With a narrow 1-0 win against 1. FC Novi Pazar, TuS Makkabi Berlin spent a historic period. The only Jewish sports club in Berlin is promoted to the Oberliga for the first time and will be competing far beyond the city limits in the coming season: in Rostock, Neustrelitz and Torgelow, for example.
Michael Koblenz, sports director of Makkabi Berlin, said after the anti-Semitic incidents at the conference game between 1. FC Union and Makkabi Haifa last October that anti-Semitic incidents occur on soccer fields “almost every weekend”. In contrast to the European Cup, insults and assaults in the lower divisions usually do not generate such sympathy and publicity.
Hopefully Makkabi Berlin will attract a greater amount of attention as they move up to the fifth division. What can be an important step to make Jewish life in Germany more visible.
As part of the Makkabi organization, the Berliners also want to make a significant contribution to understanding between Jews and non-Jews through sport.
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This has been successful in club life for a long time: numerous nationalities and religious views are represented in the first men’s team. As a close-knit team, the players have made an important sporting statement.
By defying the recurring hostilities and bullying, they sent an important signal for cosmopolitanism.