SYDNEY, Australia, June 25 (JTA) An organization working to welcome Jewish athletes and fans to this summer’s Olympic Games was launched here this week.
The Sydney Olympics Jewish Organizing Committee established two drop-in centers where kosher food will be available. It also arranged for Jewish families in Sydney to provide hospitality, including Shabbat meals, for Jewish visitors.
In addition, it engaged the local Jewish historical society to offer a number of walking tours of Old Jewish Sydney during the Games.
“We are already receiving heartfelt thanks from athletes, relatives of competitors, people posted by their employers to the Games and others who have been helped by SOJOC in making connections with members of our community who are more than happy to provide a warm Aussie welcome,” said the publicity officer for the group, Naomi Jones.
A multicultural advisory committee was appointed two years ago to assist the official Olympics organization, and the Jewish committee’s chair, Amanda Gordon, was appointed to serve on it.
Gordon says the Olympics will include a rabbi living in the athletes village, assisted by three spiritual advisors, and a sukkah will be built in the athletes’ village for the Paralympics.
This year’s Olympics are scheduled for the last two weeks of September.
Information on the Sydney Olympics Jewish Organizing Committee is available at www.join.org.au/sojoc.