European Maccabi Confederation Newsletter: January 2015

January 27, 2015



The International Holocaust Remembrance Day was set by the UN for the 27th of January, the day the Red Army liberated the death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1945. The liberation of Auschwitz was one of the steps towards the end of World War 2, which left 90 million dead.

70 years after the Shoah we now experience a huge increase of anti-Semitism in Europe and also in other parts of the world. Last week, for the first time, the UN held a conference about how to fight global anti-Semitism. We as Jews have the responsibility to combat any kind of hatred and racism against the Jewish people.

It cannot be that 70 years after the Shoah survivors of this horrible tragedy have to again live under the threat of Islamic and latent anti-Semitism. It is essential that we fight the roots of anti-Semitism because the attack on the Hyper Cacher in Paris was an anti-Semitic attack, where Jewish people were murdered only because they were Jews.

This summer we will celebrate the 14th European Maccabi Games in Berlin Germany. 70 years after the Shoah the biggest Jewish event in Europe will present the European Jewish Community as a lively and integral part of the European society.

We the Jewish people belong to Europe. 


Motti Tichauer

Chairman, European Maccabi Confederation



YOHAN COHEN of blessed memory




Yohan was burried in Jerusalem, together with other victims of the attack, Yohav Hattab, Philippe Braham and François-Michel Saada




The Maccabi family mourns their death

We laugh together and we cry together, This is what the Maccabi family is all about. 


Dear friends, our brothers and sisters in France, 

You are experiencing horrifying days that we never expected to witness in Europe again, 70 years after the Shoah. 

Our solidarity and our thoughts are with you at this time. The attack in Paris is an attack against all of us and we have to stand close together. United we shall overcome. 

Nous sommes Juifs Am Israel Chai ! Maccabi Chai !  

EMC Executive


GEORGES HADDAD, President, Maccabi France, Paris


Dear Georges,


On behalf of our worldwide Maccabi Family in Diaspora and Israel, we ask you to convey our heartfelt condolences and deeply personal sense of shock and bereavement to the families of the victims of the barbaric terrorist rampage in France. We trust that they will take such comfort and consolation as may be found in the vivid memories of their loved ones and the esteem and love so many people in so many countries feel for them. May they know no more suffering, and be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion.


Maccabi World Union expresses total solidarity with Francophone Jewish Communities at this painfully difficult time. We concur fully with Prime Minister Netanyahu's consistent and accurate description of this evil impulse and the cruel philosophy that impels it as "an attempt to impose a new Dark Age on humanity." While we hope that all leaders and forces of liberty and enlightened civilization will now mobilize effectively against this scourge, foremost and above all, we trust that the Jews of France will find courage and strength to overcome the terrible ordeals inflicted on them and the wisdom to advance in the noble path of Judaism and Zionism. May Peace be upon you and the whole House of Israel!


With our deepest sympathy and highest respect,



 LEO DAN BENSKY                                   YAIR HAMBURGER

 President, MWU                                     Chairman, MWU



Maccabi España manifeste sa solidarité envers le peuple français pour les ataques du terrorisme islamique perpétrées pendant les dernies jours à Paris: l'attaque antisemite du supermarché "casher" qui a coûté la vie à quatre des otages, ainsi que l'attaque sanglante aux journalistes et employés du magazine Charlie Hebdo, en passant par celui des agents de police. Nous adressons nos condoléances aux familles et amis des victimes, en particulier à la famille de Yohan Cohen, qui jouait dans l'équipe de basket-ball de Maccabi Sarcelles. Yohan, avec Yohav Attad a été l'un des héros de l'attaque au supermarché, en essayant d'enlever l'arme au terroriste et en voulant sauver la vie d'un enfant. Que leurs âmes reposent en paix.



Monsieur Daniel Emsalem, Président du Maccabi Sports Marseille, ainsi que l'ensemble des membres de son Comité Directeur, très affectés et touchés par le lâche assassinat par un terroriste, de notre Frère Yohan Cohen, membre et joueur de la section Basketball du Maccabi Sarcelles présente ses plus sincères condoléances au Président du Maccabi World Union, au Président du Maccabi France ainsi qu' à la famille et aux amis du défunt. 

