10 teams with more than 110 basketball players attended the first Maccabi Basketball Cup between 27th-30th October in Budapest where the Israeli, Danish, Swiss and Hungarian players experienced a cultural, historical, community and sport weekend. The first EMG2019 pre-tournament was opened by Motti Tichauer, the Chairman of the European Maccabi Confederation.
The board of EMG2019 was dedicated to give a general overview about the history of the Hungarian Jewry to the participants. On the first day the basketball players were taken to the audio-visual exhibition of the Holocaust Memorial Center. After the guided tour in the museum they commemorated at the Wall of Victims in the courtyard where more than 175 000 names of the half a million Hungarian citizens who died in the Holocaust are graved in the wall. The last station of the educational visit was the Páva Synagogue.
On Friday Kabbalat Shabbat in Frankel Synagogue provided a cultural and religious journey. Péter Tordai, the President of the synagogue warmly welcomed the basketball players in the beautiful hidden shul in Buda side of the capital city. The Chairman of the European Maccabi Confederation, Motti Tichauer awarded Ádam Jusztin, the President of Maccabi VAC Hungary and Péter Stern, the General Director of EMG2019 for organizing the first EMG2019 pre-tournament.
Friday was an intense sport day for the participants. They committed their time all day long to be able to provide their best in the Maccabi Basketball Cup. Two Hungarian – MTK Törökbálint and PAFC – and two Israeli – Matnas Even Yehuda 1 and Matnas Even Yehuda 2 – teams played as juniors. Six teams represented the adult leagues. We gladly welcomed three international teams: Maccabi Suisse, Asseret Israel and Hakoah Denmark and three Hungarian teams: Szent Pál Akadémia, MTK Törökbálint and naturally the own team of the local Maccabi community. Szent Pál Akadémia as a Christian sport club joined the Jewish tournament in the spirit of cooperation and acceptance. During the trainings and the entire tournament several volunteers from the Scheiber Sándor Jewish Elementary and High School and also from Maccabi VAC Hungary contributed to achieve a smooth running sport tournament.
No doubt that the first Maccabi Basketball Cup was an exciting sport experience for all the players. Check the results:
- place: MTK Törökbálint
- place: Matnas Even Yehuda 1
- place: Matnas Even Yehuda 2
- place: PAFC
MVP: Jonathan Karmil (Israel)
- place: Szent Pál Akadémia
- place: Maccabi Suisse
- place: MTK Törökbálint
- place: Asseret Israel
- place: Maccabi VAC Hungary
- place: Hakoah Denmark
MVP: David Hertig (Denmark)
András Heisler, the President of the Federation of the Jewish Communities in Hungary (MAZSIHISZ); Ádám Jusztin; Péter Stern and Angelo Della Rocca, the Sport Director of the European Maccabi Confederation awarded the players for their outstanding performance in basketball.
It was an honor to all the communities, especially Maccabi VAC Hungary and EMG2019 that they had the chance to meet personally the trainer of Hakoah Denmark who is also the sister of Dan Uzan who was the community member and security duty of the Great Synagogue in Copenhagen and tragically died in the terror attack in 2015.
The organizers of the Maccabi Basketball Cup considered important to entertain the basketball players by showing them the most famous tourist attractions of Budapest. Or Ben Simhon, the Shaliah of the European Maccabi Confederation took the junior players to a sightseeing tour in the wonderful Castle district in Buda side while the adult participants were discovering the colorful Jewish district in Pest side. After the walking tour the participants relaxed in the largest bath complex, in Széchenyi Thermal Bath. On Sunday the Israeli junior teams participated in educational and cultural sessions in the Israeli Cultural Institute.
During the first EMG2019 pre-tournament the board of EMG2019 and Motti Tichauer visited the recently inaugurated New Hidegkuti Nándor Stadium which will be the place of the Opening and Closing Ceremony of the European Maccabi Games in 2019. In the presidential skybox of the stadium they held an Organizing Committee Meeting. Motti Tichauer not only checked the potential hotels that will accommodate the participants of EMG2019, also visited the spectacular indoor sport center called Tüskecsarnok where the European Table Tennis Championship has been recently held and the Olympic Aquatics Center which will give a modern and environment-friendly home to the FINA World Aquatics Championships next year. Both of the complexes will play an important role as event venues during the European Maccabi Games.
The first Maccabi Basketball Cup ended with HaTikvah.
Check the galleries of the event!
Photos by Péter Zador
Photos by Eszter Laczkó