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Maccabi GB Lawn Bowls Israel Tour 2022

The 10th Maccabi GB Lawn Bowls Association's Israel Tour took place between 26th October and 2nd November with 29 bowlers and 6 non-bowlers enjoying an extensive programme of visits to vital national institutions, places of historical interest, and lawn bowls competitions in Haifa, Kiryat Ono, and Ra'anana. Maccabi GB's bowlers and Ra'anana's bowlers combined to form joint teams to compete for the Terry Lichkin Z'l Memorial Trophy. Terry was a Maccabi GB bowls champion and a Maccabiah medalist who was a victim of Covid-19 in 2020. Terry's wife Karen presented the trophy to the winning team which included our very own Stephen Levy.

On the tour they visited the newly refurbished Maccabi House at Kfar Maccabiah and were greeted by the Maccabi World Union CEO Amir Gissim a former shaliach to GB . The group were then guided around the state-of-the-art new Maccabi Sports Museum that covered many aspects of Jewish sport as well as Jewish sportsmen and women including the origins of Maccabi World Union, the Holocaust, Maccabiah and outstanding Jewish sporting achievements. Rabbi Carlos Tapeiro MWU's Director of Education addressed the group.

The group visited a Magen David Adom control centre and were hugely impressed by the advanced technology and call handlers that dispatch paramedics on motorbikes and in ambulances to emergency situations all over the country. The group travelled up North on the Sunday to Old Akko were they were conducted around the Knights Halls a vast, restored fortress from the Crusader period and one of the leading historical sites in Israel having been awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO.

On the Monday, the group saw the work done by the Zahal Disabled Veterans Organisation for the wellbeing of more than 50,000 individuals wounded while serving in defence of the State of Israel when they visited Beit Halochem's extensive rehabilitation facilities in Tel Aviv. They met and listened to the story of Amnon Sharon who endured 8 months of harrowing torture after falling into Syrian captivity having been captured in the Yom Kippur War in 1973.

Maccabi GB and Ra'anana bowlers combined to formed joint teams to compete for the Terry Lichkin Z'l Memorial Trophy

The group experienced an Israeli election day, they received a lecture from Neil Lazarus a keynote speaker and expert in the fields of Middle Eastern and Israeli politics, public diplomacy and effective communication training. Neil explained the complexities of the electoral system in Israel and the personalities and parties involved.

During the farewell meeting, awards were presented to the best male and female bowlers Melvyn Cainer and Linda Pacifico with a special award to Sara Linskell (Stanmore BC).

The trip was organised by Maccabi GB Vice-President Stuart Lustigman who has been running both masters football and lawn bowls tours since 2002. During this year's Maccabiah he was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame for his work with Jewish sport. Stuart said, "I have been planning Maccabi sports tours to Israel for 20 years and it never ceases to amaze me just how much diversity Israel has to offer." A huge congratulations to all those who took part in what was a hugely successful trip.

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