Daniel Emsalem



To say that I send my condolences to the family of Yohan Cohen and to the members of Maccabi France is not sufficient to express my horror and sadness at the murderous acts of terrorism directed at free speech in France and the French Jewish Community.
Please know that my thoughts and my heart are with you and the Jewish Community.
With warm Maccabi regards,
Toni Wortman, Maccabi USA

To the family of Yohan Cohen
My wife and I extend to all the family our sincere condolences on the tragic death of Yohan.
Words cannot express how we feel at this time and we join the many thousands of mourners from around the world in our expression of sympathy.
We wish all of you "Long Life".
Tom Goldman OAM
Chairman Board of Governors
Maccabi Australia Inc


FACCMA (Argentine Federation of Jewish Community Centers) expresses total solidarity with Francophone Jewish Communities at this painfully difficult time. 

As we are part of Maccabi Family in Diaspora and Israel, we ask you to convey our heartfelt condolences and deeply personal sense of shock and bereavement to the families of the victims of the barbaric terrorist rampage in France. 

We trust that the Jews of France will find courage and strength to overcome the terrible ordeals inflicted on them and the wisdom to advance in the noble path of Judaism and Zionism.                   May Peace be upon you and the whole House of Israel!

                            We wish you.... Jazak Veematz 

                            Mr. Alejandro Winokur      Mr. Javier Veinberg

                            Secretary                         President



Au nom du Maccabi Bruxelles, nous vous présentons nos plus sincères condoléances et vous transmettons toutes notre affection .

Charly Azoulay




In this sad moment for France,and specially for the french jews,please receive,our condolences,and the hope that the situation will come better. We are very sad also about the Young basketball player,and please receive together with the familly our deep condolences.

Maccabi Chile


So deeply saddened and shocked by the awful wicked events of last week in Paris. We live in troubled times and the dreadful rise in anti-Semitism as seen once again in  the streets of Europe is a stain upon the civilised world.

Our thoughts are with you and the entire community and our prayers are for a world in which all understand and value the need for calm, and the right to be free to follow your religion without fear.

Am Yisrael Chai.

With deep regrets,

Richard Feldman, GB


Maccabi VAC Hungary basketball team dedicated a game to the memory of Yohan Cohen


Hanukkah Torch Relay, Maccabi GB


Six young, Israelis have spent ten days touring around the UK teaching the Community about the meaning of Hanukkah for the 70th Maccabi GB Hanukkah Torch Relay.


The teenagers (aged 16 and 17) were chosen from hundreds of applicants all over Israel to represent Maccabi Tzair - the educational division of Maccabi World Union - as guests of Maccabi GB in the event. Throughout their time in the UK the Delegation visited schools, synagogues, retirement residences, care homes and youth clubs talking about the meaning of Hanukkah and the Maccabi spirit.


They also attended a Menorah lighting at Maccabi GB, joined the 'Leadership by Streetwise' Leadership Seminar and took to the stage as the Community celebrated 'Hanukkah in the Square', in Trafalgar Square in Central London.


Speaking about their visit and the importance of establishing links between Israel and England, the head of the Delegation said "It is great that we are here in the UK teaching people about the meaning of Hannukah. We would like the people here, especially school children, to see what people from Israel are like, perhaps if they have not been to Israel before, and introduce them to our culture. We are all Jewish, no matter where we are from in the world, and Jewish people will always feel strong links to each other. It is a big honour to represent Maccabi Tzair here and we are all excited to see England and to tell everyone what Hanukkah means to us."

Machane Choref "Imagination without limits", Maccabi Madrid


December 12 took place one of the most anticipated events of the year by the chanichim, Machane Choref.
Neither cold nor rain prevented our boys, along with our excellent madrichim, to spend a different weekend, full of games, sport, peulot, retreats and moments that only a Machane can bring you. 

Thank you all for making this possible!

