JCC Maccabi Games Opens with a “Minute for Munich”
Weeklong event features 1,300 Jewish teen athletes
Over the next week, close to 1,300 Jewish athletes from 36 delegations will take part in the 2012 JCC Maccabi Games, which kicked off in Rockland County, N.Y. on Sunday night.
During the week, the athletes, who come from the United States, Israel, Canada, Latin America and Europe, will compete in a number of Olympic-style sporting events in this, the largest organized sports competitions for Jewish teens.
And, with no International Olympic Committee involved, organizers of the JCC Maccabi Games started the proceedings in style with their own ‘Minute for Munich,’ which was led by Ankie Spitzer, the widow of Israeli coach Andre Spitzer, killed by terrorists along with ten other members of the 1972 Israeli Olympic team in Munich.
“Tonight we take delight in the broad diversity of the Jewish people,” said Rabbi David Berkman of the New City Jewish Center during the opening ceremony. “We speak in accents and different languages. Our customs vary. We may even look different from each other. But this evening we also rejoice in those things that unite us: Our religious and cultural heritage. Our family ties. Our history. Our Hebrew language. Our people-hood.”
The opening ceremony, which took place at Rockland Community College featured music, dancing and prayer.