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(Lou and Adam Moyerman)

Judo and Judaism go hand-in-hand for Adam Moyerman, and by extension the entire Moyerman clan. Before Adam competed with Maccabi USA for the first time at the 2001 World Maccabiah Games, he was already a part of the organization, due in part to his father Lou’s involvement, which began in 1981. In advance of the 1997 World Maccabiah Games, Adam interned in the Maccabi USA offices, packing up the apparel packages. Now, 20 years later, Adam has competed in and coached at six international Maccabi Games, winning six medals and one MVP award.

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(The Judo team from the 2001 Maccabiah Games. Adam in the middle-front)

Growing up, participating in Judo was “basically a mandate,” as Adam put it, in the Moyerman household, as Lou has been heavily involved in the sport for over 40 years. “I’ve been doing it since I was seven. It’s the longest relationship of my life, minus my family of course,” joked Adam. After wrestling throughout high school, Adam rediscovered Judo in college within a less regimented and stressful environment; he immediately fell back in love with the sport. Upon graduating from Boston University, he began training to qualify for the Olympics. Although he finished third in qualifying and therefore didn’t make the Olympic team, he says he’s received fantastic international sporting experience through Maccabi USA. “You won’t always go to the Olympics, but these Games give you that experience – where you can appreciate your hard work, and on top of that, everyone is Jewish and you get to make those connections,” he explained.

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(Team USA Judo from the 2015 Pan American Maccabi Games)

Adam was chosen alongside Lauren Greenberg, Open Swimming, and Dallen Stanford, Open Rugby, to lead the Team USA delegation and carry the USA flag into the Opening Ceremony of the 2015 Pan American Maccabi Games. “Carrying the flag in was the best moment,” recalled Adam. “So few people get to do that at a sporting event or any event in general; I never thought I would have that extreme honor.”

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(USA Flagbearers- Lauren Greenberg, Dallen Stanford, Adam Moyerman)

It’s safe to say that Maccabi USA holds a special place in Adam’s heart; his siblings Sam, Stephanie and Tina have all competed with Maccabi USA as well. “Not everyone has the opportunity to form these bonds with Judaism,” he said. “The Maccabi Games reinvigorates people within their Judaism, and I can’t think of any other organization that combines sports, something we ALL love, with Judaism, like Maccabi USA.” When asked if he planned on continuing his involvement and support of the organization in the future, Adam merely laughed. “Of course!”

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(Sam, Lou and Adam Moyerman at the 2015 Pan American Maccabi Games)

Applications for the 2017 World Maccabiah Games are available NOW… Click HERE to apply)

 

Previously:

Tennis in Santiago with Natasha Dabrowski

Maccabi USA Golf with Dan Frankel

Swimming for a Purpose with Sarah Solomon

Maccabi USA Field Hockey with Rebekah Abrams

Breaking the International Maccabi Games Golf Scoring Record at the European Maccabi Games

Ori Hoffer on Preparing for his First Maccabi USA Experience

Half Marathon with Melissa Perlman

Women’s Soccer with Catie Chase

Coaching at the EMG with Scott Garson

Maccabi USA Soccer with Morry Steinbach

Prepping for the European Maccabi Games with Zak Elfenbein

Maccabi Memories with Caroline Post

Maccabi Memories with Dallen Stanford

Maccabi Memories with Matthew Halpern

Maccabi Memories with Charly Santagado

Maccabi Memories with Matthew Monheit

Maccabi Memories with Lenny Krayzelburg

Maccabi Memories with Rachel Magerman

Maccabi Memories with Noah Springwater

Maccabi Memories with Stuart Weitzman

 

Like Maccabi USA on Facebook and follow Maccabi USA on Twitter and Instagram!!

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Growing up, Natasha Dabrowski lived and breathed tennis. As soon as she could hold a racquet in her hand, she was playing tennis. Her mother, a player on the professional circuit, helped instill Natasha’s love for the sport at the early age of four. “You could say that tennis was already in my blood,” remarked Natasha. She travelled the country playing in competitive United States Tennis Association tournaments, and was a three-time state champion at Cranbrook Kingswood High School in Bloomfield Township, Michigan. She attended the University of Michigan, where she played four years of club tennis and was President of the Student Government for the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

When her good friend Adam Reinhart, an Open Tennis player on Team USA at the 2013 Maccabiah Games who Natasha described as a very enthusiastic person, returned from Israel with a previously unseen level of excitement, she knew she needed to get involved with Maccabi USA. “In my mind, the Pan American Maccabi Games would be a unique opportunity to compete against tennis players from around the world, but it morphed into something more than I could have ever imagined,” exclaimed Natasha.

