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August 17, 1990 - Image 65

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-08-17

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With that many athletes,
the Games may have reach-
ed the saturation point. Only
a few communities can pro-
vide the home hospitality for
that many kids, and the
Games budget for Detroit
this week is nearly $1 mill-
ion. One of the reasons
Detroit was chosen again as
host community is that few
other cities were willing to
risk that kind of financial
In finding a solution for
the financial problem,
Detroit has created a fun-
ding mechanism that is pay-
ing dividends for future
Dr. Plotnick put together a
professional presentation to
attract corporate sponsors.
Chrysler Corp. alone has
contributed $250,000. Other
major sponsors added an-
other $250,000 and the
Games will collect $200 from
each athlete — another
$400,000 — to help cover the
Dr. Plotnick's presentation
and contacts will be used by
Baltimore in finding the
funding for the 1992 Games.
And the sponsorship model
is making it easier for
smaller cities to consider
hosting regional competi-
tions during the year follow-
ing the big North American
Wayne, N.J., has com-
mitted to hosting a regional
in 1991, according to Saul
Levenshus of the Jewish
Community Centers Associ-

ation of North America.
Cleveland, San Francisco,
Boston and Atlanta are con-
sidering 1991 as well and
Houston is considering 1993.
"It is now finally getting to
the point where the base is


being established," said Mr.
Robinson. "The base will be
the regional Games, where
you can have a number of
cities all over the place
hosting 400 or 500
youngsters each."


Mr. Robinson belives the
regionals may evolve into
qualifying rounds for the
following year's North
American Games, and the
North American Games
serve as a qualifier for junior
competition at the World
Games in Israel.
Dr. Richard Reff of the
Greater Washington, D.C.,
delegation to the Games and
a national vice president of
the U.S. Committee Sports
for Israel, agrees with Mr.
Robinson but takes a
cautious approach.
"We don't know how effec-
tive corporate sponsorships
are going to be in the future.
We know it is working for
Detroit, but you can't count
your money before you have
it." National leaders, Dr.
Reff said, are concerned that
the cost of the Games to the
athletes and to the host
communities are getting too
His own delegation, with
approximately 100 par-
ticipants coming to Detroit,
has direct costs of $60,000
and indirect costs of an addi-
tional $15,p00. He also sees
the regional games as an an-
swer to the problem.
Tying the regional, North
American and World Games
together is both a goal and a
concern. "Should the winner
of the 100 meter sprint in
Detroit in 1990 qualify for

the junior competition in
Israel in 1993?" Dr. Reff
asked. "Will that person still
be the right age three years
from now? But the winner in
Baltimore in 1992 might
qualify. It is something we
are looking into now."

The U.S. Committee
Sports for Israel has only
taken 16 junior athletes to
the World Games in the
past. The committee has also
raised the $3,500 - $4,000
per athlete needed for the

But he sees the issue as a
challenge, not a problem,
which will be discussed in
Detroit. The national spon-
soring groups for the Games
will all be meeting here, in-
cluding the Jewish Corn-
munity Centers Association
of North America, the U.S.
Committee Sports for Israel,
Maccabi World Union, Mac-
cabi Canada, Maccabi North
America and the national
Games committee chaired by
Detroiter Hugh Greenberg.

"The goal," said Dr. Reff,
"is the visibility and par-
ticipation of maximum
numbers of Jewish youth.
The kids discover that they
are part of a world-wide Jew-
ish community. That's the
"This is more than just a
sporting event."



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