WEST NYACK, N.Y. – Ankie Spitzer will lead a live-streamed minute of silence this Sunday in Rockland, N.Y. during the opening ceremonies of the JCC Maccabi Games, to honor the 11 members of the Israeli team killed in a terrorist attack at the 1972 Munich Olympics. The minute of silence will take place between 8 – 9 p.m., August 12, during the live broadcast of the ceremonies. Spitzer, the widow of murdered fencing coach Andrei Spitzer, has relentlessly fought for a formal commemoration during the Olympics, but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) continues to deny the victim’s families’ requests.
“The actions of the IOC are unconscionable,” says Spitzer. Most recently, the IOC refused to hold a minute of silence as part of the opening ceremonies of the London Games. The decision was made despite worldwide pressure that included an online petition from the JCC Rockland – with more than 110,000 signatories representing more than 150 countries – and support from governing bodies all around the world.
Since 1995, remembering the Munich 11 has been a component of every JCC Maccabi Games: a week-long Olympic-style athletic event that brings together more than 3,500 Jewish teen athletes from around the world to compete and help promote unity and understanding. JCC Rockland took this one step further when it forged a relationship with Spitzer and the families of the victims to help bring attention to this 40-year-old issue. The JCC also chose to dedicate the 2012 Games to the murdered Israeli athletes by hosting a series of 11 events in their memory. The 11th event will be the opening ceremony of the 2012 JCC Maccabi Games.
The opening ceremonies of the JCC Maccabi Games will take place at the Eugene Levy Fieldhouse at Rockland Community College. The global community is encouraged to participate in the live stream (http://www.jccrockland.org/maccabi). In addition to the live stream, OoVoo, the video chat program providing the service for the minute of silence itself, will allow those who have downloaded the program onto their phones to chat before and after the program with up to 12 friends from anywhere in the world to help spread the word. To download the application, visit http://www.oovoo.com/download, or access via Google Play, iTunes, or the Facebook app store.