How it all began

Posted by Asaf Peled on

The Maccabi Israel Center is the oldest of the sports organizations in Israel, when it was established in late Tel Aviv in 1912 and has since led moves to develop sports in Eretz Israel, including the establishment of the Eretz Israel Olympic Committee, and has been a major factor in sports development since the establishment of Israel. Prior to the establishment of the center, there were sports clubs in Eretz Israel, which arrived after several years of activity in the establishment of an umbrella organization that led sports in Israel at the national level.
The first sports club in Eretz Israel - "Rishon Lezion" Jaffa, later Maccabi Tel Aviv - was founded in 1906 by the doctor Dr. Leo Cohen, a doctor of the Hebrew Gymnasium Jaffa (later the Herzliya Gymnasium) who was previously the defense organizer in Kishinev, and Yehezkel Hankin. There were 25 gymnasts in the association and they were provided with tension, parallels and weights. The activity in this sports association was based on the activity of the Zionist sports associations in Europe built according to the German tradition of gymnastics and muscle stretching as a non-competitive activity.
The club has undergone a change of year since its inception, when Zvi Orlov (Nesheri), an immigrant from Russia, was appointed a special gymnastics and physical education teacher at the Hebrew Gymnasium in Jaffa. Under his supervision a beam was installed in the school yard on two high pillars and from it hung ladders, ropes and swings. The first organized sports competitions in the history of the old settlement were held in the streets between 1908 and 1914, when the first event was held on Passover 1908 in early coordination with "Rishon Lezion" Jaffa, and lasted one day. Nesheri, named "Rishon Lezion" Jaffa, won the running competition (the other participants who did not come from this association were independent and did not represent organized associations). In 1908, the association had 45 men, 22 women and 25 youths. On Saturdays the members of the association would go for a walk or sail on the sea.
In addition to the activity in Tel Aviv, other Maccabi sports associations in the Land of Israel began to form. On December 29, 1912, the Maccabi Histadrut was established in Eretz Israel at the Herzliya Gymnasium with the participation of 33 delegates from 10 different associations from various localities in Israel: Petah Tikva, Rehovot, Jerusalem, Ness Ziona, Rishon Lezion, Ekron, Gedera, Beer Tuvia, Zichron Yaacov And Tel Aviv. The goals set by Maccabi: Hebrew language, Hebrew work, Hebrew preservation, and its slogan: "A healthy mind in a healthy body".
In addition to the growing sports activity, his friends were among the Hebrew forces who cared about the security of the residents, as described by Dr. Moshe Rigai (Rieger), a graduate of the 4th class at the Herzliya Gymnasium and active in Maccabi): We bought the guns from the Turkish soldiers who fled the battle. " Later, the movement's representatives in the Hebrew battalions participated in the First World War, formed the "Maccabi" company in the Jewish Brigade in World War II, participated in the training recruited in the Palmach and participated in the battles for the rebirth of the State of Israel.
Over the years, the activity has ranged from sporting excellence, education and instilling values, training leadership in the various national institutions, including the defense system and the organization of the Maccabiah Games (especially before the establishment of the state in 1932 and 1935). Maccabi "and bring prosperity for many years.

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