Villeurbanne, France, an event was organized for children with limited sight. Over 50 students aged between 14-17 attended a meeting and discussion on the role of sports in promoting tolerance in society and accepting others. The event featured Center for Jewish Impact Chairman Robert Singer, CEO of the Center for Jewish Impact, Sonia Gomes de Mesquita, CEO of Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball Club, Edli Marcus, basketball legends Lior Eliyahu and VP of Sales of Maccabi, Doron Jamchy, Department for Israel and Holocaust Remembrance manager at the World Zionist Organization, Sarit Handknopf, Deputy Chairman and Department head for Israel and Holocaust Remembrance at the World Zionist Organization, Gil Segal, and Oren Gostiaux, President of the League Against Antisemitism and Racism's Sports Commission, Lyon, France.
Later, the school held a friendly match with the players and the students, which was a great way to reinforce the importance of sports in promoting values of tolerance and diversity.
A special event was held to remember the 14 Jewish orphans of la Martiellere in Lyon who were rounded up and sent to die on March 23, 1944, in the Auschwitz extermination camps. The delegation also visited Ort Lyon and the Great Synagogue of Lyon, as well as the BCCL basketball club, and laid a wreath to honor the righteous among the nations of the museum of the town of La Chambon, France. The town collectively received the honor thanks to the extreme bravery shown by its residents during the Holocaust when they saved many Jewish lives.
"The One Team, One People" project, led by the Center for Jewish Impact together with the World Zionist Organization and the Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball Club, continues to prove time after time the importance of the values of sportsmanship, tolerance, and diversity, and fighting antisemitism and all types of hate," said Robert Singer, Chairman of the Center for Jewish Impact. "Together, we have the power to pass the ball to the next generation and generate massive influence."
“As an Israeli, as a Jew, and as someone who has worn both Maccabi Tel Aviv’s yellow jersey and team Israel’s blue and white uniform, I am incredibly proud to take part in the ‘One Team, One People’ project,” said Basketball legend Lior Eliyahu. “As an Israeli resident exchanging experiences with the Jewish Diaspora and other communities, I find this shared dialogue to be important and necessary. Sports is a wonderful vessel to promote this goal and strengthen our bond. I welcome this successful project.”
Gil Segal, Deputy Chairman of the World Zionist Organization, said: "This project highlights the significance of promoting tolerance and acceptance towards others, which I believe is the most critical message we can convey to future generations. Remembering the Holocaust and the sufferings of our people necessitates reducing the intensity of discourse among us in Israel."