The FIFA World Cup will kick off this Thursday in Brazil, and will likely dominate conversations among soccer fans worldwide for roughly a month. Jerusalem-based animation studio Rogatka has released a short video explaining the celebrated event for the less informed.
The animated video provides a brief history of the event, including the stories of the wars started as a result of politically charged games - notably the 1969 Football War between El Salvador and Honduras.
The clip is part of the studio's "in a nutshell" series which explains various history and trivia.
While soccer is arguably Israel's most popular sport and the World Cup is followed closely by many Israelis, the Jewish state was represented in the famous sporting event only one time - in 1970, when it was knocked out in the group stage round, drawing two matches with Sweden and Italy and losing one to Uruguay.
That appearance occurred when Israel was still in the Asian division; since then, pressure from Arab nations caused the Israeli team to be switched to the more competitive European division where it has never qualified for the World Cup.
In the absence of an Israeli connection, Mariano Schlez and his wife Paola Salem of Argentina are attempting to create a new Jewish connection to the World Cup. The two will be organizing special activities for Jews attending the soccer event, which will attract thousands of Jewish fans among the total 1.5 million attendees.
The project, called "Jewish Connect at the World Cup 2012," has actively been arranging contacts through social websites, and spreading information such as where to obtain kosher food during the World Cup, and where to find synagogues and Jewish attractions.
Local Jewish groups will also organize events such as Shabbat dinners and pickup soccer games as part of the project.