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October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Olympic Games’

Olympic Gold Medal for Lying and Sanctimony Goes to…

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Europe has temporarily forgotten its financial problems. This is the summer of sports. In June the European football (soccer) championships are being held in Poland and Ukraine. In July, there will be three weeks of the Tour de France, the world’s most famous cycling race. And by August, Europeans will be watching this year’s Summer Olympics in London.

As usual, however, the Olympics are tarnished by ugly politics. Forty years ago, the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich were marred by the murder of eleven Israeli athletes by the Palestinian terror group Black September. As the London Olympics are the tenth Olympic games since the Munich Olympics, relatives of the murdered Israeli athletes believe it would be appropriate if, during the ceremonies in London, a moment of silence were held for the eleven athletes massacred in Munich. Up till now the Olympic Games have never officially commemorated the murdered athletes with such a moment.

Normally, when an athlete dies, the International Olympic Committee honors him with a minute of silence. Two years ago, the 21-year old Georgian athlete, the luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, suffered a fatal crash during a training run for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge expressed his condolences on behalf of the entire Olympic community during his opening speech, while the Canadian and Olympic flags were flown at half-staff.

The same Jacques Rogge, a Count from Belgium, refuses to include such a moment of remembrance for the eleven murdered Israeli athletes, despite the fact that Rogge himself was present at the Munich Olympics as a member of the Belgian sailing team.

In 2004, Ankie Rekhess, a Dutch-born Israeli journalist and the widow of Andrei Spitzer, one of the athletes murdered in Munich, confronted Rogge during a press conference in Athens. “You yourself are an Olympic athlete,” she said. “Hence, you are a brother of the eleven murdered athletes. Why don’t you remember them in front of all other athletes? This concerns the entire Olympic family.” Rekhess received a standing ovation from the 300 people present in the room. However, in his reply, Rogge rejected the request, referring instead to friendship, sportivity and the necessity to keep politics out of sports.

For forty years, Ankie Rekhess has been working her way through the hierarchy of the Olympic Games, seeking to obtain a moment of silence for her husband and his colleagues. In 1996, she was interviewed by the Los Angeles Times after the rejection of her request for a similar moment during the Atlanta Olympics, the first one in which Palestine took part. “I don’t want to condemn anyone,” she said. “I simply want recognition for 11 athletes who came home in coffins 24 years ago.” Today, another 16 years later, Rekhess still has has not managed to persuade the Olympic Committee to honor those who were killed because they believed in the Olympic ideals.

After the Munich massacre in 1972, Rekhess saw the room where the athletes had been tortured and mutilated. “I saw pictures of what they had done to them and vowed no one would ever forget. That is why I want the moment of silence… to remember them all.”

In Simon Reeve’s 2001 book One Day in September, Ankie Rekhess recalls her husband’s idealism and attitude towards the Olympics: “[While strolling in the Olympic Village] he spotted members of the Lebanese team, and told [me] he was going to go and say hello to them… I said to him, ‘Are you out of your mind? They’re from Lebanon!’ Israel was at war with Lebanon at the time. ‘Ankie,’ Andre said calmly, ‘that’s exactly what the Olympics are all about. Here I can go to them, I can talk to them, I can ask them how they are. That is exactly what the Olympics are all about.’ So he went… towards this Lebanese team, and… asked them, ‘How were the results? I’m from Israel and how did it go?’ And to my amazement, I saw that the [Lebanese] responded and they shook hands with him and they talked to him and they asked him about his results. I’ll never forget, when he turned around and came back towards me with this huge smile on his face. ‘You see!’ said Andre excitedly. ‘This is what I was dreaming about. I knew it was going to happen!’”

Deputy FM: Intl Olympic Committee’s Rejection of Minute of Silence for Slain Athletes ‘Unacceptable’

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon on Thursday criticized the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to reject his request to hold a minute silence during the upcoming London Olympic Games, in memory of the 11 Israeli Olympic team members murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

“Unfortunately, this response is unacceptable as it rejects the central principles of global fraternity on which the Olympic ideal is supposed to rest,” Ayalon said in a statement released. “The terrorist murders of the Israeli athletes were not just an attack on people because of their nationality and religion; it was an attack on the Olympic Games and the international community. Thus it is necessary for the Olympic Games as a whole to commemorate this event in the open rather than only in a side event.”

