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2014-06-13 digital edition

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June 13, 2014  RSS feed
World News

Text: T T T

Couple teams up to connect with Jewish fans at World Cup

A soccer-loving Argentinian-Jewish couple believes the World Cup tournament in Brazil can team up Jewish soccer fans from around the world while connecting them to local Jewish culture – and to each other.

Mariano Schlez and his wife Paola Salem of Buenos Aires are organizing a series of special activities for Jews attending the World Cup, which is expected to attract more than 1.5 million people to a dozen cities across Brazil during the global soccer tournament, which began June 12 and concludes July 13. Among them, thousands of Jewish soccer fans from many nations, including Israel, are expected.

“If even 1 percent of all the visitors to the World Cup are Jewish, this will be an incredible opportunity to connect each other,” said Mariano.

With the support of the Schusterman Foundation and its #MakeitHappen microgrant program, Mariano and Paola formed “Jewish Connect at the World Cup 2014.” The group, on Facebook and Twitter as Jewish Football Fans, shares information about World Cup venues, while creating a meeting place for ticket seekers, host families, medical care and more.

But beyond acting as an online soccer fan meeting place, the group also details local Shabbat candlelighting times, places to secure kosher food, synagogues, community centers, Jewish attractions, and details about special Jewish events the group is organizing for the World Cup, Mariano said.

“Jewish Connect at the World Cup” is also aiming to summon volunteers from Jewish communities in all the Brazilian World Cup venues to form “committees of young Jewish sports enthusiasts,” who will act as “connectors” for visiting Jews, Mariano said.

Those planning to travel to Brazil for the World Cup who want a special Jewish experience and want to participate in these special events are encouraged to contact the group. To learn more, go to Twitter: @ mundialjudaico, and Facebook: JFF-Judíos Fanáticos del fútbol que viajan a Brasil.

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