More Stories – Athletes

Making New Friends

“I met such great friends that I will hopefully keep in touch with for years to come. I’m even going to Virginia and Israel to visit my JCC Maccabi friends again! I love Maccabi!!”

“Getting to hang out with all of my friends from all over the world was my favorite part of the JCC Maccabi Games. I got to meet people from my own delegation, Austin, Ann Arbor, Houston, Northern Virginia, Indianapolis, Atlanta, BANC, Vancouver, and tons of other places.”

“I enjoyed how we had free time to just hang out with friends and rest. The fact that we had a choice of what activities to do and which sports to watch, etc. It gave both flexibility and a chance for us to spend time and make new friends.”

“I think my favorite memory had to be meeting people from all around the USA, Mexico, and Israel and keeping strong relationships with them with them.”

“Two words: incredibly awesome.”

“Awesome experience, I love everything. Looking forward to participating again next year and making new friends.”

“This year’s caring and sharing was a very worthwhile experience and I’m glad I partook in it. This year I went to Boysville in Texas, which is a home that takes care of children whose parents could not. Doing arts and crafts projects and having snacks with the kids was proof that this direct service paid off. The kids and staff were extremely hospitable and happy to have us and I would love to visit Boysville again.”

“I had an amazing time meeting people. I would do random things such as be in a conversation with a friend, and point to a random person and say that they’re my best friend. I did this once, not knowing the person I pointed to, and then ended up spending the entire day with the person I pointed to. It was hilariously cool.”

“My host family truly made my experience amazing!”

“Everything was great… everything was an amazing memory; it was the time of my life.”

“My favorite part of the 2005 JCC Maccabi Games in Dallas was the very last night. Closing ceremonies dance was really fun and it was cool seeing me and my friends in the video. When we got back to my friend Tracy’s house (where I was staying) we were about to go to sleep when our friend who had 3 of our friends from Atlanta staying at his house called and we all ended up going over to his house for a pool party. What an awesome way to end the unforgettable games!”

“I loved the dance at Giley’s. It was very well organized and planned. There were so many options for the athletes, and the multiple activities other than dancing were very convenient for those who felt uncomfortable dancing. I also loved riding in the buses. I know that riding in a bus is very basic, but some of my fondest memories where just sitting in that bus and talking for what seemed like hours.”

“After our last game, even though we lost it and all our other games, it was a very well played game and we were all very proud.”

“Our baseball team was knocked out of the first round of play but yet we all stayed together and watched the other events as a team.”

“Our team got along so well and we were the best ones there the whole thing was unbelievable.”

“A couple of Israelis (a boy and a girl) came to join our Vancouver basketball teams and I enjoyed both as well!”

“After our last game, both my soccer team and the team we played against all got in a conjoined circle and danced and sang. I felt like we were all one big family and I thought to myself, this is why I do the JCC Maccabi Games, right here, for this reason. We are all one big family.”

Finding a Jewish Community

“I absolutely loved my delegation. I made so many new friends… The JCC Maccabi Games are the first positive Jewish experience (besides my Bat Mitzvah) that I’ve ever had.”

“As an Israeli athlete on the San Antonio team, I was very happy to hear how the other athletes loved Israel and that many will or already visited Israel… it was very touching to see that there is so much love for Israel among the Jewish community.”

“The opening ceremonies. The first time I cried was when Anouk Spitzer spoke. It was such a sad and disturbing story she told. But what also struck me were her words of wisdom, and just the fact that she took the time to talk to us. Then the second time I cried was when Gal Friedman came into the arena. I don’t know why, but it was just amazing that this guy had accomplished something so huge for the Jewish people. And then he again took the time to be with us, which showed how he cares for the Jews around the world. The opening ceremonies will definitely be something I remember.”

“Every part of the Maccabi games was so memorable and so much fun. My absolute favorite part though was either all the games I played or the closing ceremony.”

“I met a lot of kids from Mexico, and we ended up hanging out all the time! It was so much fun to see Jews from a different country, and to see the difference in our cultures.”

“I loved taking a little boy shopping for school clothes during the Day of Caring and Sharing program. He needed so much and we got him a load of things for $100 to help him be prepared for school this year.”

“I really enjoyed staying with my host family. Their little son was really cute and he was very happy to have us staying with them. They treated us very well and were a real “family” to us while we were there.”

“I sat at St. Mark’s watching my delegation’s volleyball team win the gold. It was the first time that a team from Austin had won the gold. Everyone was really excited and it was awesome to be a part of the always supportive cheering section.”