As part of the build-up to hosting the JCC Maccabi Games in 2012, JCC Rockland
will announce that it is dedicating the games to the Munich 11 in honor of the
members of the Israeli delegation murdered by Palestinian terrorists during the
1972 Munich Olympics.
The JCC Maccabi Games, an annual Olympic-style
sports event for teens, always includes a tribute to the Israeli
The announcement will occur at a press conference held
simultaneously in New York and Israel on Sunday. The event will be
David Kirschtel, JCC Rockland’s CEO, will be joined at Kfar
Maccabiah in Israel by the families of the Munich 11 including Ankie Spitzer,
the widow of Andrei Spitzer, one of the slain Israelis.
“In the US, when
you think of the Munich massacre in 1972, I think most of the country, and
especially kids, don’t know about the particulars,” remarked Kirschtel to The
Jerusalem Post on Wednesday in Israel.
“I came up with idea of cards look
at it as educational tool to teach people about what happened. I think
the cards will be an especially effective vehicle to get the message
Kirschtel is also proud of the kick-off of Change4Change, a
hunger relief project that will have students in Rockland County, New York, and
Mosenson High School in Hod Hasharon collect 11 million coins – one million in
memory of each of the athletes.
“The fact that we are undertaking this
initiative in conjunction with an Israeli high school makes it that much more
special,” exclaimed Kirschtel.
Active International, a corporate trading
company located in Pearl River, New York, and Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern
are sponsoring the project.
In addition, JCC Rockland will launch the
website, www.munich11.org (also www.munich11.co.il) to educate people about the
events of September 5, 1972.
Spitzer, along with the surviving families
has lobbied the International Olympic Committee unsuccessfully for the past 38
years for a moment of silence during the Olympic Games in memory of the Munich
It is hoped that the website will help raise awareness and help
persuade the Olympics to recognize the 40th anniversary of the tragedy at the
2012 Olympics in London, two weeks prior to the opening of the JCC Maccabi Games
in Rockland County.
“The spirit of the Olympics is about brotherhood,
athletics and humanity, regardless of countries getting along. For this type of
tragedy to have taken place on this stage is especially sad,” Kirschtel
“I would love to see people use this joint-project to lobby
for a moment of silence in honor of the slain Munich athletes at the London
Olympics in 2012.”