Ayalon had sent a letter to IOC President Jacque Rogge a few weeks ago, in support of the request by Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano (widows of two of the murdered athletes) for the minute silence. “Perhaps the darkest chapter in modern Olympic Games history,” Ayalon wrote in his letter to the IOC, “is the moment where eleven Israelis, who came to compete in the greatest global sporting event, were murdered simply because of their nationality. We must remain vigilant against acts of hate and intolerance that stand in contrast to the ideals of the international Olympics.” To this end, Ayalon wrote, he “fully supports” Mrs. Spitzer and Romano in their call for a moment of silence, and reiterated the call for the IOC to “grant this wish.”

Rogge, in his response, made no actual mention of the call for a minute of silence, sidestepping the issue by writing: “Traditionally, the Israeli NOC [National Olympic Committee] hosts a reception in memory of the victims during the Games period, and the IOC is always strongly represented. The upcoming Games in London will be no exception.”

Despite brushing off the request, Rogge said, “please be assured that, within the Olympic family, the memory of the victims of the terrible massacre in Munich in 1972 will never fade away.”

Ayalon lamented that “[t]his rejection told us as Israelis that this tragedy is yours alone and not a tragedy within the family of nations. This is a very disappointing approach and we hope that this decision will be overturned so the international community as one can remember, reflect and learn the appropriate lesson from this dark stain on Olympic history.”

Ayalon transmitted Rogge’s rejection to the families and widows of the murdered athletes, informing them that the Foreign Ministry will initiate a campaign in the coming weeks to encourage the IOC to reverse its decision.

 

Olympic Committee Rejects Munich Victims’ Moment of Silence Petition

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

The International Olympic Committee apparently has rejected an online petition seeking a moment of silence for the Munich 11 at the 2012 London Olympics.

Emmanuelle Moreau, the IOC’s head of media relations, told The Jerusalem Post that the Games this summer would not have a moment of silence honoring the 11 Israeli athletes who were murdered at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.

“The IOC has paid tribute to the memory of the athletes who tragically died in Munich in 1972 on several occasions and will continue to do so,” Moreau told the Post. “However, we do not foresee any commemoration during the opening ceremony of the London Games.”

Moreau told the newspaper that the IOC is represented at a reception that the Israeli National Olympic Committee usually hosts during the Olympic Games in memory of the athletes. The Israelis were killed by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September.

The petition launched in mid-April has garnered nearly 25,000 signatures from around the world.

The Jewish Community Center of Rockland County, N.Y., a member of the JCC Association, initiated the petition with Ankie Spitzer, the widow of Israeli fencing Coach Andrei Spitzer.

“The 11 murdered athletes were members of the Olympic family; we feel they should be remembered within the framework of the Olympic Games,” Spitzer wrote in a letter accompanying the petition.

“I have no political or religious agenda. Just the hope that my husband and the other men who went to the Olympics in peace, friendship and sportsmanship are given what they deserve. One minute of silence will clearly say to the world that what happened in 1972 can never happen again. Please do not let history repeat itself.”

Petition for London Olympics Moment of Silence Honoring Munich Athletes Needs Your Signature

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

An online petition headlined “Tell the International Olympic Committee: 40 Years is Enough!” is urging the  International Olympic Committee (IOC) to honor, at the Olympic Games this summer, the memory of 11 Israeli athletes who were murdered at the 1972 Olympics in Munich by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September.

The Jewish Community Center of Rockland County, N.Y. initiated the petition. The Jewish Federations of North America is asking communities to support the petition, which is attempting to gather 1 million signatures. So far a little more than 6,500 have signed.

Written by Ankie Spitzer, the wife of Andrei Spitzer, who was killed at the Munich Olympics, the petition reads:

“I am asking for one minute of silence for the memory of the eleven Israeli athletes, coaches and referees murdered at the 1972 summer Olympics in Munich. Just one minute — at the 2012 London Summer Olympics and at every Olympic Game, to promote peace.”