Hanukkah Futsal Tournament, Budapest


The Futsal-department of Maccabi VAC organized the fifth Hanukkah Maccabi Futsal tournament in December 2014 with great success.

This year's competition enjoyed much more attention than all the previous ones, with the total of 9 teams participating. The teams of Jewish organizations competed on the field and for the first time ever, our neighbors, the team of Maccabi Vienna also participated in the Tournament.

After the qualifying rounds the Rabbi of one of Budapest's areas said a toast and we lit Hanukkah candles jointly with the teams.

The players even had a chance to enjoy some traditionally made festive doughnuts. Our partners for the event were the Israeli Cultural Institute and the Balint Jewish community Center.

True to our traditions we welcomed the foreign team to a celebratory dinner as well as to our ceremonial lighting of the candles.

Hanukkah Run and Celebrations, Hakoah Czech Republic


December 21, 300 members of the Jewish Community of Prague took part in the program for all generations organized by Hakoah Czech Republic.There was a theater and special Hanukkah workshop for children up to 10 years, the Czech Union of Jewish Youth helped organizing a special program for teenagers and people up to 35 years. 


Hanukkah Festival, Maccabi Russia, St.Petersburg

  • Master Futsal match, Sport Complex "Zenith" - 20 participants
  • Junior Futsal Tournament "Fun starts" among schoolchildren (4 schools) Maccabi Tzair Cup.-- 50 participants
  • Basketball, Tolerance Cup, Sports Complex of the Military Institute - 15 participants
  • Master Basketball, Maccabi " Falcons " - 60+ and 75+ - 30 participants
  • Table Tennis match, "Spartacus" sports hall - 10 participants
  • Fencing match - "Spartacus" Sport Club, Maccabi "Falcons" - two teams of 16 participants
  • Master Judo Tournament - Maccabi Masters - 10 participants
  • Master Sambo Tournament - Maccabi Masters - 10 participants
  • Sambo Tournament in memory of Sambo coaches of St.Petersburg -  10 participants
  • Traditional Under-Ice Diving, Victory Park - 15 participants
  • Junior Boys Volleyball match between Maccabi and the Bashkiria Diaspora team "Salavat" - 25 participants
  • Junior mixed Volleyball (male-female) "Falcons" - SC "Red October" - 4 teams, 50 participants
  • Chess, Checkers matches, House of Nationalities - more than 50 participants
  • Badminton match - 10 participants
  • Squash, Tennis (mixed juniors, masters) -  10 participants
  • Table Games Tournament - table hockey, table football  - 30 participants
  • Arm-wrestling - Maccabi members of "Inter" team, House of Nationalities  - 20 participants
  • First Hanukkah candle lighting held in the Grand Choral Synagogue of St.Petersburg
  • Second Hanukkah candle was lit by the Chairman of Masccabi St.Petersburg, Vadim Polyansky, together with the Israel's Chief Rabbi , Israel Lau, in the Grand Choral Synagogue of St.Petersburg
  • Conducted Kabbalat Shabbat twice together with the Masorti Conservative Jewish Community with athletes and coaches
  • Awarded with commemorative medals and diplomas in the Jewish Community Center of St.Petersburg  - 35 participants
  • Took part in the gala concert dedicated to Hanukkah in the Ice Palace, 15,000 spectators - 400 participants
  • In other cities:
  • Ivanovo - Memorial Chess Tournament in memory of Chess Grandmaster and  past Chairman of Maccabi Ivanovo, Boris Kleyman
  • Moscow - Karate match among boys and a master class in self-defense; Greco-Roman and freestyle athletes held an evening in memory of Mark Portugal
  • Samara - a Mini Maccabiah was held
  • Birobidzhan -  a hockey tournament was held
  • Yakutsk  - Maccabi Yakutsk participated in cross-country skiing and snowboarding runs
  • Petrozavodsk - Maccabi Karelia participated in the Winter Games of the city

Hanukkah Mini-Maccabiah, Maccabi Samara, Russia


December 21, for the second time a Mini-Maccabiah was organized during Hanukkah by Maccabi Samara and its President Tatiana Kurilova. The event took place in the Jewish Sunday School. The Chief Rabbi of Samara, Moshe Estrin, opened the event with candle lighting and a story about Hanukkah and its history. The musical group "Maccabi" entertained the audience with some holiday songs.

After the festive opening, the sports activities took place in the sports hall of the school - futsal; chess; table tennis; archery master class, and finally the most popular event - fun competition for families. The medal ceremony was attended by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Russian-Jewish Congress, Mark Shmukler. After the ceremony everybody ate sufganiot together.


Hanukkah in Zaporozhye, Ukraine 


By the initiative of  Victoria (Sarah) Diakov, the head of Maccabi Zaporozhye, and Boris Esterkin, the head of Zaporozhye Jewish community "Yahad", during the celebration of Hanukkah, December 18-20, a sports aerobics competition took place. The competition was attended by athletes of all ethnic communities in the city of Zaporozhye.

The competition was held under the patronage of  the Department of Culture, Tourism, Nationalities and Religions of Zaporozhye.

20 teams took part at the competition and were evaluated in the following categories: individual women, individual men, mixed triples, mixed doubles and basic aerobics. There was also a distribution by age groups - children (7 to 9 years old), cadets (from 10 to 12 years old), juniors (13 to 16 years old) and adults (17 and older).

The opening ceremony of the competition was attended by distinguished guests. The Rector of the National University of Zaporozhye, Professor Sergei Timchenko opened the event. All the speakers noted the atmosphere of tolerance, friendship and cooperation between people of different nationalities represented in the major industrial regions of Ukraine; they welcomed the participants and wished them a successful performance.

The Maccabi team athletes, representing the Jewish community of Zaporozhye "Yahad" won the second place in the general team classification.

The first place at basic aerobics (age category "children") was won by the athletes of Maccabi Zaporozhye of the Jewish community "Yahad", Kira Cybulski and Leonid Katz. They impressed the audience with their bright costumes and original masterful performance.

All the participants of the festive events were awarded with diplomas and prizes.


Hanukkah Table Tennis Tournament, Maccabi Kharkov, Ukraine



The traditional table tennis tournament took place in Kharkov December 27-29, 2014. The tournament was organized by Maccabi Kharkov, with the support of the regional federation. The tournament, as always, will be conducted in several stages by age groups. Masters were the first to compete. Despite the fact that the tournament this year involved considerable difficulties (cuts of electric power, funding issues caused by a significant rise in prices, etc.), the organizers headed by the President of Maccabi Kharkov, Leonid Fatalevich and the Chairman of the Federation, Evgeny Mashtakov, managed to overcome them successfully. Thanks to the clear plan of competitions and other events, the tournament managed not only to maintain but even increase the number of participants, which reached about 50 people in the older age categories. Overall, the tournament was the decoration of the last days of Hanukkah. The next stage of the tournament for children, youth and high-level athletes will be held during the spring holidays.

Hanukkah Chess Tournament in Minsk, Belarus 


December 21, 2014 Maccabi Belarus hosted in Minsk the traditional annual Chess Tournament during Hanukkah. The Tournament took place at the Israeli Cultural Center of the Embassy of Israel in Belarus.
At the opening the Honorary President of Maccabi Belarus, Arkadi Falevich, spoke about last year Maccabiah Games and the upcoming European Maccabi Games 2015. The First Secretary of the Embassy of Israel in Belarus, Mrs. Anna Keinan, lit Hanukkah candles and launched the chess clock.
As a result of intense struggle 1st place and gold medal were won by Michel Ginzbourg, 2nd place and silver medal - Yuriy Motovilnik, 3rd place and bronze medal -Andrei Mintal. Medals and trophies to the winners of the tournament were presented by the Director of the Israeli Cultural Center Mr. Ray Keinan.

Minyanim Seminar in Serbia 


During the weekend of December 18th -21st, 2014, the Minyanim Alumni Seminar was held in Belgrade, Serbia. This is the second time an Alumni Seminar is being held with the participation of 30 graduates of last year, who are active and strongly connected to the Minyanim community throughout Central Eastern Europe.

