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  • 14th Maccabiah Opens in Ramat Gan, with More Athletes Than Ever Before

    Cheered on by a crowd of nearly 50,000, President Ezer Weizman officially opened Israel’s 14th Maccabiah in a gala ceremony at dusk Monday in the Ramat Gan stadium. About 5,600 participating athletes, the largest number ever to compete in the “Jewish Olympic games,” marched into the stadium as part of the impressive $1 million opening… More ▸

  • Israeli Olympic Winner Basks in Spotlight Upon Return Home

    When Oren Smodga, one of Israel’s Olympic judo champions, returned home from Barcelona late Monday night, this town went wild. Never had Smodga, 22, dreamed of such a homecoming. With his brothers in the first car, and he, his parents and his girlfriend in the next, the group moved like a royal motorcade through the… More ▸

  • Israeli Olympics Medalists Have Entire Country Walking Tall

    Israelis are walking tall this week, after the country garnered the first Olympic medal in its history. And it won not just one medal, but two. Yael Arad’s silver-medal victory in the judo competition kept Israelis glued to their televisions July 30, leaving movie-theater owners with plenty of empty seats. Arad’s match against the German,… More ▸

  • Smoke Bomb Mars Festive Closing of 13th Maccabiah in Jerusalem

    The closing ceremonies of the 13th Maccabiah at the Western Wall were marred by the explosion of a smoke bomb, an incident which police said was probably accidental. Though three people were hospitalized following the explosion, the ceremonies continued without incident. The ceremony in the Old City was followed by a march through Jerusalem. The… More ▸

  • Israel Athletes Finish 16th in Paralympics in Seoul

    Israel’s handicapped athletes won 41 medals and emerged 16th out of 66 competing countries in the Paralympics, the international games for the physically handicapped which just ended in Seoul, South Korea. The Israeli team, which is due home on Thursday, is bringing back 12 gold medals, 13 silver and 16 bronze. It won medals in… More ▸

  • In Seoul, No Medals for Israel, but Hope of Better Relations

    Israel won no medals at the 24th Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, but several of its 20-member team turned in “highly respectable” performances. That was true in the Flying Dutchman class yacht races off Pusan, where Yoel Selah and Eldar Amir came in fourth out of 22 boats. They missed a bronze medal by… More ▸

  • Former Refusenik Crafts U.S. Constitution Medals

    A Soviet Jewish emigre who once held a prestigious position as a sculptor-engraver at the Leningrad Mint has etched his name into United States history. Alex Shagin, now of Los Angeles, has designed two medals commemorating the U.S. Constitution in honor of its bicentennial. One is a multi-sided design whose outline matches the drum engraved… More ▸

  • Maccabiah Games Get Under Way; Emotion, Pride Mark the Opening

    The 12th Maccabiah Games got under way here yesterday with opening ceremonies marked by emotion, pride and colorful spectacle. Outstanding Jewish athlete Mark Spitz of the United States kindled the Maccabiah flame following a yizkor (memorial) service for Jewish dead in one of the more emotional moments in the three-hour program The seven-times Olympic gold… More ▸

  • Jews in the Olympics

    Since 1896 Jewish sportsmen and sportswomen have been an integral part of Olympic competition, in both summer and winter Games. Speedskater Irving Jaffe was the first Jewish winter Olympics medal winner in 1928, according to “Jews in the Olympics” exhibition running through September at the Jewish Community Building, 6505 Wilshire Blvd. Technicalities prevented Jaffe’s best… More ▸