Please join us for The President’s Forum hosted by Maccabi USA President, Jeff Bukantz. The President’s Forum features intimate conversation with distinguished guests across the global Jewish community. Join us to celebrate the New Year and engage with your Maccabi community!

This week’s featured guest is Maccabi USA alumni, Executive Committee Member, author, and Team Rabbi for the 21st Maccabiah, Rabbi Darren Levine.

Rabbi Levine is the author of Positive Judaism – a new look for those wanting to improve their self, family, and community through Jewish living. He brings attention to the virtues that enhance life and that are at the core of living a meaningful life:
• Wisdom
• Courage
• Humanity
• Justice
• Temperance
• Transcendence

All these virtues have corresponding Jewish values, biblical teachings, and Jewish practices. When experienced by an individual or community, the impact will be increased positive emotion, increased communal engagement, improved relationships, and accelerated human advancement. People and communities will be more confident, optimistic, open to diversity, able to learn lessons from hardship, experience work as a calling, act and think with purpose, contribute and help, appreciate family and friends, and act generously.

In addition, Rabbi Levine is the founding Rabbi of Tamid the Downtown Synagogue in New York, NY. He holds Rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and has a Doctorate in Pastoral Psychology from the Post Graduate Center for Mental Health. A native of California, Darren is a graduate of University of California, Santa Cruz. 

For more information on Rabbi Levine and Positive Judaism, please visit


Our next guest is shoe designer, entrepreneur and Maccabi USA Alum Stuart Weitzman.

This installment will feature Past Presidents of the organization to discuss their challenges and successes while leading Maccabi USA.

Our distinguished panelists include:
Bob Spivak, President 1980-2001
Toni Wortman, President 2001-2009
Ron Carner, President 2010-2017

We will be exploring the evolution of Maccabi USA from its humble beginnings in New York to being a major national organization based in Philadelphia, defining moments of our panelist’s presidency, working with leaders from Israel and the rest of the world, and the growth of our programming and offerings.


This week’s featured guest is U.S. Olympic and Maccabiah Swimming Champion, Anthony ErvinAnthony was a member of the U.S. Swim Team at the 2000, 2012 and 2016 Olympics. In 2000, he won a gold medal in the 50m freestyle and a silver medal as part of the 4x100m freestyle relay. He retired from competition in 2003, but returned in 2011 and qualified for the 2012 Olympics. In 2016, he again won the gold medal in the 50m freestyle, becoming the oldest ever individual Olympic gold medal winner in swimming, 16 years after his first gold medal in this event. He also won gold in the 4x100m medley relay.  

In addition to his Olympic success, Anthony has won medals in the World Aquatic Championships and Pan Pacific Swimming Championships.  

In 2017, Anthony was a member of the U.S. Maccabiah Open Swimming team and was given the highest honor – lighting the torch at the Opening Ceremony to officially begin the Games. He left Israel as the gold medalist for the 50m freestyle (setting a Maccabiah record), 100m freestyle, and as part of the 4x100m medley relay. Additionally, he won silver as part of the 4x100m freestyle relay.

MAY 21
This week’s topic was on the impact of Covid-19 within intercollegiate athletics and what the future may bring.

Here is the panel:
Greg Gardner is the Associate Head Coach for Men’s Ice Hockey at Mercyhurst University. Greg served as the Open Men’s Ice Hockey Head Coach for the 20th Maccabiah.
Haley Mitchell is the Head Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Coach at Occidental College. She has recently completed her 2nd season with the team. Haley served as the Juniors Swimming Co-Coach for the 20th Maccabiah.
Dr. Daniel Freeman is the Assistant Director of Athletic Advancement & Alumni Engagement at UNC Asheville. Dan was a member of the Open Track & Field team for the 20th Maccabiah.

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Our first featured guests are three leaders from Maccabi World Union: Amir Peled (Chairman), Eyal Tiberger (Executive Director), and Roy Hessing (Deputy Executive Director & Maccabiah CEO).

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