Philadelphia, PA, March 30, 2017 – The Maccabi USA Badminton Chairman Kim Mertens along with Head Coach Joel Goldstein, is pleased to announce the Open Badminton Team for the 20th World Maccabiah Games, which will take place July 4-18, 2017 in Israel. Maccabi USA will bring a team of 1,100+ athletes who will be part of the 10,000 Jewish athletes from 80 countries, participating in 43 different sports.

The athletes are Sophie Deutsch of Marblehead, MA, Ursinus College; and James Korzenik of Chicago, IL, University of Chicago. Sophie first picked up a badminton racquet at the age of 10 and began competing around 11 years old, her most exciting moment was winning Silver in the Juniors Girls’ Doubles Competition during the 19th Maccabiah Games. Prior to the Games, James has participated in tournaments with the Marblehead Youth Badminton Club. The 20th Maccabiah Games will be the first time he will compete as a member of Team USA.

Since 1932, over 62,000 athletes have participated in the Maccabiah Games, in a celebration of Jewish Strength and Solidarity. Team USA’s success is not only measured by the medals won, but by the impact that the Maccabiah experience had on their lives as well as the friendships they formed.

Maccabi USA builds Jewish pride through sports, generating the emotional intensity, high ideals, and powerful camaraderie of competition.  We connect athletes, volunteers, and supporters with the global Jewish community.  Our athletic, educational, and cultural experiences build Jewish identity, perpetuate Jewish continuity worldwide, and strengthen support for the State of Israel.

For more information, please contact Maccabi USA Program Director Shane Carr at 215-561-6900 or by email at

About the organization:

Maccabi USA (MUSA) is a federally-recognized not-for-profit 501(c)(3) Organization with an extensive history of enriching Jewish lives through athletic, cultural and educational programs.  The Organization is the official sponsor of the United States Team to the World Maccabiah Games, and the Pan American and European Maccabi Games, as well as a sponsor of the JCC Maccabi Games for teens in North America.  As the official Maccabi representative in the U.S., Maccabi USA supports Jewish athletic endeavors, enhanced by cultural and educational activities in the United States, Israel and throughout the Diaspora.

MUSA develops, promotes and supports international, national and regional athletic-based activities and facilities. It strives to provide Jewish athletes all over the world the opportunity to share their heritage and customs in competitive athletic settings. MUSA supports programs that embody the Maccabi ideals of Jewish Continuity, Zionism and Excellence in Sport.  Maccabi USA Builds Jewish Pride Through Sports.

Maccabi USA has been selected by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) as a Multi-Sport Organization (MSO). The nonprofit Organization becomes one of 35 MSOs nationwide to be recognized by the USOC for its ability to cultivate a national interest in sport and increase opportunities for participation internationally, nationally and at the grassroots level.


Flashback to 2013 as Nicole Frevold boarded the plane to Israel for the 19th Maccabiah Games. Having never been to Israel before, she recalls not knowing what to expect – in terms of both the competition and the overall experience of the three weeks abroad. She was recruited for the Badminton team by fellow teammate and friend, Sam Schwartz.

Three years later, Nicole credits the Maccabiah Games as one of the most incredible experiences of her life. When asked about the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions Maccabi USA, she instantly speaks of the Opening Ceremony, “It was amazing to look around the stadium and see thousands of people in the stands who were there for you, cheering you on; marching in with Team USA as well as the other delegations was a moment I will never forget.”

In addition to the Opening Ceremony, the competition made a significant impact on Nicole as an athlete. As an extremely competitive person, the tournaments were equally as important as experiencing Israel. Nicole won gold in Juniors Girls’ Singles and silver in Juniors Girls’ Doubles.

The Maccabiah Games allowed her to develop a deeper connection to Judaism and her Jewish community. In her opinion, the Maccabiah Games are the best scenario, “You get to travel to a different country, play in competitions in a sport you love, tour and sightsee historic sites and take in the culture of Israel.”

Currently, Nicole is a freshman at the University of New Hampshire and is hoping to compete again in the Open Division of Badminton for the 20th Maccabiah Games in the summer of 2017.

Maccabi USA is currently seeking qualified Jewish Badminton players to represent Team USA at the 20th World Maccabiah Games for Juniors Girls’ & Boys’ birth years 1999-2002 and Open Men & Women ages 18-35. To apply, click HERE, application deadline is October 31, 2016! For more information please contact Kim Mertens, Overall Badminton Chairman at



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