The Jewish Winter Games are open!
Official opening of the MAKKABI Germany WinterGames in Ruhpolding
January 02nd will go down in MAKKABI history. Under the eyes of 400 participants, volunteers from 20 countries on 5 continents - including Ukraine, Israel, USA and Australia - MAKKABI Germany opened the first Winter Games since 1936. Since yesterday the games from January 02nd to 09th, 2023 are taking place in the Bavarian Ruhpolding. In the coming days, MAKKABI will fill this historic event with life, sport and Jewish traditions.
At the grand opening ceremony, Dr. Josef Schuster (President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany), Dr. Charlotte Knobloch (President of the Jewish Community in Munich and Upper Bavaria), Mahmut Özdemir (Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of the Interior and Homeland), Ilse Aigner (President of the Bavarian State Parliament), Justus Pfeifer (Mayor of Ruhpolding) and Carmela Shamir (Consulate General of the State of Israel in Munich) held inspiring and motivating greetings. The athletes of the various MAKKABI delegations from all over the world arrived to great applause from the Maccabees and the local population. In addition, the MAKKABI fire was lit as part of the spectacular opening ceremony. Various artists such as the band "Kippalive" put on impressive performances.
The worldwide Jewish sports movement Makkabi was founded over 100 years ago. The last Jewish Winter Games took place in Poland in 1933 and in what was then Czechoslovakia in 1936 before they were banned by the National Socialists. With the MAKKABI Germany WinterGames 2023, a tradition is being revived with a signal effect far beyond the borders of Makkabi. In the sports of alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, figure skating, snow volleyball and curling, the participants will compete in a fair and sporting manner. In addition, a diverse educational and supporting program will be offered involving the citizens of Ruhpolding as well as those responsible from the fields of politics, administration, sports and society: Prof. Manfred Lämmer (German Sport University Cologne) and the Holocaust survivor Prof. Shaul Ladany (Israel). Lectures on the history and present of the Maccabi movement and the 1972 Olympic assassination in Munich.
Maccabi members from all over the world will take part - regardless of religion and origin. The historic event will end with a closing ceremony on January 08th, at which the most successful athletes of the Games will be awarded.
We would like to thank the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Home for the special support and trusting cooperation. In addition, we would like to thank the Central Council of Jews in Germany, the Central Welfare Office of Jews in Germany (ZWST) and the Genesis Philanthropy Group. We would also like to thank the municipality of Ruhpolding and Justus Pfeifer (Mayor) for their hospitality and great support from the very first minute.