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(Pictured L-R: Alex Kotlyar, Natasha Dabrowski, Gary Notkin)                            

Natasha’s successes in Chile extended beyond the court, where she won a gold medal in Open Women’s Singles and a silver medal in Mixed Doubles with Alex Kotlyar; she was awarded the inaugural Dolph Schayes Memorial Award, given by Maccabi USA to the athletes that best exemplify the Maccabi Spirit through sportsmanship and athletic excellence. Rather than take credit for herself, she was effusive in her praise for her coaches, father-son duo Lonnie and Wayne Mitchel, and her teammates, Gary Notkin and the previously-mentioned Alex. “My receiving the award is very emblematic of the coaching and team support I had at the Games,” she recalled. “Lonnie and Wayne encouraged me to enjoy every moment, and my teammates were always there for me and we became a close knit team.”

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(Pictured L-R: Wayne Mitchel, Natasha Dabrowski, Lonnie Mitchel)  

Despite winning two medals and being honored with the Dolph Schayes Memorial Award, Natasha looks back on the Opening Ceremony as her fondest memory. “Walking into that stadium representing the USA was truly humbling,” she said. “I had tears in my eyes. I will forever remember it as one of the most honorable experiences I’ve had as an athlete.”

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(Dolph Schayes Memorial Award)  

The Dolph Schayes Memorial Award comes with a stipend to utilize for future travel to Israel, which Natasha hopes to use for the upcoming 2017 Maccabiah Games. “I know that I will stay involved with the Games and Maccabi USA forever because the connections and friendships I made will last a lifetime,” she said. “Today, I regularly talk with my roommate (Gavriela Colton, Open Women’s Volleyball in Chile), teammates and coaches to stay in touch and plan future reunions!”

Applications for the 2017 Maccabiah Games will be available online on February 15, 2016. Click HERE for more information.

 

Previously:

Maccabi USA Golf with Dan Frankel

Swimming for a Purpose with Sarah Solomon

Maccabi USA Field Hockey with Rebekah Abrams

Breaking the International Maccabi Games Golf Scoring Record at the European Maccabi Games

Ori Hoffer on Preparing for his First Maccabi USA Experience

Half Marathon with Melissa Perlman

Women’s Soccer with Catie Chase

Coaching at the EMG with Scott Garson

Maccabi USA Soccer with Morry Steinbach

Prepping for the European Maccabi Games with Zak Elfenbein

Maccabi Memories with Caroline Post

Maccabi Memories with Dallen Stanford

Maccabi Memories with Matthew Halpern

Maccabi Memories with Charly Santagado

Maccabi Memories with Matthew Monheit

Maccabi Memories with Lenny Krayzelburg

Maccabi Memories with Rachel Magerman

Maccabi Memories with Noah Springwater

Maccabi Memories with Stuart Weitzman

 

Like Maccabi USA on Facebook and follow Maccabi USA on Twitter and Instagram!!

The plane approached Santiago, Chile with the giant endless blue sky above, the regal turquoise Pacific Ocean below, and the giant snowcapped Andes Mountains facing us. We were thousands of miles away from the beauty that is Israel and yet in that same moment I felt so closely connected to her. It was in that moment I realized just how beautifully the international Maccabi Games, no matter what country they are held in, unifies some of the world’s greatest Jewish athletes, and Jewish people as a whole.

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(Medals from the 2015 Pan American Maccabi Games, Dan in the center)

In the early 2000s, I was participating in the JCC Maccabi Games and in PGA Junior Golf Tournaments. I was introduced to Maccabi USA in 2004 when I was approached to try out for Team USA’s Juniors Golf team at the 2005 Maccabiah Games. After competing in the U.S. qualifier, I made it! This was my first opportunity to compete at the World Maccabiah Games, and the tournament took place at Caesarea Golf Club in Israel. Since that fateful day in 2004, I have participated, both as a coach and an athlete, at the 2005 & 2013 Maccabiah Games, the 2006 Maccabi Australia International Games, and most recently at the 2015 Pan American Maccabi Games. My excitement level to meet, compete, and share/create memories with so many people from around the world while in Chile was the same as it was leading up to Israel nearly eleven years ago.

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(Juniors’ Golf Team at the 2005 Maccabiah Games, Dan second from the left)

International Maccabi Games are about far more than Golf, Basketball, Field Hockey, Track, Volleyball, Soccer, Swimming- to name just a few of the large range of sporting events that occur at these Games. They are about introducing the world’s Jewish population to each other and more significantly, introducing the world to the spirit of Jewish altruism.  During the recent Pan American Maccabi Games, we spent as much time with our Tzedakah Projects, giving back to the Chilean Jewish and non-Jewish communities by visiting hospitals, supporting local patients with vital supplies and creating food baskets for those in need, as we did competing in our individual sporting events.

