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Ben-gurion Hopes Next Maccabiah Would Include Athletes from Russia

A hope that the next world Maccabiah may include Jewish athletes from the Soviet Union and other Iron Curtain countries was expressed at Ramat Gan Stadium, before an audience of 45,000, last night, by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. He was the principal speaker at colorful ceremonies that formally concluded the week-long sixth Maccabiah Games, in which Jewish athletes from 26 countries participated.

“It is our wish and hope,” said the Premier, “that, in the next Maccabiah, side by side with you, there will also be groups from North African countries, from Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Rumania and Soviet Russia. There is nothing to prevent them–when freedom spreads also in those countries–from coming to Israel, even if only for a few days.”

Mr. Ben-Gurion also proposed that the next world Maccabiah include contests in Hebrew, reading of the Bible in the Hebrew language, and Jewish history. Mike Herman, former New York University track star, was awarded a special plaque for having amassed the highest number of gold medals among the men. The women’s championship plaque was awarded to Madelaine Bergman, of Australia.

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