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Farewell to our largest ever Maccabiah contingent!

On Sunday, May 21st, the community came together to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 1997 Maccabiah bridge tragedy and to farewell the 2017 Maccabiah team.

There was a huge turnout at the Moriah College auditorium, as 600 people turned up to remember the past and celebrate the future. The audience comprised of Maccabi & communal leaders, local politicians, 1997 team alumni and family members and of course many members of the 2017 team and their families.

As Maccabi NSW hosted the event, Lauren Ehrlich as Maccabi NSW Vice-President opened proceedings and Daniel Garb from Fox Sports did a sterling job as MC. Special guest speaker, the Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP, who was a member of the 1997 Australian team, recounted his experiences at Maccabiah and gave his best wishes to the team on behalf of the Australian Government. As part of the commemoration component, Adam Zines spoke on behalf of the families of the victims while family members lit four candles to commemorate the souls we so tragically lost.

As the ceremony moved onto the Team Farewell, we heard from Barry Smorgon OAM, President of Maccabi Australia and Tom York OAM, Head of Delegation in 2017. Then the crowd was captivated by the incredible story of another guest speaker, Paralympian Wheelchair Tennis Player Adam Kellerman, who recounted the obstacles he overcame to reach the sporting heights he has achieved and offered some words of advice for the 2017 athletes, while sharing his experiences on competing at the 2013 Maccabiah Games.

Another highlight of the night was the announcement of Olympian Sean Bloch as Team Captain & Flag Bearer. Sean called all of his teammates to join him on stage and it was quite a sight to see hundreds of the 2017 athletes standing as one singing Hatikva.

It was a truly emotional and uplifting evening; everyone in attendance felt the significance of past events while also feeling excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for the 2017 team and Maccabi as an organisation.

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