ROME (Aug. 25)
An estimated 200 Jewish athletes, including 18 from Israel, were listed among the 4,200 participants in the 1960 Olympics which opened here today. About 500 guests from Israel are expected to watch the games.
Jewish leaders in Rome were busy today with plans to invite the 200 athletes to a special ceremony at the Main Synagogue of Rome and a reception at the Jewish Community Center Saturday night.
The Israeli athletes took part in a Papal audience yesterday afternoon following ceremonies when the Israeli flag was hoisted at the Olympic Village while an Italian Navy band played Hatikvah. A Jewish woman athlete from Poland wept when she saw the Israeli flag.
An audience of 100 Jews of Rome, led by Sergio Piperno, president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, observed the flag ceremony and later joined with the Israel athletes in a celebration at the Israeli team quarters located on “Via Israel.” It was disclosed that this name will be retained for the street after the games when the village will be inhabited by Italians.
The Israel athletes were delighted with their quarters and with the Italian-style kosher food. Kosher chicken cacciatore was listed as their favorite dish. Jewish athletes from Morocco, Australia and other countries joined the Israel athletes in various social events.