Mortgage Broker Richard Maize Defends Israel and Supports Young Jewish Athletes

10Oct09
Co-founders of the Richard Maize Foundation

Co-founders of the Richard Maize Foundation

Richard Maize is a respected mortgage broker from the Los Angeles area. He and his wife, Rochelle, co-founded the prestigious Richard Maize Foundation, from which they make sizeable contributions to local causes and international human rights organizations.

Israel Human Rights

The most recent endeavor Richard Maize has participated in is in reaction to a UN commissioned report that has been proven to be very biased against Israel. Although normally highly involved with international human rights issues, this report was so blatantly biased and slanderous that he decided to take part. He contributed money to create powerful websites to combat the lies of the UN report. Those websites were so persuasive that they were thought to have played a part in the UN Human Rights Commission delaying a discussion on the report.

Richard Maize stated that his web site is dedicated to examining Israel’s Human Rights record and explaining its Basic Law, which defines and upholds the rights of all its citizens and those of other countries – including the refugees pouring into Israel to escape persecution and death in their home countries and by countries through which they pass seeking sanctuary.

“Israel is one of the few countries which has opened its gates despite the many difficulties – social and financial – which are a result of this humanitarian action,” Richard Maize states.

Committee of 18 and the Maccabiah Games

Although this urgent aid was to defend Israel as a humanitarian democracy that values human life, Richard Maize was involved in a totally different aspect of Israeli life only a few months ago when he was appointed a member of the Committee of 18 which supported the 18th Maccabiah World Games that took place in Israel earlier this year. 

The Committee, composed of 18 members, committed themselves to raising sufficient funds for the Maccabiah Games. The important group’s members include representatives from the entertainment industry, leading businessmen and well-known community leaders. With the goal of raising the status of the Maccabiah Games, they agreed to work towards the goal of raising more than $1.5 million. The available funds were divided between the 350 athletes who would not have been able to participate in the games without aid from the Committee of 18. 

Even though the youth had trained for quite a long time for the Games, their families did not have the funds involved in traveling to Israel and participating in the events. The money raised by the Committee of 18 sponsored delegates from communities in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union Republics, India and Latin America. 

“It was truly an honor and privilege for me to become an active working member of this dedicated group of renowned leaders who came together as a small, but powerful force, to highlight the importance of the 18th Maccabiah Games,” said Richard Maize.

Maize continued: “I am firmly committed to do everything I can, personally and through my Richard Maize Foundation, to support the committee in its mission to raise awareness for future Maccabiah games and ensure that deserving athletes are afforded the opportunity to compete in Israel.” 

Membership to the Committee of 18 is by invitation only. Every one of the 18 members hold equal status, so they are all said to be a co-chair of the committee that holds no elected officers. 

The Committee of 18 and Richard Maize were able to increase the exposure for the Games by obtaining commercial sponsors, finding sources of television opportunities with large agencies in Los Angeles and landed some brand name clothing sponsorships and endorsements.

Teenagers Tour Israel

Teenage athletes from Diaspora countries came together for over two weeks of sports competitions, traveling around Israel, meeting Israelis and hanging out with their fellow athletes as participants of the Maccabiah Games. 

The general experience was the trip of a lifetime for these young sportsmen. They were guided around to vital sites in Israel including the Western Wall, Yad Vashem, Masada, the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee, making the Maccabiah Games a large tourism campaign for Israel. The events attracted close to 18,000 supporters and tourists, increasing Israel’s economy by approximately $80 million. 

Deemed as the largest display of international Jewish fellowship and solidarity, the Richard Maize Foundation was a generous supporter of these young athletes and Richard was happy to support positive public relations for Israel. 

As members of the Committee of 18, each of the co-chairs were invited to attend the Maccabiah Games with their families as VIP guests, tour Israel, and enjoy the festivities. Each member enjoyed viewing the sporting events from the grandstands, cheering each of the youth on to do their best.

Israel Hosts Young Athletes

The Committee of 18 also served as an official advisor to Mr. Eyal Tiberger, Director-General and Executive Director of the 18th Maccabiah Games during the games, offering well respected professional assistance and advice concerning entertainment, media, digital public relations, marketing and advertising for the event. The Maccabiah Games are a quadrennial sports, educational, and cultural event that occurs in Israel. This past year Israel played host to some 3,000 young athletes in what is said to be the third largest sporting event in the world. The sportsmen, aged 15-18, included 2,000 masters, 5,000 open athletes and Paralympics, with more than 2,000 Israeli athletes on the team. More than 400,000 Jews in 400 different organizations located in 60 countries take part in the Maccabiah Games.

Before leaving the U.S. to attend the Games in Israel, Richard Maize hosted some of the members of the Committee of 18 at his home in Beverly Hills. One of those attending was Los Angeles resident and entertainer Kirk Douglas. As Douglas related, “I am very excited about these games, because sport is an international language that brings people together, not tears them apart.” 

During their time in Israel, Richard Maize and the Committee of 18 also joined Israel Defense Forces pilots and soldiers from the Israel Air Force at the Tel-Nof Air Force Base in Israel. 

“This was my first visit to Israel, and I was amazed by the warmth and strength of these Jews who built a Jewish state and turned a barren desert into a green paradise. But what struck me more than anything was how tiny and resilient this democratic state is. That the people of Israel have suffered and bled from hundreds of barbaric Islamic terror attacks. The Rochelle and Richard Maize Foundation is now exploring how we can provide assistance to the victims of Islamic terrorism both in the U.S. and in Israel,” said Maize.

European Genocide – the Holocaust

Richard Maize says he was “very moved by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, the Western Wall in Jerusalem and Masada by the Dead Sea. Tears came to my eyes at Yad Vashem. I think it is very difficult for many Jews and non-Jews to actually comprehend the genocide that took place in Europe. And for this reason we should all be very proud of this Jewish state and the Israel Defense Forces and other Israel security forces which were established to protect Israel.”

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