29 February 2020 - 5 Adar 5780 - ה' אדר ה' אלפים תש"פ
The Maccabiah Games: Tales from a proud parent E-mail

I don’t remember the exact day but it was some time in October 2012 when I received a call from my son in Hong Kong. “Mum, I have been asked to lead the delegation for Hong Kong-China at the Maccabiah this summer.”

Daniel is usually quite understated and typically won’t get overly excited but I could hear when he was telling me about this he was more animated than usual. I have seen over the years the work Daniel and others have done in Hong Kong building up Maccabi and for them the Maccabiah would be the result of that work.

For many of the last 12 years since Daniel has lived in Hong Kong, my holiday each summer is spent with Daniel, his wife Claire and three of my grandchildren, Dylan, Tyler and Maddi in Israel. The summer of 2013 was again going to be spent together in Israel but it was going to be unlike any other. As we counted down the weeks to the Maccabiah it became even more exciting when my eldest Grandson Ollie, was selected for the Under 18 GB Rugby Squad. Unfortunately, shortly before the games began Ollie dislocated his shoulder and had to withdraw from the games. I know Ollie will do his best to make it next time.

The Hong Kong Jewish community is around several thousand and includes a high percentage of Israelis. When I would ask Daniel in the months leading up to the Maccabiah how many athletes were going he would say, “Mum, you tell me.” I know he and others spent a lot of time trying to convince people to come and represent Hong Kong in this unique lifetime experience but tying people down was proving difficult.

Eventually, with just a couple of weeks to go, Daniel confirmed that the delegation would be a team of 17 covering a range of sports. In the delegation were some of Daniel’s closest and oldest friends including Jason Webber, who Daniel has been friendly with for over 40 years.

Myself and Valerie Hyams, whose son Andrew also lives in Hong Kong and had been picked for the futsal team flew to Israel together on 16 July with the games due to start on 18 July.

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Introducing the Hong Kong-China participants at the 19th Maccabiah Games Print E-mail

Hong Kong Delegation
Rafael Aharoni, Chairman of Delegation

5-a-side football (futsal) Masters:
Dima Apelbaum (goal keeper)
Daniel Gordon (Head of Hong
Kong Delegation)
Andrew Hyams
Neil Hyman
Avi Machlin
Daniel Suissa (captain)
Jason Webber
Omri Mizrachi (manager)

Swimming and para-swimming
Ana Scherer (Masters)
Ariella Levy (Juniors)
Aaron Zweig (Paralympics)

Eli Bitan (Masters)
Zach Bitan (Juniors)

Tal Moriah (Open)

Bernie Pomeranc (Masters)

Adam Kleinberg (Masters)

Global forum for combating Anti-Semitism E-mail

The 4th Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism took place between 28-30 May at the Ramada Hotel in Jerusalem. The Conference is held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel and the Ministry for Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs.

Over 500 guests from 50 countries participated including government representatives, civil society activists and religious leaders. For the first time, a delegation from South Korea participated at the event led by Jay Kronish, founder of Israel House in Pusan, South Korea.

Ten working groups convened to develop a work plan to combat anti-Semitism including anti-Semitism on the internet and in Social Media; in the Moslem and Arab world and on university campuses.

A recorded speech by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was broadcasted on the opening night as well as speeches by Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin and Minister of Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett. A number of participants from overseas also spoke including the Irish Justice Minister Alan Shatter; Deputy Foreign Minister of Lithuania Neris Germanas; Deputy Justice Minister of Greece Konstantinos Karagounis; Deputy Justice Minister of Hungary Bence Retvari and the Chairperson of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Mario Silva.

It was announced at the event that the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) will receive a grant to establish a Global Anti-Semitism Index. Totaling US$7.5 million over three years, the grant will be used to establish a significant annual barometer of anti-Semitic attitudes around the world. During the project’s first year, ADL will measure anti-Semitic attitudes in 50 countries, with additional countries being added in each subsequent year.

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