“The Jewish Community Center movement is deeply involved in an effort to create a worldwide viral response to a wrong that has not been addressed since 1972,” JCC  Association President and CEO Allan Finkelstein told JTA. He added, “Let us finally get the Munich 11 acknowledgement and respect they deserve from the international sports community.”

The JCC Association has recognized the Munich 11 during every Maccabiah Games since 1995.

In an official letter to the IOC, Israeli Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Danny Ayalon also asked that the London 2012 Olympic Games begin with a minute of silence in memory of the murdered Israeli athletes.

Ayalon stressed that past events in the history of the Olympic Games, good as well as bad, should be commemorated in a fitting manner.

Ayalon said that the Olympic Games are based on the principles of equality and brotherhood and added, “We must remain vigilant against acts of hate and intolerance that stand in contrast to the ideals of the international Olympics.”

Ayalon gave a copy of the letter to Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, the widows of two of the murdered athletes, and expressed his support of a petition they initiated calling for the minute of silence.

Shavuos And Cheesecake

Wednesday, June 16th, 2004

With just two weeks left to Shavuos, our minds begin to turn to cheesecake. While for some that might mean they need a vacation, for most of us it means how much cream cheese to buy
and whether or not to make a sour cream frosting.

The reasons we eat dairy of Shavuos are many. Some say it is because Torah is compared to milk – just as a newborn child cannot survive without milk, we cannot survive without Torah. On the night of Matan Torah, we ate dairy because the laws of kashrut and shechita had just been given and there was no time to kosher the meat. Whatever the original reason was, eating dairy on Shavuos is part of our mesorah.

Cheesecake – just the sound of the word makes the mouth water – a thick layer of cheese – plain or marble, covered with chocolate, sour cream, fruits or caramel. The varieties are as
endless as your imagination. But where did it begin?

Cheesecake is believed to have originated in ancient Greece. History has the first recorded mention of cheesecake as being served to the athletes during the first Olympic Games held in 776 B.C.E. Centuries later, cheesecake appeared in America, with recipes brought over by immigrants. In 1872, American dairymen, who were trying to recreate the French cheese, Neufch?tel, invented cream cheese.

One of my favorites Yom Tov treats is caramel cheesecake. For many years, those stringent with cholov Yisrael had to make their own caramel or dulce de leche. However, this year, there is great news for caramel lovers.

Dulche de Leche produced by California Delight and distributed by D&S is now available. This incredible caramel sauce is cholov Yisrael under the Star – K and the Vaad Hakashrus of
Mechon L’Hoyroa. It is made in Argentina with all natural ingredients, including 100% cows’ milk. It is available in regular and 97% fat free. We tried the 97% fat free in the glass jar and were amazed at how delicious it was - and you absolutely could not tell that it was “diet” food. The regular version comes in a plastic container with a flip-up top for easy pouring. It is great for cheesecake, blintzes or just to flavor vanilla ice cream. This Yom Tov must can be found in your local kosher grocery or supermarket.

For those who are not bakers, or who just don’t want to patchka in the kitchen, Weiss’s Bakery offers nine delicious varieties of gourmet cheesecakes in both 10-inch and 7-inch sizes.
Last week, our offices had the opportunity to sample the marble and the halva cheesecake. I am not sure if there are enough words in the English language to describe them. The halva is without compare, and I say this as a person who has tasted many great cheesecakes. The cheese layer is very rich and sweet. The top layer is a chocolate ganache. (Ganache is a French term referring to a smooth mixture of chopped chocolate and heavy cream.) And
sprinkled on top of the chocolate are halva crumbs.

Weiss’s also has a full line of cheese delicacies for Shavuos including kreplach, babkas, cigars and their famous butter loaf. Weiss’s is in Brooklyn on 13th Ave in Boro Park and on Avenue M in Flatbush. They also have a store on Castor Avenue in Philadelphia. You can also find them on the web at weissbakery.com. Have a wonderful Yom Tov!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/food/kashrut-scene/shavuos-and-cheesecake/2004/06/16/

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