In just over a month, the start of the 2015 European Maccabi Games will be officially celebrated with an opening ceremony on the Waldbühne (“Forest Stage”) in Berlin’s Olympic Park.
Berlin is this year’s venue for the largest Jewish sporting event in Europe, which takes place every four years in a different country and lasts 10 days. In terms of importance it is only overshadowed by the Maccabiah Games, the international Jewish multi-sport event that is held in Israel, also quadrennially (staggered by two years from the European games). Athletes from more than 36 nations will compete in 19 disciplines.
The event’s organizers, the Maccabi World Union and Makkabi Deutschland e.V., both have the roots in the over 100-year history of Jewish gymnastic and sports clubs in Europe.
For the first time in history, a German city is hosting the games. The symbolic significance of this is magnified by the fact that the event is taking place exactly 70 years after the end of the Shoah (Holocaust) and 50 years after the initiation of diplomatic relations between Germany and Israel. Against this background, its motto sends a broad message: “For Tolerance and Openness—Against Anti-Semitism and Racism!”
A diverse supporting program, friendship matches with professional and celebrity teams, and sites for Jews and non-Jews to encounter one another are being arranged for the express purpose of dismantling prejudices and building bridges.
Each sporting discipline will be represented by a prominent individual as its mentor, including Jérôme Boateng (member of the reigning FIFA world champion team), table tennis legend Dimitrij Ovtcharov, and German federal ministers Dr. Ursula von der Leyen and Heiko Maas.
We’re proud to be contributing to the success of the European Maccabi Games as an official partner!
We wish all participants, guests, and spectators great success, enjoyment, and enthusiasm and are looking forward with them to the summer games in Berlin.