The first such game in 70 years. ZKS vs. Makabi
On a hot, Sunday afternoon ZKS Krakow (Jewish Sports Club Krakow) hosted Makabi Warszawa. Even though it was an amateur match, the emotions were high.
In such games, the outcome recedes into the background, inventive moves and missed shots are not as important because something different is at stake. "It’s a declaration of support for the environment, which until now didn’t have representation in many aspects of social life" said Jakub Czuprynski, initiator of ZKS Krakow, before the game.
Here played Makkabi / Krakow
The location of the game - a stadium, Nadwiślan at 20 Koletek Street, wasn’t accidental. Before World War II, on this same field, Makkabi Krakow held its games. "Jewish sport before the war was a very important part of Jewish life in general” said Rabbi Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of Poland. "Not only will the game be played on a symbolic field, it will also be the first meeting between two Jewish teams in Krakow for over 70 years. The winner will be the best Jewish team in the world” added a smiling Schudrich before the game.
Makkabi Warszawa proved to be the better team. In the third period, the tide turned in their favor (they were losing 0-2 and again 2-3) as they came back to win 5-3. The teams consisted of amateurs - staff, members, and volunteers of Jewish institutions. They were supported by fans from the local Krakow and Warsaw communities. Cheers supporting both teams were mixed with conversations in Polish, English, and Yiddish.
If there’s sport, there’s life
Schudrich, "This game is for me a great event. If we have a chance to renew Jewish sport traditions here under Wawel castle and Krakow is playing against Warsaw, then this is amazing. This is a true sign of the revival of Jewish life in Poland."
The organizer of the game spoke in a similar tone: "If there’s sport, there’s life" emphasized Czuprynski.