Israel Celebrates Sport

Then and Now

Ninety years ago, before the establishment of the State of Israel, the first Maccabiah was held. Since then, and to the present day, tens of thousands of athletes have participated in the Maccabiah Games. The second largest sports event in the world, it has also been called “The Jewish Olympics.” Historical moments in sport that took place during the Maccabiah Games are interwoven with stories of the Zionist enterprise. The Maccabiah strengthens the relationships between its participants and the State of Israel in all its diversity and complexity. As then also today, the Maccabiah is a celebration of international sport.

The exhibition, “Israel Celebrates Sport – Then and Now”, exhibited in anticipation of the 21st Maccabiah that will be held in July 2022, presents pairs of photographs depicting inspiring moments of sport. Each pair, comprised of a historical image alongside a contemporary photo, emphasizes the continuity of the sporting tradition, the growing strength of the place of sports in Israeli culture, and the values underlying the Maccabiah – fairness, mutual respect, the victory of body and spirit, and the pursuit of excellence.

All historic photographs displayed in the exhibition were colourated using innovative technological applications based on deep learning technology developed by the Israeli hi-tech company, MyHeritage, that specializes in research on family history and in building family trees. In addition to the advanced colouration, the photographs were edited in a process that included sharpening, damage repair and restoration of the original colours of colour images that faded over the years.

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