The Seminar was headed by Dr. Tamas Buchler, Michal Levy and Luca Ellek, with the help and collaboration of Katarina  Kohen (Serbia), Anna Berkman (JAFI) and Asaf Golan Golinsky (EMC).

The main issues discussed were: active involvement in different projects, strengthening and developing their Jewish identity after the program, Alumni Board structure, MASA programs, cooperation between organizations (Moishe House, Limmud, Maccabi, Rothschild, etc.). During the seminar there was Hanukkah Candle lighting, Shabbat and Havdalah with the Jewish community of Belgrade.

Visit in Yerevan, Armenia


During Hanukkah Macabi Carasso, Mark Ruzal and Stella Syrkin visited the Jewish Community of Armenia in Yerevan. It is a small community, but it is very active thanks to its leader Rimma Varzhapetyan. They sent 5 athletes to the Maccabiah 2013 and are planning to develop Maccabi activities.

The visit included meetings with the Jewish youth, as well as official meetings with the Assistant to the President of Armenia and the Minister of Sports, who promised their support in development of Maccabi in the country.

Hanukkah candles were lit at a festive event of the "Menorah" Jewish Cultural Center. 

Maccabi VAC, Hungary - Jewish Athletes in the Holocaust - Exhibition 


A unique exhibition that displayed the lives of Jewish Olympic athletes and sport directors, who died during the Holocaust, was presented in December 2014, by the joint organization of Maccabi VAC and the Balassi Institute. The venue for the exhibition was the Balassi Institute in London.  Michael Ziff appeared on the opening, in representation of Maccabi GB. It is planned to present the exhibition in a number of European cities, as well as during the European Maccabi Games in Berlin.

Maccabi VAC, Hungary - the Exhibition "Children Drawing the Maccabiah" Moves to Benjamin Kindergarten in Budapest



The Maccabi Fencing and Athletic Club passed over the drawings of children, already presented at a number of locations, to the Benjamin Jewish Kindergarten. The Kindergarten became the final destination of the Maccabi VAC- Maccabiah Exhibition which has been moving from one community to another since 2011.


The program gives an opportunity to the children to get to know the Maccabiah and its spirit through art and to gain direct information about the Maccabiah and Israel. We will be exhibiting similar art-projects of the children of the Kindergarten which they are already working on.


The management of Maccabi VAC continues to give special attention to programs of skills and community development in 2015.Our goal is to promote the Maccabiah and to introduce the elements of sports related to Israel, Judaism and their historical background.

Tennis Tournament in Slovakia 



WHEN              March 19-21, 2015


                        Turbínova 1, 831 04 Bratislava




PARTICIPANTS                                       OPEN TO ALL JEWISH ATHELETES.

GROUPS                                              JUNIORS <18, OPEN 18-45, MASTERS OVER 45

                                                               WOMEN one age group

CATEGORIES                                          SINGLES AND DOUBLES

FINAL GAMES                                         WITH UMPIRE




ARRIVAL FOR THE COMPETITION:                   March 19 BEFORE 12:00

GAMES                                                            March 19 (AFTERNOON), March 20 untill 5:00pm

OPTIONAL                                                        Bowling tournament

WELCOME PARTY                                           March 19, 20:00


                                                                        PURIM PARTY 20:30

SATURDAY, March 21                                       FREE TIME - DEPARTURE





ACCOMODATION                                             3 star hotel in the Tennis center area 


REGISTRATION FEE incl. accomodation, full board and social events        

Participation fee 235 EUR - including lodging in double bed room for 2 nights.

Accompanying person fee 150 EUR including lodging in double bed  room  for 2 nights.


Additional payment for single room / 2 nights           42 eur

Price for additional night in single room                   55 eur/night

Price for additional night double room                      68 eur/room/night/2 pers




European Maccabi Confederation 
 Promoting Jewish Activity in Europe
European Maccabi Confederation Newsletter: January 2015
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As the world remembers the 70th Anniversary of the Holocaust, we receive a special message from the EMC