During my time in Chile, I realized I am just one of the many thousands of people who participate in the World, European, and Pan American Maccabi Games. There are so many Jews from all over the WORLD sharing their cultures, traditions, and peaceful spiritualism with one another. This past summer the European Maccabi Games were hosted in Berlin, Germany, which I unfortunately could not attend. When these Games commenced, Team USA had played a major role in creating the largest gathering of Jews congregating in Berlin since the Holocaust.

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There is no doubt that competing for my country in Israel and Australia and coaching in Israel and Chile hold some of my life’s greatest memories. It doesn’t hurt that I/we’ve been able to win some medals along the way :). That being said, the most meaningful aspects of these life-changing adventures are the friendships that were sparked and the relationships I have developed with so many special people from a wide range of ages and diverse backgrounds. This year in Chile, our Maccabi experience transformed us all from foreign tourists to members of a world community. We saw the beauty of the land, we met the people who lived in this country, some less fortunate than others but all of whom were courteous, and appreciative of our presence.

This was the perfect setting for our Maccabi family of athletes, coaches, and administrators to create lifetime friendships. I am eternally blessed for this experience and to be a part of the Maccabi USA family.

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Previously:

Swimming for a Purpose with Sarah Solomon

Maccabi USA Field Hockey with Rebekah Abrams

Breaking the International Maccabi Games Golf Scoring Record at the European Maccabi Games

Ori Hoffer on Preparing for his First Maccabi USA Experience

Half Marathon with Melissa Perlman

Women’s Soccer with Catie Chase

Coaching at the EMG with Scott Garson

Maccabi USA Soccer with Morry Steinbach

Prepping for the European Maccabi Games with Zak Elfenbein

Maccabi Memories with Caroline Post

Maccabi Memories with Dallen Stanford

Maccabi Memories with Matthew Halpern

Maccabi Memories with Charly Santagado

Maccabi Memories with Matthew Monheit

Maccabi Memories with Lenny Krayzelburg

Maccabi Memories with Rachel Magerman

Maccabi Memories with Noah Springwater

Maccabi Memories with Stuart Weitzman

 

Like Maccabi USA on Facebook and follow Maccabi USA on Twitter and Instagram!!

A swimmer for most of her life, Sarah Solomon’s first experience with Maccabi USA came in Berlin at the 2015 European Maccabi Games, where she won a whopping seven medals, three gold, three silver and one bronze.  Despite her resounding success, Sarah’s fondest memories include “breaking the record for the largest Kabbalat Shabbat and building relationships with Jews from all around the world.”

Relationships are the main reason Sarah became involved with Maccabi USA in the first place. Prior to the European Maccabi Games, Sarah attended three JCC Maccabi Games, where she met her best friend, Abby Shapiro. “Honestly, I did not initially enjoy my first JCC Games,” recalls Sarah. “Kids that age can be cruel bullies. Noticing I was having a difficult time, Abby, who was great at making friends, hung out with me instead of the rest of the team, and we became inseparable.”  Sarah and Abby were introduced to the European Maccabi Games during the 2014 JCC Games.  They filled out applications, were accepted, and were ready and excited for the trip of a lifetime together.

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Unfortunately, in the spring before the Games in Berlin, Abby was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer. Bedridden and unable to swim, Abby had no choice but to drop from the team.  In her honor, all 13 members of Maccabi USA’s Swim Team in Berlin drew Abby’s initials on their shoulders with sharpies, as pictured below. “While we were in Berlin, Abby was following the results and constantly texting me to congratulate me on my swims,” Sarah said.

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One month after Team USA’s return from Germany, Abby passed away from her battle with cancer; her funeral was attended by more than 600 people. For Sarah, swimming and Maccabi USA took on a deeper meaning. “I was unsure if I wanted to go to the Pan American Maccabi Games,” admits Sarah. “Ultimately, I decided to go and represent Abby Shapiro, an amazing swimmer and an even better friend.”

In just about three weeks, Sarah and the rest of Team USA will depart for the Pan American Maccabi Games, and she is excited. “I can’t wait to make more great relationships as I did in the European Maccabi Games,” remarks Sarah. “I know I will enjoy it just as much, but I am excited for the experience to be new in and of itself!”

