Olympics

Olympic goals of community

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By Robyn Rosen

The Jewish Committee for the London Games wants to be the first recipient of an Inspire mark, making it an official London 2012 brand.

Guests at the committee’s first seminar on Tuesday were told that it had applied to the programme as a project inspired by the Games.

The committee was founded by the London Jewish Forum, Maccabi GB, UJIA and Lord Janner to promote communal involvement in London 2012 activities.

Among the 50-plus people at the seminar were Ephraim Zinger, director of the Israeli Olympic Committee, and representatives of volunteering charities.

London Jewish Forum chief executive Alex Goldberg said the Inspire mark would add “kudos” when attempting to attract funding for projects.

UJIA chief executive Douglas Krikler discussed educational ideas and there were suggestions for programmes in Jewish schools, a Limmud-style conference where visitors could learn more about Jewish culture and tours of Jewish London.

BBYO director Phil Peters said British pupils visiting Israel would have the opportunity to meet some of the nation’s Olympic hopefuls.

“Young people are very passionate Zionists in this country,” he said. “We have a great opportunity to engage young people who don’t find such a connection in some of the other more educational things we do.

“Over the build up to the Games, we want to engage with the athletes in Israel and are looking at ways the groups of tours going to Israel can meet the athletes, as well as when they come here.”



Source URL: http://www.thejc.com/community/community-life/26255/olympic-goals-community

Mayor's £50,000 to aid Jewish sports

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by Reporter

London Mayor Boris Johnson has announced a £50,000 grant to the London Jewish Forum to be spent on promoting mainstream integrated sports in the Jewish community.
The grant is part of £2.4 million funding from his Olympic Sports Legacy programme, for 18 projects across the capital to help increase participation in sports.

The London Jewish Forum, on behalf of the Jewish Committee for the London Games (JCLG), will now raise another £50,000 to match the grant for its Enable programme, which aims to promote disabled and non-disabled integrated sports.

Adrian Cohen, chairman of the London Jewish Forum, said: "We are delighted that City Hall has offered £50,000 for a very exciting project, which offers the chance to make a real difference for the community against the backdrop of the London Games.

"The funding is contingent on an element of matched funding by the community and we are currently discussing the grant with potentially interested donors."

Alex Goldberg, from the JCLG, said: "This is part of our plan to ensure the legacy of the Paralympics and Sir Ludwig Guttmann, the German Jewish refugee who founded the Paralympic Games."

Working with 12 delivery partners, including Jewish Care, Norwood, Kisharon and Jewish Blind and Disabled, the JCLG plans to spend the money on three projects over two years, including three integrated sports events, one of which will be directed at the strictly Orthodox community.

Mr Goldberg said: "City Hall is interested in those who don't do much physical activity. There is a lack of facilities in religious communities."

The funds will also be used to train 50 community professionals and volunteers in disability sports at Stoke Mandeville and create a manual on integrated sports for Jewish schools and youth clubs.

"There is some level of disabled sports in the Jewish community, but there is very little in the way of integrated sports," Mr Goldberg said.

"We identified a lack of knowledge in the community and we hope by training people, they can use this in the years ahead and put on disabled sports activities, utilising equipment and events."

The Olympic kippah for Jewish volunteers

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By Marcus Dysch

Volunteers at the London 2012 Olympic Games will be offered the chance to wear an "Olympic kippah" as part of their uniform.
The specially-designed yarmulke will form part of the official attire for Jewish members of the 70,000-strong volunteering team.
The London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) has held discussions with representatives of the Jewish community to discuss provisions, including kosher food, which will be needed for Jewish competitors and visitors to the capital.
Alex Goldberg, of the Jewish Committee for the London Games (JCLG), said: "We are steering LOCOG towards the model used by the British Army, which is quite advanced in yarmulke wear. There are examples of matching yarmulkes to uniforms.
"We have not got there yet, but the Olympic yarmulke may well be a crocheted one, in the same colour as the uniform."
An Olympic snood may also be produced, in the hope that religious women volunteers will come forward to offer their services at the Games.
"Strictly Orthodox people may want to volunteer and they should have the chance to have appropriate uniforms," said Mr Goldberg. The JCLG is stepping up its preparations for the Olympics and discussions with LOCOG on a range of issues affecting the Jewish community are said to be progressing well.
JCLG was consulted on the creation of the Games' mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville, which were launched last month.
In their first online adventure, Mandeville discovers the history of the Paralympics, which were founded by Sir Ludwig Guttman, a German Jewish doctor who settled in London after fleeing Nazi persecution.
Jewish Olympians from previous Games will also be recruited to help promote London 2012 to the community.
One ambassador is likely to be the Holocaust survivor Ben Helfgott, who represented Britain at the 1956 Games in Melbourne, and again four years later in Rome.
He captained the weightlifting team on both occasions.
Others approached for the roles include Susie Halter, who swam for the Hungarian team in the last London Games in 1948, and Allan Jay, who competed in fencing for Britain at five Olympics, winning two gold medals in Rome in 1960.
JCLG also hopes at least one ambassador will come from abroad. Boaz Kramer, an Israeli wheelchair tennis player who won the silver medal in the Paralympics doubles competition in Beijing in 2008, is likely to offer his services.
Mr Goldberg said: "Boaz wants to meet the British Jewish community and go into schools. He is a great role model.
"There are a number of countries who have realistic Jewish medal hopes for 2012.
"We already have Jewish sporting heroes here in London. We need to make the Olympics relevant to our community and to show that we can overcome some of the stereotypes in the community about our involvement in sport."
Jewish schoolchildren are likely to play a prominent role in the welcoming ceremony for the Israeli team, he said.
Source URL: http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/32899/the-olympic-kippah-jewish-volunteers

