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Buenos Aires - With community participation, Argentine Federation of Maccabean Community Centers (FACCMA) and the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) launched a joint campaign against discrimination and anti-Semitism in sports.
Within the framework of the 4th Mega Israel and the celebrations of the 75th Anniversary of the State of Israel more than a thousand people gathered for a day of sports competitions, cultural encounters and Israeli folk dances.
FACCMA chose to work with the Wiesenthal Center and named the Youth Soccer Tournament the “Simon Wiesenthal Cup.”
This allowed each participating team to meet volunteers from the SWC, find out who Simon Wiesenthal was and the purpose of the SWC, and take pictures with the campaign banner. In turn, each captain read the following text to his teammates: “A sporting match is not a battle. Our opponents are not our enemies. They are people different from ours who share the same passion for the same game. Sports gives us the opportunity to meet, interact and enrich ourselves with people as valuable as us. Playing together we build a better society. Together with FACCMA and the Wiesenthal Center, we reject discrimination and anti-Semitism.”
The President of FACCMA, Esteban Bluvol, referred to the inclusion of this initiative: "Together with the Wiesenthal Center, we want to create a space to transmit that there is no place in sport to discriminate, or for bullying, to treat others badly or that they treat us badly.”
Prior to awarding the Simon Wiesenthal Cup to the winners, all community leaders and the Israeli Ambassador were invited to join the campaign.
Dr. Ariel Gelblung, Director of the Wiesenthal Center for Latin America concluded: “Sport is one of the main paths that build bridges in society. We must close it to violence and discrimination and take advantage of each and every one of the initiatives that are opened to work on it. Yesterday, 200 young people and their relatives and friends who accompanied them became messengers of these values. The work with FACCMA is just beginning and we hope to multiply it during the Maccabees Pan American Games at the end of the year.”
For further information, please contact Dr. Ariel Gelblung at +54 9 11 49695365, join the Center on Facebook, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent directly to your Twitter feed.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).