Testimonials

“The 18th Maccabiah marks the end of a long, four-year journey for me…Sydney followed by Rome then onto Buenos Aires and finally making it to Israel for the grand-daddy of them all.? Experiences, memories and freinds along the way: priceless.” – Doug Homer, Masters Men’s Soccer 35+, 18th Maccabiah
“I have been all around the world traveling and competing in almost every country for USA Judo and on the National Team for almost ten years now and I am proud to say that this was the best trip I have ever been on.? Thank you once again fo rthis lifetime experience.” – Aaron Cohen, Open Judo, 18th Maccabiah

“It was one of the best experiences of my life and I can’t wait to go back in four years!” – Noah Ratner, Juniors Boys’ Golf, 18th Maccabiah

“One of the highlights of my trip to Israel was standing atop Masada, looking over hundreds of miles of desert, then shouting “USA ALL THE WAY!” and hearing it echo crystal clear for miles.” – Matt Evans, Juniors Track & Field, 18th Maccabiah
“Being Jewish and able to play Baseball in Israel doesn’t get much better than that.? This is where amazing happens!!!” – Jordan Pollack, Juniors Boys’ Baseball, 18th Maccabiah

“I take great pride in being the oldest swimmer representing the USA. i had made up my mind that this Maccabiah would? be my last, but I am reconsidering and G-d willing I will be back in ISrael in 4 years.? After all, i will only be 82 years old!!! Competing in front of my Israeli family made these Games the most special.? My daughter, son-in-law, granddaughter, grandson and his wife-to-be came all three days of the competition.? This was their first chance to see me swim in a race. I felt some pressure but overcame it with my first gold medal.? When i was presented with that medal I was overcome with many feelings, I thought of my father who always believed in me, my husband who encouraged me and my children and grandchildren who can’t believe what I have been able to accomplish.? I have swum in many meets these past ten years but none can compare with the 18th Maccabiah. I am so proud of all the younger Jewish athletes and the Jewish people from all over the world who continue to support the Maccabiah. Thank you for giving me this wonderful experience. I’ve stored it away in my memory bank for when I get really, really old!!!” – Joan Wald baum, Masters Swimming, 18th Maccabiah

“I was dancing with teammates a the Opening Ceremony and I had a big smile when I spotted my parents and grandparents cheering in the stands.? My grandpa was crying.” – Nick Gott, Juniors Swimming, 18th Maccabiah

“My experience in Israel was incredible – not only because it gave me? the opportunity to do Gymnastics on an international level, but I was able to tour the country and make friendships that I know will last a lifetime. “Lindsay Bloom, Open Women’s Gymnastics, 18th Maccabiah

“The Maccabiah is the healthiest engagement with young people that I have seen in American Jewish Life.” – Rabbi Irwin Kula, Team Rabbi, 18th Maccabiah

“I originally decided to participate in the Maccabiah Games solely to compete in my sport.? Throughout my experience in Israel, I realized that the Games were much more than a sports competition. The Maccabiah Games provided me with the opportunity to connect with other Jewish athletes and to the land of our forefathers. The pride I felt while representing all of the Jews of the United States was unmatchable by any other feeling I have ever experienced.” – Michael Hauss, Juniors Boys’ Swimming, 18th Maccabiah

“This was an experience of a lifetime that changed my connection with Israel and all the Jewish people in the world.” – Jordan Freed, Junior Boys’ Basketball, 18th Maccabiah

“I had an awesome time, an unbelievable experience! The Opening Ceremony was amazing? I saw Mexican Jews in sombreros and Scottish Jews in kilts, how cool is that.” – Lee Selby, Open Futsal, 18th Maccabiah

“To experience ISrael as coach and a Jew – what a fabulous trip!? Between the touring,k competitions and interactions with people, I don’t know how it could have been any more exciting.”- Rick Rothman, Juniors Track & Field Coach, 18th Maccabiah

“As the oldest American woman cyclist, I was surprised and thrilled to win a Bronze Medal in the Masters Time Trial race on the first day of the Games.? With our son and our Rabbi next to me, in the land I love, I couldn’t have been more proud.” – Laura Lander, Masters Cycling, 18th Maccabiah

“Epic!!! Enough said!!!” – Jared Braun, Open Men’s Rugby, 18th Maccabiah

“Being part of the 18th Maccabiah Games has been an incredible experience. I have made so many long-lasting friendships and memories that I will never forget.” – Rachel Nelson, Juniors Girls’ Soccer, 18th Maccabiah

