LOS ANGELES (JTA) — The Los Angeles Dodgers again will underwrite the baseball tournament at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, the Maccabiah Organizing Committee announced.
“Our sponsorship hugely enhanced the baseball experience at the 18th Maccabiah Games in 2009, and the Dodgers are proud to continue our close association with the Jewish Olympics," said Dodgers’ owner Frank McCourt, who is battling his Jewish wife, Jamie, for control of the club in a bitter divorce case, in a statement.
"We are delighted to participate in spreading the baseball message internationally and eagerly look forward with all Jewish and Israeli fans to seeing great ball games at the 2013 Maccabiah.”
On the Israeli side, Amir Peled, chair of the organizing committee, thanked McCourt and added, “In light of the current upheavals in our region, the official pledge announced by Prime Minister Netanyahu in 2010 of substantial Israeli government support for the Maccabiah in 2013 assumes even greater importance.”
In Los Angeles, a committee of 36 wealthy residents is again swinging into action after raising $1.8 million for the 2009 Maccabiah. The money went mainly to subsidize the participation of athletes from smaller Jewish communities around the world.
Steve Soboroff, who organized the Los Angeles efforts, said that as in previous years, local supporters have pledged $50,000 each to serve as “consultants” for the 2013 event.
In addition, former Mayor Richard Riordan again will sponsor the Maccabiah chess competition and the Jewish Life Television network will broadcast highlights of the games.
Some 8,000 athletes, among them junior and senior competitors, participated in the 2009 Maccabiah, setting a new attendance record, said Maccabiah executive director Eyal Tiberger during a recent visit to Los Angeles.
The participants came from 52 countries, and organizers hope to add Cuba, Morocco, Burma and Singapore to the 2013 list.