Leeds Uni Jewish football team raised funds for Ukraine

A loss for Hapoel Hyde Park was still a big win in their appeal to provide aid to Ukraine

The Leeds Jewish Student Football Team, Hapoel Hyde Park, kicked off this Thursday at 4pm against Birmingham’s Maccabi Selly Oak at Weetwood park. Marking one of the first inter-university Jewish sporting events in this magnitude for several years, Hapoel Hyde Park aims to use football as a voice in aid of World Jewish Relief’s Ukraine Appeal.

Team captains Jamie Hamburger of Maccabi Selly Oak and Noah Meszarich of Hapoel Hyde Park shake hands right before kick off (Credits: Alan Benstock)

Initially targeting to raise £500, the team was happy to announce that they reached their goal earlier than expected. So, three days before the actual game took place, they decided to raise their target to £1000 in total.

Event’s organisers Aaaron Black and Jack Isaac with head of Social Sport Leagues for Leeds University Mark Stevens in the middle (Credits: Alan Benstock)

The event itself was free to attend; however, donations were strongly encouraged, with every student attending the match also receiving a voucher for one free drink.

The press conference ahead of the match

Proceeding to the game, the organisers Aaron Black and Jack Isaac welcomed everyone in the The View bar around 3pm and announced the key note speaker Anatole Ferera.

Anatole, a second year chemistry and maths student of Leeds University held an emotional and educational speech about the impact of the Holocaust on the Jewish community, emphasising that the past must not be forgotten so that in the present, we do not stay silent but act when we see people in need. By relating history with the here and now, Anatole raised awareness of the current situation in Ukraine and underlined that when we, as a community, stand together, we are strong and now is the time for us to stand with Ukraine.

Keynote speaker Anatole Ferera

After the speech, everyone headed outside to see the match between Leeds and Birmingham. It started with both teams standing together in a minute of silence for Yom Hashoah, a day which marks the remembrance of the terrible atrocities of the Holocaust and given the specific date of the match (April 28th), an even bigger significance.

Minute of silence for Yom Hashoah (Credits: Alan Benstock)

Come on boys!!

After a gripping 90 minute game, the score ended 2-1 to Maccabi Selly Oak, marking only a small loss for Leeds’ Hapoel Hyde Park compared to the huge amount of donations the team was able to raise for a good cause.

With their impressive project, Hapoel Hyde Park raised more than double the amount of their initial £500 target, having so far reached a total of £1208 and expecting to reach a total of £1500 – all to be donated to Ukraine.

For everyone wanting to get involved and support such an outstanding project, donations are still being collected for another week. You can donate here.

Maccabi Selly Oak wins 2:1 (Credits: Alan Benstock)

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