Memorial Day Weekend Training for

2017 Maccabiah USA Karate Team

By: Tzvi Hoshiyama

The USA Karate Team competing in the upcoming World Maccabiah Games, is truly a national squad. The athletes coming from Florida, California, Indiana, Illinois, Washington State, New York State and our own Five Towns, came together on Memorial Day for a weekend of grueling training in preparations for the Games, to be held in Haifa, Israel in July.

Karate, while only debuting in the 2020 Olympic Games for the first time, has been a staple sport in the Maccabiah Games for over 40 years, ever since its introduction by Dr. Alex Sternberg in 1977.

The Memorial Day session was filled with several training sessions wrapped around a little relaxation. Training consisted of 6 hours per day on Friday, Sunday and Monday mornings. On Shabbat, of course, no training was conducted. The co-chairmen of the karate committee, Dr. Alex Sternberg and Sensei Caren Lesser and coaches, sensei’s Avi Azoulay and David Munden, enthusiastically greeted the athletes upon arrival.

The team was selected in November 2016 in a competition, and the athletes chosen have been preparing with extra workouts since.  Our local team members are all products of yeshivas and adding additional training into their already crammed schedules was a challenge.

The Memorial Day training camp was a final opportunity for the coaches to prepare the squad for the rigorous competition that lies ahead.

The Maccabiah is held once every four years and has seen numerous Olympic champions emerge from its ranks. Mark Spitz, Mitch Gaylord, Ally Raisman, Lenny Krayzelburg to name just a few. In other words, this is a serious international sport event held for the world’s best Jewish athletes.

Volunteering their time and expertise training the team, were two world renown US Champions, Sensei Billy Finegan (11X US National Champion, University Games Champion) and Sensei Dov Sternberg (12x US National Champion, 7 times Gold medalist Maccabiah Games and Pan-Am Games Silver medalist). The very spirited Maccabeans enthusiastically received the guest instructors, as they trained with them. The team consists of boys and girls born between 2002 and 1999 and the “open’ squad of those 18 and over. They will be competing in Kata(Forms) and the Kumite(fighting) categories. Some of the members have won regional and national championships on their way to earning a berth on the team, while others have won in more recent events.

Following the Sunday workout, the team was treated to a special reception at the home of Alex and Ilyse Sternberg, where they met previous Maccabiah Karate Team members. The highlight of the reception however, was the visit by Congresswoman Kathleen Rice (D, Fourth CD) to cheer the team on. Congresswoman Rice recently won a 5k race in Washington, earning for herself the title  “The Fastest Woman in Congress”.

Kathleen took turns meeting the athletes and speaking with them about their years of training, their motivation and sharing with them her attitude toward fitness and competitiveness.  She wished them all good luck.

Both the athletes and parents enthusiastically received the Congresswoman’s visit to the Sternberg home.

Monday morning was the final workout and the athletes and coaches departed for home exhausted but with a renewed sense of purpose on their quest for the GOLD.

                                    Karate

MACCABI USA ANNOUNCES THE OPEN KARATE TEAM FOR THE 20TH WORLD MACCABIAH GAMES

Philadelphia, PA, April 24, 2017 – The Maccabi USA Co-Chairs Caren Lesser and Alex Sternberg, along with Head Coach Avi Azoulay are pleased to announce the Open Karate 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 Aliza Abramson of Cedarhurst, NY, Touro College; Danielle Azoulay of Commack, NY, New York University; Hannah Azoulay of Commack, NY, Commack High School; Yakubmier Borukhov of Forest Hills, NY, City University of New York-Queens College; Rebecca Obstfeld of Oceanside, NY, City University of New York-Queens College (’07); James Stahl of Irvine, CA, Santa Monica College; and Amit Ziv of Forest Hills, NY, Tel Aviv University (’09).

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 scarr@maccabiusa.com.

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.

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MACCABI USA ANNOUNCES THE JUNIORS KARATE TEAM FOR THE 20TH WORLD MACCABIAH GAMES

Philadelphia, PA, February 28, 2017 – The Maccabi USA Karate Co-Chairs, Caren Lesser and Alex Sternberg along with Head Coach David Munden are pleased to announce the Juniors Karate 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 Emalie Belokon of Aventura, FL, Dr. Michael M. Krop High School; Arielle Bledsoe of Northfield, IL, Rochelle Zell Jewish High School; Menachem Feierman of Far Rockaway, NY, Mesivta Ateres Yaakov; Evan “Akiva” Fink of Woodmere, NY, DRS Yeshiva High School for Boys; Rachel Ginsberg of Roslyn, NY, Roslyn High School; Coby Madenberg of Deerfield, IL, Niles North High School; Eliana Munden of Buckley, WA, White River High School; Matthew Odinsky of Woodmere, NY, Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway; Rina Poran of San Antonio, TX, Tom C. Clark High School; Dylan Saltzman of Woodmere, NY, North Shore Hebrew Academy High School; Jason Upcroft of Avon, IN, Avon High School; and Eliana “Ellie” Zieserl of Glencoe, IL, Central 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 scarr@maccabiusa.com.

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.

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