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Cultural News
Survivors: Quake Was God's Blessing in Disguise
Amidst the devastation and immense human suffering in Haiti, some of its people are responding with faith. As the sun begins to set over the capital city of Port-au-Prince, a few hours of Heaven comes down on a corner of the devastated city...read more
Pro-Life Leaders to Protest Abortion 'Supercenter'
Several prominent pro-life leaders are rallying in Houston, Texas on Monday to protest what will be the largest abortion clinic in the western hemisphere. ...read more
Vietnam Churches Reach Out to Country's Addicts
HO CHI MINH, Vietnam - Christians in Vietnam are reaching out to those lost in a world of drugs and despair....read more
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Music News
Multiple GRAMMY ® Nominee Gungor Selling Out Major Cities On Headline Spring Tour
With numerous honors and stellar reviews for their latest album, Ghosts Upon the Earth, it is no surprise that three-time GRAMMY ® nominated group Gungor is selling out shows...read more
New Music From The Afters To Appear in the Upcoming Feature Film October Baby
Fans looking for an early preview of new music from chart-topping foursome The Afters will have their chance later this month as the band’s song “Life Is Beautiful” is featured in the upcoming feature film October Baby. ...read more
Music Icon Steven Curtis Chapman Collects 16th GRAMMY ® Nomination for No. 1 Hit “Do Everything”
The already five-time GRAMMY ® award-winning multi-platinum selling artist Steven Curtis Chapman garnered the 16th GRAMMY ® nomination of his prolific 20+ year career....read more
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Opening Ceremonies Held for Maccabiah Games
16 July 2009

RAMAT GAN, Israel - Some 7,000 Jewish athletes from 51 countries participated in opening ceremonies for the 18th Maccabiah, often referred to as the Jewish Olympics.

Ami Ortiz, the Messianic Jewish teen who survived a terrorist bomb planted in a holiday gift package last year, accompanied the athlete carrying Puerto Rico's flag in the opening ceremonies.

The Maccabiah, which has been held every four years since 1932, includes 31 different sports.

While the athletes hail from around the world, their Jewish heritage is the glue that bonds them.

"It's unbelievably beautiful to meet so many Jews from other countries," said Ernest Strul, 33, a soccer player from Germany.

Australian squash player Irvin Gordon, 58, said broadcasting the competition "to Jewish households worldwide" is "exciting."

"This is a meeting of a diverse group of Jews with different backgrounds and social cultures, but at the end of the day, when they go to the synagogue, they pray in the same language as I do," Gordon said.

The biggest group comes from Maccabi USA, with more than 900 athletes from 41 states competing in 28 different sports.

The American athletes range from age 15 to an 81-year-old tennis player who will compete in Grand Masters Tennis.

"The Maccabiah represents the very best of Jewish athleticism, Maccabia USA general chairman Ron Carner said in a press release.

"By combining top-level competition with a sincere dedication to Jewish ideals and the people and land of Israel, we are deeply proud to be representing the US in these historic Games," he said.

Source: Haaretz

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