“I have come home with three silver medals in gymnastics but won so much more, a deeper understanding of my Jewish identity and many new friends from around the world, also great memories I will have forever. Maccabi USA allowed me to be me, a “JEWISH Gymnast.” – Simone Friedman, Juniors Girls’ Gymnastics, 18th Maccabiah

“Taking the exact same steps as Jewish People did 3,000 years ago throughout Israel, but now walking with athletes with whom you have so much in common, is an experience of a lifetime!” – Ari Richman, Juniors Boys’ Tennis, 18th Maccabiah

“It was absolutely a once-in-a-lifetime unforgettable experience that I will never forget!? is it 2013 yet?” – Michael Feldman, Masters Men’s Softball, 18th Maccabiah

“Oversimplified, the Maccabiah was eye-opening and life-changing; my connections to Judaism, my culture and Israel are stronger than ever, and I pray they will always be this strong.? The holy sites I visited, the people I met from around the world, adn the gold medal hanging on my wall will never be forgtotten.” – Jennie Shulkin, Juniors Squash, 18th Maccabiah

“The experience of walking into the stadium along with 7,500 other athletes and realizing that they were all JEWISH was exhilarating. Just to have experienced THAT would have been worth the trip.” –  Lee Ziff, Masters Cycling, 18th Maccabiah

“The opportunity to both see Israel, and be amongst so many other talented Jewish athletes was definitely an incredible experience.? Never have i felt such pride in my Jewish heritage, and such a sense of belonging.? For reasons unexplained, my feelings of capability as a person have been bolstered higher than ever before; and the feeling I experienced being in Israel and around the other U.S. athletes of being free from judgement, critical looks, and attitudes that too often accompany revealing my Jewish identity, will stay with me for the rest of my life. – Ian Weinberg, Open Futsal, 18th Maccabiah

