Cuba's Maccabiah Team Reflects Jewish Revival

44-Member Team Makes History With Israel Debut

Debutants: Members of Cuba’s first-ever Maccabiah Games team poses in Israel.
haaretz
Debutants: Members of Cuba’s first-ever Maccabiah Games team poses in Israel.

By Chemi Shalev (Haaretz)

Published July 19, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

When the members of the Cuban delegation march on to the pitch in Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium for the 19th Maccabiah’s opening ceremony, they will be making Jewish sporting history. Although individual Cuban athletes have participated in the Maccabiah before, this is the first time that an official delegation from the communist island south of Florida has come to Israel to take part in the games.

If all goes according to plan, the 44 athletes, as well as their coaches and chaperones, will all be sporting spiffy new uniforms in the red, white and blue of the Cuban flag – with the letters PRT sewn onto their sleeves. The letters, however, do not denote any sacred Cuban motto or historic rallying cry: they are the initials of Preston Robert Tisch, the late Jewish billionaire philanthropist who lived his life far away in New York.

His son, Steve Tisch, an Oscar-winning film producer and co-owner of the New York Giants American football team, decided to inscribe the initials on the uniforms as a “personal footnote” to commemorate his late father. He agreed to pay for the design and manufacture of the uniforms during a recent tour of Havana after a 72-year-old leader of the Jewish community convinced him that it was the right thing to do.

The “amazingly charismatic dynamic and passionate” Adela Dworin, as Tisch describes her, who serves as vice president of the El Patronato center at the Beth Shalom synagogue in Havana, was well prepared for her meeting with Tisch. “She knew of my involvement in sports and she knew that I was in the movie business, and that I would be drawn to the fact that this is a great story to tell. I told her I’d be honored,” Tisch recalls.

For more, go to Haaretz


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.