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Previously:

Maccabi USA Field Hockey with Rebekah Abrams

Breaking the International Maccabi Games Golf Scoring Record at the European Maccabi Games

Ori Hoffer on Preparing for his First Maccabi USA Experience

Half Marathon with Melissa Perlman

Women’s Soccer with Catie Chase

Coaching at the EMG with Scott Garson

Maccabi USA Soccer with Morry Steinbach

Prepping for the European Maccabi Games with Zak Elfenbein

Maccabi Memories with Caroline Post

Maccabi Memories with Dallen Stanford

Maccabi Memories with Matthew Halpern

Maccabi Memories with Charly Santagado

Maccabi Memories with Matthew Monheit

Maccabi Memories with Lenny Krayzelburg

Maccabi Memories with Rachel Magerman

Maccabi Memories with Noah Springwater

Maccabi Memories with Stuart Weitzman

 

Like Maccabi USA on Facebook and follow Maccabi USA on Twitter and Instagram!!

The day Rebekah Abrams returned from the recent European Maccabi Games in Berlin, she immediately asked her parents if she could “pretty please” attend the upcoming Pan American Maccabi Games.  “I just wanted to do it again so badly,” said Rebekah. “My parents were very supportive and I am very thankful to them for that.”

Rebekah, currently studying to be a Biomedical Engineer with a minor in Judaic Studies at the University of Rochester, hadn’t heard of Maccabi USA until speaking with her good friend Daniella Rabin, who competed at the 2013 Maccabiah Games as a Juniors Gymnast.  Daniella knew how serious Rebekah took Field Hockey (she plays on Rochester’s Field Hockey team), and suggested she look into participating at the 2015 European Maccabi Games. “I started to really look into the opportunity,” recalled Rebekah. “And the more I learned, and the more I spoke with Daniella, the more I knew I had to go to Germany.”

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Although Maccabi USA’s Open Women’s Field Hockey team at the European Maccabi Games did not achieve their goal of winning a medal, Rebekah described her time in Germany in glowing fashion.  “Not only did I become a better Field Hockey player, I made so many real friends that I am in touch with constantly!”

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As a newly minted Maccabi USA alum, Rebekah knows what she’d like to do the same and differently at the Pan American Maccabi Games.  Unsurprisingly, they involve building relationships. She plans on interacting with her International counterparts on a more personal level.  “I wish I had talked to more of the International players, to learn more about them and their culture,” she said.  “It’s fascinating, the opportunity to meet all these Jews from so many different parts of the world. How cool is that?”

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As the interview is coming to an end, it is casually mentioned that there are roughly 40 days until her departure to Chile; she can barely contain her excitement. “There were so many moments from the European Maccabi Games that I can’t forget, and now I get to do it all over again in Chile? How fantastic! I can’t wait!”

 

Previously:

Breaking the International Maccabi Games Golf Scoring Record at the European Maccabi Games

Ori Hoffer on Preparing for his First Maccabi USA Experience

Half Marathon with Melissa Perlman

Women’s Soccer with Catie Chase

Coaching at the EMG with Scott Garson

Maccabi USA Soccer with Morry Steinbach

Prepping for the European Maccabi Games with Zak Elfenbein

Maccabi Memories with Caroline Post

Maccabi Memories with Dallen Stanford

Maccabi Memories with Matthew Halpern

Maccabi Memories with Charly Santagado

Maccabi Memories with Matthew Monheit

Maccabi Memories with Lenny Krayzelburg

Maccabi Memories with Rachel Magerman

Maccabi Memories with Noah Springwater

Maccabi Memories with Stuart Weitzman

 

Like Maccabi USA on Facebook and follow Maccabi USA on Twitter and Instagram!!

The game of golf has always played a major role in Ben Feld’s life. As an undergraduate student at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Ben captained the Golf team for two seasons as part of a four-year career.  Nowadays, he is in his third year as the Assistant Golf Coach at Drexel, a role some could say prepared Ben to shoot the tournament of his life at the 2015 European Maccabi Games.

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As the 2015 European Maccabi Games approached, Ben was unsure what to expect. Although he had played in various professional and amateur tournaments throughout his career, he had yet to play in one outside of the United States.  On top of that, this would be Ben’s first time representing Maccabi USA.  That didn’t stop him from turning in the greatest Golf performance in International Maccabi Games history.  With a first round 65, Ben never looked back, scoring below 70 throughout the tournament. After all was said and done, Ben had shot 15-under par, breaking the all-time International Maccabi Games golf scoring record, as well as recording the lowest single round score in International Maccabi Games history with his 65 in the first.