“Traveling with the U.S. Team to Rome for the European Maccabi Games was an awesome experience. Leading the American delegation as a banner carrier was an honor I will always cherish. The intense competition, the life-long friendships, and learning of the Italian culture far surpassed my expectations. It truly was an opportunity of a lifetime. Thanks for an UNBELIEVABLE trip!!!”- Adina Beth Neustein, Open Tennis, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“Buenos Aires is an amzaing city.? It was fantastic to renew old friendships and make new ones in such a great environment.” – Barry Kaplan, Head Coach, Youth Men’s Soccer, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games  “The Pan American Maccabi Games were an amazing experience, the Tennis facilities were some of the best in the nation.? I met so many excellent Jewish athletes.? We shared so many laughs, stories and meals together.? Thank you Maccabi, for this opportunity.” – Lori Sabatose, Assistant Coach, Open Tennis, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“Each time I take part in the Pan American Maccabi or World Maccabiah Games reinforces the importance of what we do.? To see kids who a few weeks earlier didn’t even know each other become best friends and brothers, and have them relate all that to an incredibly positive Jewish experience is the reason I love to be involved. As for Argentina, great food, weather, people, and a fascinating city seeping with history. All in all, it was an incredible two weeks.” – Brian “Shifty” Schiff, Head Coach, Junior Boys Basketball, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“Our ties?were our Jewish heritage and Basketball both varied from individual to individual.? The Games afforded me the opportunity to grow as a Jew and learn about others in the Diaspora.? This tournament showed how much we’ve grown together as a Team and the character of each member.? We had to adjust to the style of play, adapt to our environment and overcome injuries.? It was a tremendous experience to work with this outstanding group of young men.? The relationships and experiences will be long remembered.” – Howard Fisher, Head Coach, Open Men’s Basektball, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“Our Gold Medal was a Team effort. We received contributions from all 19 players over the course of the tournament.? We got better each game and left little doubt about who the best Team in the tournament was. Depsite battling 100 degree heat, food-poisoning that ripped through our Team and a raucous home crowd, we persevered and left our mark on Maccabi Men’s Soccer. After a Silver Medal finish in 2005 (17th Maccabiah Games) and a Gold Medal finish in 2007, the bar has been set high for the USA Open Men’s Soccer Team.” – Amos Magee, Head Coach, Open Men’s Soccer, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“The Pan American Maccabi Games gave me the opportunity to get back into competing in the sport that I love, particularly on an international level.? The experience is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many, and I’m grateful I was able to participate.? I enjoyed the competition and met some fabulous people.” – Brandon Burr, Open Tennis, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“The Games were nothing short of amazing.? By itself, the opportunity to play Basketball alongside my brother, wearing the red, white and blue, would have been hard to top.? But to have won the Gold, playing on a Team that came together as if it were a Band of Brothers, made the experience one I will remember the rest of my life.? Thank you Maccabi USA for your encouragment and support!” – Brian S. Kriftcher, Masters Men’s Basketball, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“It was a lot of fun going to Buenos Aires.? It was a privilege representing the United States as a member of the Men’s Water Polo Team, and winning the Gold was something I will never forget!? Thank you.” – A.J. Mandel-Senft, Open Water Polo, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“The Pan American Maccabi Games changed everthing about me. I walked into the Games knowing not one person and I came home with a bunch of new, life-long friends.” – Dani Stern, Youth Tennis, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“It was such a great experience to meet so many Jewish athletes from around the world, and compete and make so many new friends and see so many different parts of Buenos Aires.” – Daniella Fischel, Juniors Swimming, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“As a former participant and coach, the Pan Am Maccabi Games was something that I trained for on a daily basis.? My goal was to be a part of a medal-winning Team and return with the satisfaction of working collectively with new friends and teammates to achieve a milestone at the Masters Level. Despite the results, I feel closer to Judiasm and my family.” – Doug Homer, Masters Men’s Soccer, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“The Pan American Maccabi Games was a great experience that would be very hard to re-live.” – Jeff Delman, Juniors Tennis, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“The 11th Pan American Maccabi Games were an absolutely amazing experience for me!? The competitive Tennis?and the location of the Games were major factors in creating an awesome trip. However, the friends I made from Team USA and other countries made the experience that much more amazing.? It was pretty neat to be surrounded by so may people who shared the same religion, culture, and traditions that I practice, and I created friendships that will last a lifetime.? Now that I am home, I have come to realize that a significant Jewish population will be an important factor in deciding the college I will attend. It was one of the best experiences I have ever had and I hope to be able to play in the ’09 Games in Israel and future Pan American Maccabi Games.? Thanks for an amazing trip!” – Josh Altschuler, Youth Tennis, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“Traveling to a foreign land to meet with and race against other Jews from all over the world was an amazing adventure.? The airplane ride was long, the weather harsh, and the competition was fierce.? I think the trip was an absolute success!” – Joe Grand, Open Triathlon, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“The Maccabi sports competition provides a forum to connect Jews from around the world to celebrate their common Jewish Identity and to expand thier Jewish Community.” – Leslie Murveit, Masters Tennis, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“The Pan American Maccabi Games were well-planned and very well-executed.? My wife, Peggy, and I are so appreciative of the tremendous efforts put forth by all involved.? We were extremely pleased with all the activities and the courtesies extended to us.? It was a wonderful Jewish experience and made us very proud to be associated with such a great organization.” – L.R.