Shalom Life | April 17, 2014

United Jewish Appeal of Greater Toronto Honours Brian Williams

CTV/TSN broadcaster joined by Dan Shulman, Elliotte Friedman at UJA’s Sports Night

By: Daniel Horowitz

Published: December 10th, 2012 in News » World

United Jewish Appeal of Greater Toronto Honours Brian Williams
Approximately 300 members of the GTA’s Jewish community came together on Sunday night, December 9th, to join UJA of Greater Toronto in paying tribute to CTV/TSN sportscaster, and a veteran of 14 Olympic Games, Brian Williams, for his courageous stand in support of the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches murdered during the Munich Olympics in 1972.

The enthusiastic crowd, which braved freezing rain to be part of this important evening, were entertained by the troika’s uncanny sports knowledge, and even had the chance to try and stump them with their own sports trivia questions.

Part of UJA’s Sports Night, which featured a panel of sports experts including Williams, ESPN’s Dan Shulman, and Elliotte Friedman of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada fame, the highlight of the evening was an award presented to William’s for his moral stand that saw him announce, live on the air, his displeasure with the IOC’s decision not to hold a moment of silence for the Munich 11 during the opening ceremonies of this year’s London Games.This year’s Olympics marked the 40th anniversary of the murder of 11 Israeli Olympians by Palestinian terrorists at the Munich games.

“I’m a bit embarrassed to be honoured for doing what is simply the right thing,” an emotional Williams told those in attendance. “My 97-year-old father has a great expression, ‘The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of crisis, remain neutral.’ And for me, this is a crisis. The Olympics are supposed to be about integrity, sportsmanship, fair play. Ignoring any remembrance of the slaying of – and I used the word slaughter on the air – of Israeli athletes is anything but fair. I remember when the Georgian luger had been killed in a horrific accident up at Whistler, during the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. As they should have, they held a moment of silence for this lone luger. It was absolutely the right thing to do. But, when you do that and refuse to honour the 11 slain athletes and coaches, something is very wrong. To me, the fact that they were ignored is because they were Israeli, and to me, a Roman Catholic, it was important for a non-Jew to take a moral stand. I’m honoured to be here tonight, and I’m honoured that you remember me, but more importantly we must all, whatever our religion, and whatever our beliefs, we must always remember the Israeli athletes and coaches who were slaughtered,”

Another highlight of the evening were the heartfelt, appreciative words of Larry Tanenbaum, the Chairman of Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment, who, unable to attend, sent his thoughts via video.

“It is appropriate that, as we stand in the light of the Chanukah menorah, we honour this man who shed light on this travesty, and, who helped ensure that the horrors of Munich will never be forgotten,” said Mr. Tanenbaum. “If you’re like me, you took a tremendous amount of pride in Brian’s principled stand, a stand which, in keeping with the highest ideals of the Olympic tradition, also illustrated perfectly, the stark moral contrast with that taken by the IOC. Brian’s inspirational and courageous public stand was a jarring and powerful moment of broadcasting, wedged in juxtaposition to the light and entertaining fare that preceded it and followed it.”

The event, which took place at the new Leo and Sala Goldhar Celebration Centre, Shirley Auslander Hall, on Vaughan’s Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Jewish Community Campus, highlighted the work of UJA’s Annual Campaign 2013, chaired by Sarena Koschitzky and Bruce Leboff who spoke about the importance of holding a major UJA event in York Region.

Tel Aviv Named 'Best Beach Party Spot on Planet' Tel Aviv Named 'Best Beach Party Spot on Planet' TrendingMissouri Mayor 'Agrees' with Kansas Shooter Missouri Mayor 'Agrees' with Kansas Shooter TrendingWestboro Baptist Church to Picket Kansas Victims Funeral Westboro Baptist Church to Picket Kansas Victims Funeral Trending
 

Breakthrough Jew - Seth Kushner

April 17, 2014 | By Sarah Bauder
Breakthrough Jew - Seth Kushner

Kushner is an award-winning photographer and creator of 'Schmuck', a graphic novel.

Read More

Pro-Russians Handing Out Pamphlets Ordering Jews to 'Register' or Face Deportation

April 17, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Pro-Russians Handing Out Pamphlets Ordering Jews to 'Register' or Face Deportation

Separatists living in Eastern Ukraine have denied passing official-looking documents

Read More

Seth Rogen Calls Nancy Grace a “F*cking Dumbass” Over Anti-Marijuana Comments

April 17, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Seth Rogen Calls Nancy Grace a “F*cking Dumbass” Over Anti-Marijuana Comments

The 'Neighbors' star insulted the HLN host on Twitter after a number of posts with the #PotToBlame hashtag

Read More

Neo-Nazi Clothing Store Opens Next to Chief Rabbi’s Office

April 17, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Neo-Nazi Clothing Store Opens Next to Chief Rabbi’s Office

Thor Steinar clothes are on sale in the Viking Thor Shop in Jewish London neighborhood

Read More

A White House Seder: Chef Vered Guttman Makes Passover Healthy

April 17, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
A White House Seder: Chef Vered Guttman Makes Passover Healthy

Chef Guttman opted for quinoa and kale, earning praise from the First Lady

Read More

Hitler Wine For Sale at Glasgow Auction

April 17, 2014 | By Shaleni McBain
Hitler Wine For Sale at Glasgow Auction

The rare bottle of 'Fuhrerwein' is expected to fetch nearly US $3,500, though experts say it's not safe for drinking

Read More

Tel Aviv Named 'Best Beach Party Spot on Planet'

April 17, 2014 | By Viva Sarah Press
Tel Aviv Named 'Best Beach Party Spot on Planet'

Israel's White City triumphs over Cape Town, Ibiza, Goa and even Phuket as the world's No. 1 sun-water-sand destination

Read More

Meet the Israelis Looking to Arrive on Mars

April 17, 2014 | By Margarita Erbach
Meet the Israelis Looking to Arrive on Mars

The Mars One Project hopes to colonize Mars, and has offered four crews the chance to win a one-way ticket to the red planet

Read More

More Headlines