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After such a fantastic performance, one would expect that his successes on the course would be his favorite memory from his experience.  With Ben, that is not the case. “The most memorable part of my Maccabi USA experience would have to be the Opening Ceremony,” recalls Ben. “Ten thousand Jews, congregating in Berlin, given the city’s obvious history, was nothing short of extraordinarily powerful.”

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At competitive golf tournaments, it is unusual for opposing golfers to actively support their opponent.  Once it was clear that Ben was in the midst of a special run, many golfers began rooting for him, none more than the Masters Golfers from Great Britain.  “I was fortunate to make many friendships and bonds,” said Ben. “I have even been invited over the pond whenever I please to play some golf!”

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Ben continues to golf competitively, and hopes to continue golfing as a part of Maccabi USA. “Do everything in your power to make this opportunity a reality,” advises Ben.  “Words can’t describe how special of an experience the Maccabi Games are as a whole.”

 

Previously:

Ori Hoffer on Preparing for his First Maccabi USA Experience

Half Marathon with Melissa Perlman

Women’s Soccer with Catie Chase

Coaching at the EMG with Scott Garson

Maccabi USA Soccer with Morry Steinbach

Prepping for the European Maccabi Games with Zak Elfenbein

Maccabi Memories with Caroline Post

Maccabi Memories with Dallen Stanford

Maccabi Memories with Matthew Halpern

Maccabi Memories with Charly Santagado

Maccabi Memories with Matthew Monheit

Maccabi Memories with Lenny Krayzelburg

Maccabi Memories with Rachel Magerman

Maccabi Memories with Noah Springwater

Maccabi Memories with Stuart Weitzman

 

Like Maccabi USA on Facebook and follow Maccabi USA on Twitter and Instagram!!

A lifelong athlete and fervent soccer player/supporter, Ori Hoffer was unaware that Maccabi USA fielded Masters-aged Soccer teams at the International Maccabi Games.  One night in 2014, while playing with his over-40 team, Howard Glancy, two-time Maccabi USA alum, approached Ori asking, “You’re Jewish, right? You should play for the Maccabi team!”  As Ori puts it, “My first thought was, are you kidding me? Maccabi is for Olympic-level athletes like Mark Spitz. But then he mentioned that there was an Over-45 division, and to say my interest was piqued is an understatement, to say the least.”

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A native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, soccer has always been in Ori’s lineage.  His grandfather, Eugene Hoffer (pictured below), was a professional soccer player for Hapoel Palestine in Israel (pre-1948).  “I will never forget kicking my first soccer ball with him in the basement of our house when I was three years old,” Ori recalls.  As a member of Hapoel Palestine, Ori’s grandfather traveled to the United States for a “Good Will Soccer Tour.” Ori sees his impending participation at the 2015 Pan American Maccabi Games as a sort of extension off of his grandfather’s tour.  “I see my participation in the Maccabi Games as a continuation of that,” said Ori. “It will be our chance to share some more goodwill with one another, and to show the rest of the world the joy and peaceful energy Jewish people can bring.”

Ori Grandfather Good Will Flag

Prior to the Pan American Maccabi Games, the Masters 45+ Soccer Team has made it a point to get together as often as possible. This began with a training camp in Fort Wayne, Indiana, earlier in 2015, and continued through a tournament in Casa Grande, Arizona. Despite the uncooperative nature of the weather in Fort Wayne, the training camp was very successful in Ori’s mind.  “One of the most important things we had to do was build team chemistry,” said Ori. “It was great to be together and run through a number of training exercises without the pressure of trying to win tournament games.”

As this will be Ori’s first participation at a Maccabi Games with Maccabi USA, he is unsure what to expect.  One thing is for sure; Ori is pumped. “I’m excited for the chance to be around Jewish athletes from across the hemisphere,” exclaims Ori. “Beyond my new friends from this team, I’m not really surrounded by Jews in my daily life.  Spending this time with thousands of Jews who share the same heritage is amazing and something I am really looking forward to.”

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Previously:

Half Marathon with Melissa Perlman

Women’s Soccer with Catie Chase

Coaching at the EMG with Scott Garson

Maccabi USA Soccer with Morry Steinbach

Prepping for the European Maccabi Games with Zak Elfenbein

Maccabi Memories with Caroline Post

Maccabi Memories with Dallen Stanford

Maccabi Memories with Matthew Halpern

Maccabi Memories with Charly Santagado

Maccabi Memories with Matthew Monheit

Maccabi Memories with Lenny Krayzelburg

Maccabi Memories with Rachel Magerman

Maccabi Memories with Noah Springwater

Maccabi Memories with Stuart Weitzman

 

Like Maccabi USA on Facebook and follow Maccabi USA on Twitter and Instagram!!