(Leo R) Jalenak, Grand Masters Tennis, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“Meeting and competing with great people from all over the world as well as representing the USA in sports were truly memorable.? I appreciate the monumental and largely successful job of organization and implementation by the Maccabi leaders.” –  Larry Saidenberg, Masters Golf, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“When I decided to go to Argentina, I didn’t know what to expect.? I knew I’d be experiencing a new culture and meeting new people, but I never expected to make such great friends.? The people I met on this trip are some of the greatest people I have ever met in my life.? We grew so close in such a short period of time and I can’t imagine my trip without them!” – Molly Orden, Open Women’s Soccer, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“It was an incredible experience to come together with people from all walks of life, ultimately for the same unified goal – playing sports with other Jewish athletes in a unique and exciting environment!” – Shanna Kaye, Open Women’s Volleyball, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“The Opening Ceremony was one of my most exciting evenings as an atlete and participant.? Walking into that Stadium in Buenos Aires was a memorable experience that I’ll not soon forget.” – Bruce Zenkel, Masters Golf, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“Maccabi showed me that Judaism is about much more than prayer and Mitzvahs, it is about camaraderie with your fellow Jews.?We are all connected and should relish each other accordingly.” – Zach Magdovitz, Juniors Boys Baseball, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“Walking into the satdium at Opening Ceremonies with all of the USA Team and hearing the crowd shouting, “USA, USA!” sent chills up my spine.? Here I am, 76 years old, feeling about 18 years old.? After such a good experience, how can I not think about going to Israel?” – Joan Waldbaum, Masters Swimming, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“What a fabulous time I had with my new teammates.? The trip lasted only a short time, the memories will last a lifetime.” – Andrew Scheiner, Masters Swimmer, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“The Pan American Maccabi Games changed my life by opening me up to new friendships and allowing me to have many memorable experiences with my fellow Jewish athletes and coaches.” – Lindsay Schwartz, Juniors Swimming, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“I had a great time on the trip and really got to bond with my Team.? I am definitely going to miss them and will be in touch.? Argentina was an awesome experience!” – Sara Hokin, Open Women’s Softball, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“Did you ever know that you’re my hero, and everything I would like to be?? I can fly higher than an eagle, for you are the wind beneath my wings…? Leave it to none other than a Jewish broad like Bette Middler to sum up how I feel about the awesome group of Jews we?had playing volleyball in Argentina.? I never would have imagined that players of such diverse background, age, and geographic location could get along – and play so well.? I feel privileged to get to know everyone I met on this trip and look forward to crossing paths with each of you in the future.? If anyone is ever in Southern California, do not hesitate to get in touch.? All the best and perhaps we will reunite in Israel, in 2009.” – Max Sloves, Open Beach Volleyball, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“Representing USA in the 11th Pan American Maccabi Games not only inspired and impressed me with the immense global community of Judaism, but also solidified the essence of Jewish tradition – collaborative solidarity!? As an Hillel President, experiencing this amazing Jewish cultural diversification among many new international friends and athletes will certainly help me be a better leader, activist and visionary in serving my community – for a lifetime!? Happy 60th Anniversary Isael! “Kimberlea Karper, Open Women’s Volleyball, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“To sum it all up…When do we get to do this again?” – Kenny Silverboard, Accommodations Manager, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“Thank you for all your hard work.? We had a great time.? The highlight of our experience was the tour of Baby Help, a daycare for mothers-in-need, funded by the Jewish Federation/Joint Distribution Committee.? We toured thier facilities and played soccer with the children at the daycare.? Our chair, Jon Frieder set it up, and it was an incredible way for our Team to understand a bit more about life in Buenos Aires, contribute to the community, and connect with being Jewish, many miles from home.? Thanks for everything.” – Mara Schanfield, Assistaant Coach, Junior Girls Soccer, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“It was a great experience for me after taking a 3 year hiatus from active coaching to work with Amos and help the Team with our first Gold Medal ever in Men’s Soccer.? The guys came together in amazing fashion and after three weeks it seemed as if we had been together for much longer.? My son Graham and I feel that we have 19 more lifetime friends from this experience, not just from the Team, but also all the people we met from the overall organization.? Thanks to USCSFI for giving me yet another opportunity to do Maccabi Soccer.” – Al Albert, Assistant Coach, Open Men’s Soccer, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“I have never met a group of my peers that I could connect with so easily in such a short period of time.? I don’t know if it is because of our common Jewish backgrounds, or just pure luck, but I made friendships that I know will last a long time.” – Jenny Lewis, Open Swimming, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“The Pan American Maccabi Games gave me the opportunity to get back into competing in the sport that I love, particularly on an international level.? The experience is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many, and I’m grateful I was able to participate.? I enjoyed the competition and met some fabulous people.” – Brandon Burr, Open Tennis, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“The Maccabi Experience gave me the opportunity to combine my passion for Soccer and my love for Judaism.? Whether it was representing the United States in Rome at the 12th European Games or most recently, in Buenos Aires at the 11th Pan American Games, it was all awesome!? I loved being able to make new Jewish friends from all across the United States.” – Eric Cohen, Junior Boys Soccer, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games & 12th European Maccabi Games

