It’s virtually impossible to put a price on what the Maccabiah Games means to most Jewish sportsmen and women, but the $1m donation from Stuart Weitzman is simply jaw-dropping.
For some, the cost of the Games has spiralled out of control and one can only salute the generosity of the man who has made his millions in the shoe industry. What a mensch.
Indeed Weitzman’s gesture reminded me just how much I got out of my Maccabiah experience when I represented Great Britain at the 2005 Games, and managed to help the cricket team bring home bronze.
The ‘Maccabiah experience’ is something you really need to suck in, soak up and keep for life. That is precisely the impact it had on Weitzman and, dare I say, hundreds of others.
For me, there was no bigger thrill than testing myself against top-level Jewish athletes from across the globe. But the two-week extravaganza is about more than just the sport. As Weitzman said, it really is a “life-changing event” where you can make friends for life, learn valuable lessons on heritage and culture, and in one or two cases, even find your future partner.
In terms of an overall experience, it really ticks all the boxes.
* The dreaded Peter Morrison Trophy travel bug has struck again. Faithfold A were the latest to be hit by the curse as they returned from Manchester empty-handed. The club had high hopes of becoming the first Maccabi League team to win four pieces of silverware in a season, but with four players unable to travel, for one reason or another, they went out with a whimper. Stalwart striker Daryl Phillips told me: “We didn’t turn up, but it’s a wake-up call.”
With all three Manchester teams at home in the quarter-finals, there’s still a strong chance of an all-northern final.
But the Manchester defeat is history now for Faithfold manager Zuriel Solomon and his team will be looking to book their place in the final of the London FA Sunday Intermediate Cup on Sunday when they take on Convoys.
It would be fair to say the Superhoops know nothing about the team who play in Division One of the Metropolitan Sunday League. Convoys beat Pendayia 6-3 in extra-time at the quarter-finals stage and it could be another close call. Good luck lads.
* Former Tottenham Hotspur heroes Paul Miller, John Lacy, Tony Galvin, Justin Edinburgh and Darren Anderton have been pencilled in to take part in the latest British Friends of Boys Town Jerusalem fund-raising football match. The charity game takes place at Kingsbury Town’s Silver Jubilee Park on March 10.