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May 12, 1978 - Image 39

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1978-05-12

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Friday, May 12, 1918 39

Basketball Major National Sport in Israel

(Continued from Page 36)
below the Olympic
Games in importance.
Parallel to the Maccabia
Games, Hapoel also re-
newed its own games in
1951, giving them an inter-
national flavor. Thus, while
the Maccabia Games be-
came an international
gathering of Jewish
athletes (3,000 athletes par-
ticipated in 1977) the
Hapoel Games which are
also held every four years,
became the most important
meeting of elite athletes
from all over the world to be
held in Israel,_
Israel was among the in-
itiators of the Asian Games,
started Ili Manila in 1954,
and has been a regular par-
ticipant with the exception
of the 1962 games in In-
donesia, to which Israel was
not invited for political rea-
While soccer had always
been Israel's most popular
sport, basketball estab-
lished itself as the number
one sport of Israel in the
1950's and has held this
position ever since. In 1953
Israel surprised the sports
world by gaining fifth place
in the European cham-
pionships in Moscow and a
year later it was placed
eighth in the world cham-
pionships in Rio de Janeiro.
Israel's basketball- gained
its peak when the
Maccabi-Tel Aviv team won
the European Champions'
Cup in 1977. American-
born Mickey Berkowitz and
Tal Brody are two of Israel's
basketball superstars.
Throughout is 30 years
of existence, the state of
Israel has been host to
important international
sport events, such as the
Asian Nations' Cup in
soccer (1964), the World
Games of Paraplegics
(1968), the world cham-
pionship yachting for the
420 class (1970), the final;
of the European Cham-
pions' Cup in basketball
(1972) and the European
championship for youth
in judo (1974). Israel's
first world yachting
championship was won
in 1969 by Zefania Carmel
and Lidia Lazarov, who
started a series of sig-
nificant successes in the
(non-Olympic) 420 class
of boats.
Six Israeli women have
gained gold medals through
the years in the Asian
Games, led by Esther
Schachamorov-Roth, who
won five such medals in
1970 and 1974. She also
reached the finals of the 100
meter hurdles in the
Montreal Olympics and re-
presented Asia, together
with Pazit Fabian, in the
first World Cup in track and
field in 1977.
Competitive sports are
only one aspect of the Israel
sports scene. Every year
some 150,000 persons par-
ticipate in non-comps
mass activities that draw a
cross-section of the popula-
tion both as participants
and as spectators. These in-
clude the swim across the

the Sea of Galilee, the
cross-country race around
Mount Tabor and the an-
nual Jerusalem March. The
latter is organized by the Is-
rael Defense Forces, but is
for both soldiers and civi-

liens, many of whom come
from abroad especially to
take part in this event,
which has taken on the
character of a national holi-
One of the specific tea-

tures of Israel's sports is them to Israel and con-
its richness in variety on tinue to practice them
both a competitive and here. Thus one can find in
non-competitive basis. Israel practically every
This variety is due to the sport, from games of
fact that the immigrants cricket and rugby, im-
brought their sports with ported from the British

Commonwealth, to the
Soviet Russian Sambo
style wrestling. New im-

migrants have also re-
presented Israel abroad.

Israel's sports have come
a long way in thirty years.

Nappy{ 30th

1 'WAN

Protellitor the fillidlearrief -
MAO of ilinullwitith blerita
illpliVe)-ancii. Stdald if beneath the
N thy gimpy woe ;
0_,_ 1101X , • theleed weer tie leaders., officers
aX. I thy trUth to
eci zt
d ea
Attest Math with thy geetinsel.
0 God, shengigis the defenders of our Mole Land
grant Ohm and crown them IOW victory.
Establish pease ha the land. set essiriestbsg Joy for
its Inhabillittle.
Renremlow era beelhers, the whale heves of Israel.
in all ilho hinds of their dispersiee. igreeility let them
walk upright to Zion thy _city, to keMtn thy
dwelitepoises. es it Is written in the Torek of thy
servant Meeks "Even if you are dispersed in the
uttermost parts of the world, from there the Lord your
God will glither and take you. The Lord your tilled will
brhi ♦ you lase ,tise lend which your fathers possessed.
and you shell neeeses It."
Uaite our heart to love and rovers thy none. and to
.kssrvs -alt the precepts of thy Torah. Shine forth in
thy gtertorae majesty over all the inhabbants of Vty
world. Let everything that breathe. 'reclaim : "The
Lord God of Israel is King; his amdeity rule* ever
all." Amen.

Our father Ow

of hired, blebs
het, data of'






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