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Trip Marked 50 Years of Israeli-German Relations

One of the world’s leading women’s soccer teams, FFC Turbine Potsdam, visited Israel on January 18-23 to mark 50 years since the establishment of German-Israeli diplomatic relations. B’nai B’rith World Center Trustee and B’nai B’rith Frankfurt Lodge President Ralph Hofmann initiated the visit that was organized by the World Center.

The team’s trip was a milestone for women’s soccer in Israel and provided an opportunity to improve the local sporting level, while also increasing interest in women’s soccer and improving ties between the two countries. The Israel Ministry of Culture and Sport, the German and Israeli Ministries of Foreign Affairs, the Israel Ministry of Tourism, the Embassy of Germany in Israel, the Netanya municipality, the Israeli Embassy in Germany and the Israel Football Association partnered with B’nai B’rith to realize this ambitious project.

Turbine Potsdam is the most accomplished women’s soccer team ever to visit Israel – is a top team in the women’s Bundesliga, the professional soccer league in Germany, and is one of the leading teams in Europe. Founded in 1971 in what was then East Germany (GDR), Turbine Potsdam won the GDR league six times in the 1980s. Since reunification, the Turbine Potsdam has claimed the league title in 2004, 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2012. They won the German Football Federation (DFB) Cup in 2004, 2005 and 2006, and won the UEFA Women’s Cup in 2005 and UEFA Women’s Champions League in 2010. Turbine Potsdam also took home the DFB Hall Cup in 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2013 and 2014. A number of team players served on Germany’s under-20 national team that won the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup this year in Canada. Several are also members of the German national team. At home the team enjoys a large devoted fan base. Bernd Schroder, who serves as a volunteer, has coached the team for the entirety of its 43 years of existence.

The team’s visit to Israel included an official friendly match with the Israeli national Under-19 team, a visit to the Wingate Institute, Israel’s national sports academy, training clinics and visits to significant national and historical sites including Jerusalem’s Old City, Masada, Haifa and Yad Vashem.

Thirty players and professional staff along with two representatives of the German television station RBB – none of whom had visited Israel before – participated in the mission.

To view photos and videos form the visit go to our Facebook page