Shabbat Talks - Munich Memory Project

Tags: Jewish Unity, Zionism, Nationalism, Activities, Munich Massacre, Conversation Starters

During the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage and murdered by the Black September terrorist organization.

For 22 hours the world watched to see what would happen. During the standoff and after the deaths of the athletes – the Games continued.

In 2012, in honor of the 40th anniversary of this tragic event, organizations, communities, families from around the world sought recognition of this event by requesting that the International Olympic Committee approve 1 minute of silence in their memory at the opening ceremony of the 2012 games. The request was denied.

The Israel Forever Foundation Munich Memory Project was designed to continue the momentum of all those who strived to actualize the moment of silence campaign and keep it going from year to year. Not to speak is to speak and, it is from this place that we raise our voices to say that this event must not be forgotten and that it is our responsibility to make sure that the legacy of the athletes lives on!


  1. Have you ever heard about the Munich Massacre? What do you know about it? What do you think is the most significant information that should be conveyed as a part of remembering this event?
  2. Do you think that international attitude towards this tragedy, at the time it occurred and, in the years, since, would be different had the victims belonged to a different nation?
  3. What do you think about the moment of silence campaign? Do you think participating in a yearly ceremony commemorating this horrific event would change the connection you and people younger than yourself have to Israel?
  4. How do you think the Olympic Committee should address the request to honor the memories of the murdered athletes?
  5. Historically the Olympics have been a place where nations, even warring nations, could get together, putting politics aside and focus entirely on Sports. The Olympic Games were a place of peace. How do you think this event affected that historic tradition? Do you see a connection between the Munich Massacre and the cultural boycott promoted by the BDS movement?
  6. During the hostage crisis there were conflicting desires within the Israeli government – some thought that Israelis should intervene and rescue the hostages. Others determined that it would be better to use diplomatic channels, to pressure the German government to handle the situation. Ultimately, the fate of the athletes was left in the hands of the German police who failed in the rescue attempt. How do you think this affected Israeli attitude about Jewish security in Israel and abroad?
  7. Less than three decades after the Holocaust Jews were murdered on German soil because they were Jewish. How do you think this affected Holocaust survivors and their children who helplessly watched this horrific event unfold?
  8. Did you know that Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority helped plan and finance the Munich Massacre? What do you think this means for Israel’s hopes for peace?
  9. What lessons do you think Jews everywhere should learn from the Munich Massacre? Do you think what Israelis learned is different from what Jews in the diaspora learned? If so, why?
  10. Do you think this historic event holds lessons for non-Jews? What should they learn from this event?

How Are You Commemorating the Lives Lost in the 1972 Olympics?

Take a Look at The Munich Memory Project Today!

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Tags: Jewish Unity, Zionism, Nationalism, Activities, Munich Massacre, Conversation Starters