Twelve players, twelve coaches, Israeli on the Dutch football field

Arsenal-8 voetbalteam van Israeli in NL

Summer, Football, Longing…

Being a Documentary producer means having lots of patience… Sometimes it took years before a documentary was realized. Most of the times, actually. But there were a few documentaries that happened just like that.

“Arsenal-8, Football for the Soul” was one of those.
We were discussing a few ideas for new documentaries with the commissioning editor of the NPS (now called NPO), back in 1995, and none of our ideas took his fancy. Finally, we said in passing, that we just recently heard about a group of elderly Israelis that play football together, and maybe there was a story there…

His eyes lit up and right away he said – we need a sports documentary for our summer series – and this is a great story! His enthusiasm meant that we were supposed to produce the documentary within one month, and so we did.

a story of longing and hopes

And he was right about this being a great story, a story of longing and hopes.

Those funny guys – some of them well into their fifties – were playing football in Israeli tempo: very emotional, very ambitious, and full of humor. They joined the Dutch Arsenal club in order to climb up in tournaments (which they didn’t), but insisted on staying the ‘Israeli group’ because that was the single opportunity for them to meet weekly, speak Hebrew, and feel at home.

small letters

The documentary was received very well in the Netherlands, and even better in Israel. I was told that it was broadcast almost every month, on the documentary channel 8. Well, that was because we didn’t notice the small letters in the contract, that said they could broadcast it for an unlimited time..

Of course, we didn’t really care. For us the most important thing was for the message to go through!

Jom Ha’Voetbal

Circumciser in action

Arsenal-8 is joining the annual Jom Ha’Voetbal in Amstelveen. Teams from all over Europe are competing in this tournament, a major event in the Jewish community. This English guy joins the team called Circumcisers…

Watch now

If you’d like to watch the whole 50 minutes documentary “Arsenal-8, Football for the Soul” – here’s the link.

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Stichting Rainbow is celebrating this year its 25th anniversary, 25 years of social and cultural activities.

As part of the celebrations, I’m happy to share with you all the unknown stories about our projects – and the impact they created on people’s lives. I’m Erga Netz, the initiator and director of Stichting Rainbow. In our early projects, I was the producer and editor and later became the director, too.

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Stichting Rainbow is now headed by a board of 3 Israelis who live in the Netherlands:

Nir Geva, Gilad Nezer, and Yankale Bader, and our activities in the past years focused on Israeli cultural and societal activities for the Israeli, Dutch Jews, and the general Dutch public.


cover: Arsenal-8 team, photo from the movie Football for the Soul

Over Erga Netz 13 Artikelen
Erga Netz is a cultural entrepreneur, creating and managing cultural events, documentaries, music and theater shows; actress and video-artist; games designer and author.

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