Estonia has sent five tennis players, one chess player, one badminton player, and a 12-strong futsal team to compete at the European Maccabi Games in Berlin.
The European Maccabi Games (EMG2015) are held in every four years, always two years after the Maccabiah Games in Israel. European delegations send their best Jewish sportsmen and women to compete.
Prague hosted the first ever European Maccabi Games in 1929 but due to Nazi atrocities in Europe, the Jewish games had a 30-year hiatus soon afterward.
In 2011 the games were organized on the territory of the former German Reich for the first time, in Vienna. It is highly symbolic of the Jewish-German reconciliation that or the first time ever, the European Maccabi Games will take place in Germany – 70 years after the end of the Holocaust and the Second World War, and 50 years after the establishment of German – Israeli relations. In recent years, Germany and Israel have become friendly allies.
The EMG2015 were opened by German President Joachim Gauck on July 28 at the Olympic Park in Berlin – the same location where German Jews were forbidden to participate in the Olympic Games of 1936. More than 2,000 athletes, coaches and counselors from over 30 European countries and the world will compete in 19 sports until August 5.
The Estonian Maccabi Sports Society first participated in the European Maccabi Games in 1935 and after a long pause again in Rome in 2007. The Estonian team won seven medals at last games in Vienna.
Editor: S. Tambur