‘Jewish rugby team’ in Argentina wins 4th straight title


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — A rugby team in Argentina with a Jewish history and many Jewish fans won its fourth straight national league championship.

The Buenos Aires-based Hindu Club won the title Saturday by beating the Newman Club, 25-0.

Identified as the “Jewish rugby team” among the national rugby clubs, Hindu Club rugby fans display Israeli flags during some matches.

Despite having Jewish members and fans, Hindu club is not a Jewish institution. Hebraica is the only amateur rugby team in Argentina under the auspices of a Jewish institution, and on Sunday tweeted congratulations to “our friends” of Hindu for the new title.

Since the 1960s, large numbers of Jewish families have joined the Hindu Club, a country club in Buenos Aires that takes its name from an Indian play performed by its founders. At matches, supporters sometimes dress up as Orthodox Jews or chant “We don’t have friends. We are black and Jews.”

“Black” in this context does not refer to people of African descent. Rather it is a slang term for those seen as being low class or having dark skin relative to the stereotype of blonde, aristocratic rugby players.

Some professional European soccer teams also are associated with Jews, including Amsterdam’s Ajax and England’s Tottenham Hotspurs. Jewish fans of the teams present shows of solidarity, while opponents’ supporters have displayed anti-Semitism with chants and posters.

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