Kosher Big Mac offer for the Olympics

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By Leon Symons
  • A mouth-watering prospect has been raised for the London Olympics in three years’ time —and it has nothing to do with sport.

Orthodox Jews who are enthusiastic sports fans usually ensure they have something to eat at such events by taking a packed lunch.

But that might not be necessary if the Jewish Committee for the London Games, part of the London Jewish Forum, gets its way.

It has asked the Games’ organisers to set up kosher food stands provided by the Games’ main food sponsor, McDonald’s.

Alex Goldberg, chief executive of the London Jewish Forum, said: “We have told the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) that there is no reason why there could not be a kosher — and for that matter halal — food stand run by Mcdonald’s.

“LOCOG has to deal with food diversity, which it will probably do through its faith reference group, and is taking this quite seriously. There is certainly a commercial model with large numbers of Jews and Muslims living around the area of the Olympic Park who will want to go the Games. It makes sense to have food on offer that they can eat.

“McDonald’s has a large number of outlets in Israel, a considerable number of which are kosher. So it has experience of working with kosher food,” said Mr Goldberg.

He said that the Forum had received support for the move from the East London mosque in Whitechapel.

He added that food was not the only matter to be considered by the faith reference group.

“There will be issues such as whether or not Orthodox Jews would be able to pay on Friday for food on Shabbat. Both Tisha b’Av and Ramadan fall during the Games, so there will be talks about faith provision in the Olympic Village.”

A spokeswoman for the London 2012 Organising Committee said: “Our food strategy covers the issue of catering for diverse dietary requirements which includes kosher and halal food. This will be a key part of our catering requirements.”


Source URL: http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/14280/kosher-big-mac-offer-olympics

'Security' row over Munich tribute at 2012 'Security' row over Munich tribute at 2012

By Leon Symons

Allegations that a police trainer has labelled a proposed commemoration of the Munich Olympics massacre at the 2012 London Olympics "a security threat" have been vehemently denied.

An Islamic scholar, hired by Scotland Yard to train police on interfaith issues, had warned that a commemoration ceremony "could become a national security threat if it was not managed properly and was perceived by Muslims to be ‘hijacking' the Games", The Times reported this week.

The scholar, Sheikh Michael Mumisa, was addressing senior officers from the Yard's Transport Operations Command Unit during a two-day training course on faith and interfaith, held last month at the Woolf Institute for the Study of Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Muslim Relations in Cambridge. The course was the first of its kind held by the Institute.

Its executive director, Edward Kessler, said: "Sheikh Mumisa's words have been twisted in a way that is not accurate. I know what was said because I was there throughout the course. We were very unhappy with what appeared because it did not reflect the course that the officers took.

"We are not experts in terrorism, we are experts in faith and interfaith and that's what they were here to learn. It was a very positive programme which dealt with subjects including antisemitism and Islamophobia.

"The possibility of a ceremony to commemorate the Munich Olympics massacre was mentioned as being key to the Jewish community. But it was discussed in terms of one type of commemoration being wholly appropriate and another being wholly inappropriate. The police would have to deal with the situation on the ground and the point was that they should be aware of the sensitivities of each faith community. It was certainly not talked of as a ‘national security threat' or the Games being ‘hijacked'."

Sheikh Mumisa was not at the Institute and could not be contacted for a comment. Eleven Israeli athletes were killed by the Palestinian Black September group at the 1972 Munich Games. The 2012 Games will mark the 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre.

Alex Goldberg, chief executive of the London Jewish Forum, said that any commemoration would be "up to the families of those who died, with the Israel Olympic Association and, ultimately, the International Olympic Committee to decide what it will be".



Source URL: http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/7497/security-row-over-munich-tribute-2012