Dear Maccabees, dear friends,
The anticipation is growing from day to day: On July 27, 2015, the European Maccabi Games in Berlin will begin – in Germany for the first time. For us Jews in Germany, this is a very special event. Jewish athletes from more than 30 countries will compete for medals in the Olympic Park Berlin, the place where the National Socialists staged a propaganda show for their inhuman regime during the Summer Olympic Games 1936 and marginalized Jews.
The athletes will show: Jews belong to Europe, we belong to Germany – and we will not let anyone take that away from us. Jewish life in this country and across our boarders does not have to hide and will never hide, despite all hostilities!
But the European Maccabi Games in Berlin are not only a historical event, but also a real challenge for the Jewish community. Therefore, I want to thank the organization team and all volunteers for their tireless work in the last months and making the Games a unique and safe event for us all.
The Central Council of Jews in Germany supports the European Maccabi Games wholeheartedly and it is a great honor for me to be a member of the board of trustees of the European Maccabi Games.
I am particularly pleased about the support program’s ‘Let’s Play Together’ matches, where Maccabi teams will compete against non-Jewish teams in different disciplines. These encounters will ensure good relations, new incitements and long lasting friendships – in the true Maccabi Spirit.
I want to warmly invite all members of our communities: Come to the Waldbühne Berlin for the big Opening Ceremony, support the European Maccabi Games! I wish peaceful, joyful and successful Games to all sportswomen and sportsmen, the organizers, volunteers and guests. Makkabi Chai!
Dr. Josef Schuster
President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany