‣ Maccabi Ra’anana’s preseason tour against three NBA teams has been criticized due to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.
‣ Despite personal tragedies and sadness, the coach and players are determined to complete the tour to inspire hope for Israeli children.
‣ The Brooklyn Nets coach appreciates the opportunity to learn more about the conflict and show compassion.
The friendly match was arranged by the Consulate with the @BrooklynNets. The stadium was full as people gathered together in an incredible outpouring of support.
— Israel in New York (@IsraelinNewYork)
Maccabi Ra’anana, an Israeli basketball team, embarked on a preseason tour against NBA teams amidst the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. Many people questioned the appropriateness of playing games during a time of war, but coach Yehu Orland expressed his desire to complete the tour and inspire Israeli children. Despite the tragic loss of his friend, Eli Ginsberg, who was called up and lost his life in the war, Orland aimed to create hope for the youth back home.
With a heavy heart, Orland confessed to shedding a few tears during Israel’s national anthem before the match against the Brooklyn Nets. However, he found solace in seeing smiles around him, particularly from the Israeli players. For Ra’anana forward Jonathan Mor, basketball took a backseat as his brothers served on the war’s frontlines. Yet, the game brought some joy to the team, who had not seen smiles in days.
Even Nets coach Jacque Vaughn acknowledged the significance of engaging with the Israeli team and gaining a deeper understanding of the conflict. He emphasized the importance of compassion and education surrounding the situation. Despite the challenges and personal struggles faced by the team, lead sponsor Jeff Rosen reaffirmed their commitment to complete the tour. Rosen stated that despite the backdrop of a ferocious war, Ra’anana was proud to promote friendship and peaceful activities with their friends and allies.
The match between Maccabi Ra’anana and the Brooklyn Nets, arranged by the Consulate with the Nets, received overwhelming support with a packed stadium. Noa Kirel’s rendition of the Israeli national anthem, Hatikvah, resonated with the audience and symbolized unity during these trying times. Despite the controversies surrounding the tour, it served as a means of uplifting spirits and shining a ray of hope amidst the darkness of war.