Philadelphia, PA, February 28, 2017 – The Maccabi USA Bat and Glove Chairman, Fred Cohen along with Head Coach Eric Holtz and Assistant Coach Daniel Kaufman are pleased to announce the Juniors Boys’ Baseball 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 Mark Abramovitz of Englewood, NJ, The Frisch School; Charlie Beilenson of Encino, CA, Chaminade College Preparatory School; August Biben of New York, NY, Riverdale Country School; Robert Fischer of Englewood, NJ, The Frisch School; Eli Fishman of Woodmere, NY, Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway; Zach Fishman of Deerfield, IL, Deerfield High School; Justin Gelfand of Lafayette Hill, PA, Plymouth Whitemarsh High School; Shawn Goosenberg of Encino, CA, Calabasas High School; Michael Green of Scarsdale, NY, Scarsdale High School; Brett Holtz of White Plains, NY, Valhalla High School; Jarrett Hyder of Miami, FL, Miami Palmetto High School; Nate Jakobs of Sacramento, CA, Sacramento Country Day School; Matthew Newman of Deerfield, IL, Deerfield High School; Benjamin Sinins of Short Hills, NJ, Millburn High School; Jacob Small of Chappaqua, NY, Horace Greeley High School; Samuel Stulman of Santa Clarita, CA, Albert Einstein Academy; Max Tracey of Wellesley, MA, Wellesley High School; and Charlie Wallach of New York, NY, Horace Mann School.

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.


Right off the bat, two things are clear; Eric Holtz, the Head Coach of Maccabi USA’s Juniors Boys’ Baseball team for the 2017 World Maccabiah Games, loves Israel and loves baseball. “Going to Israel brings out everything in you about being alive,” remarks Holtz, who was the Assistant Coach of the same age team that won a gold medal at the 2013 World Maccabiah Games. “Being there for baseball is the cherry on top.”


Born and raised in the Bronx, Baseball has always played a major role in Eric’s life. Upon finishing his education, Eric entered the corporate world, but the itch for baseball never left him. He acted as the Hitting Coach for Manhattanville College’s Baseball team from 2004-2007 and also as the Assistant Coach for the Softball team in 2007, when they won their first-ever Skyline Conference championship. Having manufactured clothing for 25+ years, Eric yearned to get back to playing baseball; he just never assumed his return would come about the way it did.

In 2007, the Israeli Baseball League was founded. “On a whim, I went to go try out for this new goofy league,” he recalls. “Here I was, surrounded by college kids. I had a great day, and with my coaching experience, they offered me a contract to spend nine weeks in Israel as a player/manager for the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox.” It was his first time in Israel; his wife and three kids visited for three of those weeks. “Basically, I fell in love with the country,” he says. Although the league disbanded after one year, Eric left his mark, as he was presented with the Commissioner’s Award for Distinguished Service.

holtz israel

Eric’s roommate during his time in the Israeli Baseball League was Nate Fish, himself a four-time Maccabi USA alumnus and the Head Coach of Maccabi USA’s Juniors Boys’ Baseball team at the 2013 Maccabiah. “He (Nate) basically became my little brother when we were in Israel together,” explained Holtz.  Fast forward to 2013, and Nate has been named the Juniors Head Coach for the Maccabiah. “He calls me up and goes ‘Holtzy, what do you think about coaching at the Maccabiah?’”, remembers Eric. “For me, the opportunity to return to Israel and take kids that had never been there before and give them the experience I had in 2007 was one that I could not turn down.”

team pic

(Juniors Boys’ Baseball team from the 2013 World Maccabiah Games)

To Eric’s surprise, he remembers his time in 2013 as taking on a greater meaning outside of baseball, and plans to impart that mind-set on his players in 2017. As he put it, “Sure, winning is obvious, but it’s more important to me to instill the feeling I have for Israel in the 16 or 18 young men who will be joining me on this trip.”

Today, he is the owner and founder of Game On 13, a baseball and softball strength and conditioning training facility located in Westchester County, New York.

Maccabi USA is currently seeking Juniors Boys’ Baseball players, born from 1999-2002, for the 2017 World Maccabiah Games. To apply, click HERE! For more information, please contact Shane Carr, Program Director at 215.561.6900 x. 4147 or



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