Ice rink in Metula
Photo: Menachem Sinai
Ice hockey stadium in central Israel?
Jewish American businessman, Canadian philanthropist planning to set up first Olympic ice rink in Netanya, Rishon Lezion or Bat Yam
Israelis wishing to go ice skating or compete in ice hockey are forced to travel all the way to the northern town of Metula, but this may soon change thanks to a Jewish American businessman and a Canadian philanthropist.


The two are holding talks with at least three cities in a bid to build the first Olympic ice stadium in central Israel, including Netanya, Rishon Lezion and Bat Yam.


The popularity of the ice hockey sport in Israel has been growing in recent years. Sidney Greenberg is a Jewish Canadian philanthropist who supports this sport in Israel.


He has been funding a Jewish-Arab ice hockey school in northern Israel with hundreds of thousands of dollars and sponsored the recent participation of children from a Bat Yam hockey club at an international tournament in Quebec, in which they won a gold medal.


Greenberg managed to convince Len Silver, a Jewish businessman from Los Angeles who specializes in the establishment and management of ice hockey stadiums, to set up such an arena in Israel.


Silver has been negotiating in the past few months with the Netanya, Rishon Lezion and Bat Yam municipalities.


The Netanya Municipality said in response, "We would be glad to see such a unique project being built in the city. The Rishon Lezion Municipality said, "It's a nice idea which is being positively considered."


The city of Bat Yam said in a statement, "This was the municipality's initiative, which is in advanced stages. It would be our pleasure to have the stadium built here, especially as Bat Yam has an outstanding ice hockey team."



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