BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — An Argentinian rugby team with a Jewish history and many Jewish fans won the national league championship.
The Buenos Aires-based Hindu Club team won the Argentinean national title after beating Club Newman in a vibrant 27-25 final.
Identified as the Jewish rugby team among the national clubs, Hindu fans display Israeli flags during some matches.
“During the 60s, a lot of Jewish families started to sign up for membership [in the club]. So we have a lot of Jews in the club, they are part of our identity and also many Jewish families have houses and live in the residential sector of our country club,” Carlos Solari, a former Hindu secretary general and former rugby player, told JTA.
Despite having Jewish members and fans, Hindu isn’t a Jewish institution. Hebraica is the only amateur rugby team in Argentina under the auspices of a Jewish institution.
“We love the spirit of friendship and the values of rugby,” Javier Veinberg, the president of the Argentine Federation of Maccabean Community Centers, told JTA. The federation has about 55 affiliates and a network of 50,000 people.
“We want to attract more rugby players in Jewish clubs. Rugby teaches kids values like team work, respect for the others … [It] is a sport with interesting values to us as Jews,” Veinberg said.