“I thought the Games were a very interesting and wonderful experience. Meeting Jews from all over the world might have been the best part about it.” – Zachary Muskin, Open Men’s Basketball, 12th European Maccabi Games

“This summer, the 12th European Maccabi Games has changed my life. Because of this experience, I now know that I have friends from all over the world and I was treated like a professional athlete.” – Orel Raviv, Junior Boys Basketball

“Unforgettable! Just having so many Jewish kids from around the world gathered at one event was amazing. The funniest (experience) was watching everyone exchanging clothes at the Opening Ceremonies. I think we all learned that the Italian food pyramid is made up of all carbs, with a few hard-boiled eggs on top! The whole 12 days was unforgettable!” – Pam Efros, Assistant Tennis Coach, 12th European Maccabi Games

“There were many special moments we will remember – from the excitement of marching into the stadium at Opening Ceremonies dressed in our Team USA uniforms and the fun of trading apparel right on the field, to the pride we felt at the medals ceremonies and the camaraderie and warmth we experienced at the Closing Ceremonies and all those wonderful “moments” in-between. The tours of historical and Jewish Rome along with the tastes of Rome were so unique and meaningful, especially to those of us whose family’s roots are entrenched in Europe. It was exciting to be in Rome, in the heart of Europe, as Jews in a Jewish environment. Above all, we cannot emphasize enough how exciting it was for us to watch all the competitions. Trying to find the venues and get to them was another story, but in the end, it added to the whole Adventure.” – Jodi & Ricky Reff, Co-Chairmen, Team USA, 12th European Maccabi Games

“Besides some of the ‘bumps in the road’ like carb-heavy diets and transort issues, the Games were truly a great experience.” – Lou Moyerman, USA Team Manager, 12th European Maccabi Games

“I learned geat expressions such as: Excusamia, Ciao Bella and Impossible! I learned that even if you don’t understand the language, you can understand a laugh. Roma has taught me to be patient and go with the flow, and of course, five minutes in Roman time is not quite minutes in U.S. time. And I learned so much from all my Team. Thank you everyone for making this such an amazing experience, I would coach all of you again in a minute!”Lori Sabatose, Head Coach, Open & Junior Tennis, 12th European Maccabi Games

“What a great group of people this Team was to coach and get to know. You all managed to take the best of each other’s character and embrace it as your own. While I am proud of all of you, I hope, more importantly, that you are proud of yourselves. Each of you performed great and you represented yourselves and the USA with pride, class and dignity. Great job!” – Seth D. Feldman, Head Coach, Junior Boys Soccer, 12th European Maccabi Games

“Rome was electric! The Games speak for themselves, Gold Medal winners who went undefeated, that should tell you something. When you accepted your medals at the awards ceremony, I was most proud of each of you. But throughout the Games, nothing impressed me more than your overwhelming desire to succeed and your commitment to represent your particular Jewish community and Maccabi USA with fitness and class, even when a few unforeseen obstacles were set in our path. I was honored to be your coach.” – Jacky Loube, Head Coach, Junior Boys Basketball, 12th European Maccabi Games

“It was a pleasure to coach each and every one of you in the two weeks we were together, from training camp in Philadelphia, to our experiences in Rome. It was great to see the new friendships and bonds you guys created, as that is a big part of the Maccabi experience. I hope each of you enjoyed the journey and can look back at our time in Rome as a memorable experience, as I continue to do.” – Harris Adler, Head Coach, Open Men’s Basketball, 12th European Maccabi Games

“It was an amazing and rewarding experience both culturally and athletically, giving me the opportunity to forge lifetime friendships and memories” – Joey Braha, Open Men’s Basektball, 12th European Maccabi Games

“The Maccabi Games in Rome was one of the best experiences of my life. I met Jewish teenagers from around the country and will stay in contact with many of them for years to come. Also, meeting kids from around the world and living in two countries has really opened me up to how Jews live around the world. This trip had an enormous effect on me as a Jew because I now want to continue learning about and studying my religion so I can pass these stories on to my children.” – Jesse Reich, Junior Boy’s Soccer, 12th European Maccabi Games

“It was an incredible experience, playing on the same team as my cousin and other Jewish athletes from across the country. I was extremely proud to represent the United States.” – Daniel Greenberg, Junior Boy’s Basketball, 12th European Maccabi Games

“I loved interacting with athletes from other countries, trading apparel and seeing all of the amazing history I have only read about in books. Even though we were not always able to use a ‘common language’ to talk to each other, we communicated through the universal passion we shared for the game of basketball.” – Ross Bender, Junior Boy’s Basketball, 12th European Maccabi Games

“I enjoyed getting to see the amazing sights in Rome! Glad I don’t have to drive one of those super-small cars!!! I had a great time leading our team to the Bronze medal.” – Jeff Horowitz, Open Men’s Basketball, 12th European Maccabi Games

