For the first time, an Israeli rowing team is being represented in the Head of the Charles Regatta, the world’s largest two-day rowing event.
The event was being held Saturday and Sunday on the Charles River in Cambridge, Mass.
The annual event attracts over 11,000 athletes from around the world and 400,000 spectators who line the banks and bridges of the river near Harvard University.
The Israeli team consists of Irina (Roni) Vorvoreanu, Moran Samuel, Daniel Rutenberg, and Reuven Magnagey, along with their coach, Robert Nuckowski.
Due to injuries and eligibility issues, only Vorvoreanu raced in the event. The 16-year-old has rowed for Israel at the junior world championships. Samuel is a para-rowing champion who before suffering a stroke at 24 was a member of the Israeli national women’s basketball team.
The team’s participation was arranged through a collaboration between Israeli and American businesspeople, the Boston chapter of the Israeli American Council, Combined Jewish Philanthropies and the Consulate General of Israel to New England.
Samuel and other team members were scheduled to speak at a public program in a Boston synagogue and attended a Brandeis University screening of “Two Who Dared,” a film by Joukowsky’s brother, Artemis, about Joukowsky’s grandparents, who rescued thousands of Jews during World War II.