On the 50th anniversary of the Munich Summer Olympics Games and the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes, the Center for Jewish Impact (CJI) teamed with Maccabi Tel Aviv and FC Bayern Munich Basketball Clubs to hold a series of events today on December 2nd in Munich as part of the "One Team - One People" initiative. These events aim to strengthen the relationship between the State of Israel and Jewish communities throughout Europe and fight racism and antisemitism through sports.
The "One Team - One People" initiative, led by the Center for Jewish Impact (CJI) and the Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball Club, was launched today (Friday) in Munich, Germany, with the FC Bayern Munich Basketball team. The initiatives positions sports as a platform to fight antisemitism and hatred by using Maccabi Tel Aviv's games in the EuroLeague as an avenue to strengthen the relationship between Israel and European Jewish communities.
A series of events were scheduled around the game, organized by the Center for Jewish Impact, Consulate General of Israel in Southern Germany, and the Maccabi Tel Aviv and FC Bayern Munich basketball clubs.
The main event took place at Munich’s Jewish Helene Habermann High School and focused on using sports to fight racism and antisemitism. More than 50 teenagers residing in Munich participated. Jews and Christians alike attended a panel moderated by CJI fellow, Itay Gliner, featuring the Consul General of Israel in Southern Germany, Consul General Carmela Shamir, and the management and legendary players from both basketball clubs: CEO of the Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball Club, Edli Marcus, former Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball player and legend, Moti Daniel, former star player and current VP Sales and Marketing for Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball Club, Doron Jamchy, as well as Andreas Wagner, former FC Bayern coachand FC Bayern Executive Board member Andreas Minges. Following the panel, there was a friendly basketball game between the players and students.
Earlier in the day, a wreath laying ceremony was held by representatives of Maccabi Tel Aviv, the CJI and the Jewish Community of Munich (IKG) at the Olympia Massacre memorial site in the Olympic park. The delegation visit ended with another wreath laying ceremony at the memorial site at Dachau concentration camp with a 94 years old Holocaust survivor- Abba Naor.
Bayern Munich's management: "FC Bayern Basketball thanks you for the invitation and the great opportunity to talk to the students and teachers about what is just as important in sport as winning: Passionate competition on the court - and never enmity. Basketball also shows that anyone can achieve anything and anyone can also grow from (their) defeat. Fans and athletes know no national borders - strong opponents and international competition on both a small and large scale are the guarantee for growth, development and understanding. Nowhere are tears of success and disappointment so close together - and with them respect, recognition and consolation. Good athletes never give up. Thank you for the invitation."
Robert Singer, Chairman of the Center for Jewish Impact: "Today we commemorate a historical event, etched in the history of the State of Israel - the massacre of the 11 athletes at the Munich Olympics. This initiative demonstrates our belief that sports should be used as a tool for connection, tolerance, and inclusion. This partnership is a testament to the importance of this project. We will continue to encourage, together with our partners, the important connection of the Jewish communities outside of the State of Israel through sports. We will continue to fight racism and antisemitism."
Edli Marcus, CEO of Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball Club: "We have a moral obligation to maintain this type of cooperation on a continuous basis. We must not rest even for a moment. To strengthen the Jewish communities in Europe in particular, and across the world in general, to work tirelessly to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive and to loudly speak out against antisemitism."
Doron Jamchi, VP of Sales and Marketing for Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball Club: “Certainly, 50 years after the assassination of the 11 Israeli athletes, the importance of our visit here in Munich is even greater. We are aware of what is happening. Hate crimes are re-appearing all over the world, and antisemitism is rising. Sports are a first-hand tool in fighting these phenomena."
About the initiative:
"One Team - One People" is a collaboration between Maccabi Tel Aviv and the Center for Jewish Impact, created to recognize the great importance of using sports to encourage tolerance and prevent hatred in society. It expresses the desire to show solidarity and support for Jewish communities in the wake of the wave of antisemitic incidents worldwide, especially in Europe.