“The Maccabi Rome Games were an amazing experience for me. The best soccer I’ve ever played – I learned so much from my coach and team. I’ve grown as a soccer player and as a person. The Opening and Closing Ceremonies were incredible. I can’t wait for the Pan American Maccabi Games.” – Jonathan Gil, Juniors Boy’s Soccer, 12th European Maccabi Games

“I have never met a group of my peers that I could connect with so easily in such a short period of time.? I don’t know if it is because of our common Jewish backgrounds, or just pure luck, but I made friendships that I know will last a long time.” – Jenny Lewis, Open Swimming, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“The Maccabi Experience gave me the opportunity to combine my passion for Soccer and my love for Judaism.? Whether it was representing the United States in Rome at the 12th European Games or most recently, in Buenos Aires at the 11th Pan American Games, it was all awesome!? I loved being able to make new Jewish friends from all across the United States.” – Eric Cohen, Junior Boys Soccer, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games & 12th European Maccabi Games

“The Pan American Maccabi Games gave me the opportunity to get back into competing in the sport that I love, particularly on an international level.? The experience is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many, and I’m grateful I was able to participate.? I enjoyed the competition and met some fabulous people.” – Brandon Burr, Open Tennis, 11th Pan American Maccabi Games

“It was an amazing and rewarding experience both culturally and athletically, giving me the opportunity to forge lifetime friendships and memories.” – Joey Braha, Basketball, 2007

“It’s one thing to represent a team or your school, but to represent your country and all the Jewish people from the United States is a tremendous honor of a completely different kind.” – Lenny Krayzelburg, Swimming, 2001

“It was with deep emotion that I left Israel, with memories that will last a lifetime. Each of you has carved out a place in my heart that will never be erased. The medal will go in a drawer, but the memories will never grow dusty.” – Dave Kohn, masters basketball, 2001

“My life circles around tennis as I am a full time tennis coach, but now I realize that the combination of tennis, USA and Judaism can’t get better than that!??” – Julio Yacub, Junior Tennis Coach, 2001

“I know my memories will be very close to my heart, though I will be thousands of miles from where I laughed, cried, and danced … The memories could not be closer to my soul. I pray I do not forget how I was so moved in my homeland, how strong of a Jewish identity I felt. Thank you Maccabiah. Thank you Israel.” – Ariel Gerber, Junior Girls Soccer, 2001

“I was never comfortable claiming my faith as a Jew or otherwise until my rowing experience at the Maccabiah.” – Ben Glass, Rowing, 1993
“Competing in the 1997 Maccabiah Games changed my life ? I am thankful for being able to take part in the Games in Israel, not only for providing me with an incredible new knowledge and understanding of my Jewish heritage, but also for building friendships that will truly last a lifetime. I hope to join the team again in 2001.” – Talya Vexler, Gymnastics, 1997

 

“This is the best trip I’ve ever had, hands down. The whole time I was in Israel, I kept thinking to myself, ‘I’m in the most historically relevant place in the world.’

“That’s pretty overwhelming.” – Adam Mariano, Wrestling, 1997

“For me, Maccabi began as sports, but being part of the Maccabiah Games, meeting other Jews, made me identify more with Jews and Judaism.”     -Shaney Fink, volleyball, 1989 and ’93, Beach volleyball ’97

“My involvement with the Maccabiah Games was one of the greatest sports and life experiences I’ve ever had. As a result of that involvement, I feel a sense of connection to the Maccabi movement that will last for the rest of my life. “Ben Braun, Basketbal Coach, 1989

“The whole time I was in Israel, I was in a state of awe. The Games themselves were terrific, but that was only part of it. It was such an incredible cultural experience, getting to know other Jewish athletes … In many cases, there were language barriers, but as I remember, they didn’t present that much of a problem. It was almost surreal.”- Julie Kominsky, Swimming, 1981
“I consider my experience in the Maccabiah Games a main factor in motivating me to become active in the Jewish community.” – Daniel Reich, Soccer, 1973

“I will never forget the opportunity [Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel] gave me through the Maccabiah Games to participate in a world-class event early in my career. And the excitement of meeting Jewish athletes from around the world and sharing with them the universal spirit of sports competition was a matchless experience.” – Mark Spitz, Swimming, 1965 and 1969