By COLlive reporter
The Maccabi games, taking place in Berlin, Germany this week, begin today with an enormous opening ceremony and the participation of the German President Joachim Gauck, performances by Dana International and reggae star Matisyahu, and 15,000 spectators.
Chabad Berlin has been preparing for this massive event for almost a year and is intensively involved from the Jewish perspective. Chabad has put up two Jewish information stands manned throughout the day by 6 young rabbis, one at the Estrel Hotel where all the athletes are staying and the other one at the Olympic village where the sporting events are taking place.
“Our team is working around the clock at the Chabad stands at both locations of Maccabi – the sports Olympic stadium as well as in Maccabi village, so that all 2300 sportsmen, sportswomen and guests have an opportunity to learn about their Jewish roots, to put on tefillin or do a Mitzvah,” said Rabbi Shmuel Segal, Program Director at Chabad Berlin.
“Chabad stands are also equipped with the latest hi-tech facilities, like IPads and large HD Interactive screens with high speed internet access which allows our guests to explore the infinite world of Jewish knowledge right there.”
Chabad of Berlin’s largest Shabbat dinner ever, for more than 2,500 guests, will also be held on Friday. The Guinness Book of World Records is invited to see if the world record for the largest Shabbat dinner ever can be broken by Maccabi in Berlin. Chabad has made special Maccabi Kippas and song books for all the participants at the Shabbat dinner.
“We are prepared to welcome the 2,500 participants of the games,” says Berlin Shliach and community Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal. “The fact that Maccabi has come to Berlin is a wonderful sign of the vibrant Jewish life here.”
Rabbi Teichtal expressed great recognition for the vice president of Maccabi Germany Robby Rajber and the President of Maccabi Germany Alon Meyer for their strong support in making the Maccabi games not only an unforgettable sports event but also a major event of Jewish pride and awareness for thousands of people from around the world.