JNF dedicates a memorial to the Yarkon Maccabiah victims
The Jewish National Fund has dedicated a memorial wall at the section of the Yarkon River where four Australians lost their lives when a bridge collapsed in 1997 during the 15th Maccabiah.
Reports from Israel state that in spite of a special project to clean up the polluted river funded by the JNF, the waters remain chemically dangerous.
As more than 400 Australians prepare for the 18th Maccabiah in July, the reports state that water authorities remain sceptical that the JNF plan will be effective and that furthermore pollution continues to enter the river from sewage plants.
In 1997, a specially-built bridge across the river collapsed as Australian athletes were making their approach to the Maccabiah Opening Ceremony in Ramat Gan. Some athletes ingested the poisened waters of the river and four, Warren Zines, Elizabeth Sawicki, Greg Small and Yetta Bennett perished.
Small’s son Joshua will compete in this year’s 18th Maccabiah in the same sport as his late father…ten pin bowling.
Tom Goldman, Vice-President of Maccabi Australia, told J-Wire: “It’s regrettable that the memorial could not have been dedicated in July with the full team present, but we understand that it is appropriate that it should coincide with the current JNF mission to Israel.”