The Los Angeles Dodgers will again underwrite the baseball tournament at the Maccabiah games in Israel, according to an announcement from the Maccabiah Organizing Committee.
Frank McCourt, though occupied with ownership of the team and a contentious divorce, said, “Our sponsorship hugely enhanced the baseball experience at the 18th Maccabiah Games in 2009, and the Dodgers are proud to continue our close association with the Jewish Olympics.
“We are delighted to participate in spreading the baseball message internationally and eagerly look forward with all Jewish and Israeli fans to seeing great ball at the 2013 Maccabiah.”
On the Israeli side, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also put aside a few other concerns and pledged that his government will provide substantial support for the next Maccabiah, scheduled for July 16-30, 2013.
On the local end, a committee of 36 well-heeled Angelenos is again swinging into action, after raising $1.8 million for the 2009 Maccabiah. The money went mainly to subsidize the participation of athletes from smaller Jewish communities around the world.
Steve Soboroff, who organized the Los Angeles efforts, said that, as previously, local supporters have pledged $50,000 each to serve as “consultants” for the 2013 event.
In addition, former Mayor Richard Riordan will again sponsor the Maccabiah chess competition and the Jewish Life Television network will broadcast highlights of the games.
In a related development, the main venue for the next Maccabiah may be Jerusalem’s expanded Teddy Kollek stadium, rather than the traditional Ramat Gan facility near Tel Aviv.
Some 8,000 athletes, among them junior and senior competitors, participated in the 2009 Maccabiah, setting a new attendance record, Maccabiah executive director Eyal Tiberger said during a recent visit to Los Angeles.
They came from 52 countries, and organizers hope to add Cuba, Morocco, Burma and Singapore to the 2013 list.