After a few days back home in New York City, I’ve had time to reflect upon the trans-formative experience this past fortnight truly was.
This year’s games encompassed 10,000 athletes, 3000 tournaments, 47 sports, 2100 medals and 80 countries!
Maccabi World Union is the largest and longest running Jewish sports organization spanning over five continents, more than 60 countries, 450 clubs, and 400,000 members.
Maccabi utilizes sports as a means to bring Jewish people of all ages closer to Judaism and Israel.
Three Generations: Grandfather, Father, Son
Traveling together as 3 generations of tennis players competing for the USA was a deeply fulfilling experience.
When I began dating my wife Gal, tennis was the bond developed between her father Avram and I.
We won many father/son doubles matches over the years. After my son Jonah was born, the tradition continued and ultimately led to the opportunity to compete in the 2017 Maccabiah Games – all together.
The press loved the story and here’s a collection of published articles relating to our three generations:
MaccabiUSA Press Release:
New York Jewish Week:
Judisch Allgemeine (German Paper):
Meeting and competing against players from around the world was an amazing experience. Even greater were the friendships formed on the trip with members of our USA team.
The feeling of camaraderie cheering / supporting your team during key matches was unforgettable.
Huge congratulations to my mixed doubles partner Rebecca Stein, so proud we brought home a bronze medal together.
Amazing that there were so many Jewish athletes from Suriname. I don’t think I’ve even heard of Suriname before this event!
Thank you so much coach Scott & Ana Eherlich and Todd Rubenstein for your commitment, coaching, passion, patience and selflessness to ensure we all had the best experience possible!
Tennis Masters Video Highlights:
The Maccabiah organization hosted a rave glow-party to bring the kids together and showcase some of the best Israeli multimedia which took place at the youth olympic village in Haifa. The sports facilities were absolutely gorgeous. The setting in Haifa was spectacular – featuring terraced tennis courts with views to the Mediterranean Sea.
My breakfast of champions every morning – the mighty acai bowl from this incredible fruit stand on the corner of Ben Gurion and Dizengorf. Also checkout the super cute tennis player in the cappuccino foam at a coffee shop near the Ramat Hasharon Israel Tennis Center.
Spending quality time with my family was also very special. My mom made the trek from Florida and we enjoyed cafes in Jaffa. Gal, Avram and I visited the trendy Neve Tzedek neighborhood which had the best french cafe “Ballal”.
Even after playing tennis for hours in the 95 degree scorching heat, we always found time to play kadima on the beach at sunset along the shoreline. Here’s a nice photos of Gal and Eden at sunset in Tel Aviv.
Special thank you to Jacqueline Glodstein, Executive VP for Global Development at the Israel Tennis Centers Foundation for her incredible support across the entire event. I had a chance to photograph the young players at the Israel Tennis Center in Jaffa to support the foundation in their mission to spread tennis to young people and bring together jews and arabs in the name of sports and camaraderie. To learn more and support the centers, click here.
The tank museum in Letrun was a spectacular location to celebrate the athletes in a fantastic closing ceremony hosted by Bar Rafieli.
Competition is a fire that burns deep within us. We seek to improve ourselves and test the results in the arena of sports. We do it for the love of the game and for how it makes us feel after putting in the hours, weeks and months of training.
I personally feel fitter, stronger and more focused than ever. I also feel that this experience has given deeper meaning to my business and personal life.
Higher, Better, Together, the mantra of the closing ceremonies of the 2017 Maccabiah Games was simply profound.
To go higher, you must do better and to do better, we must do it together… as a team.
Photo credits: Maccabiah World Organization, Andy Stein, Jonah Jurick, Michael Jurick
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