Yesterday TJHN published a story concerning Henry Lazar and organizations he represents. Within that story some general information mentioning the Maccabi Games was disclosed. The only reason the Maccabi Games were mentioned, or people involved in those games were mentioned was because TJHN did not want to over edit the basis for the story.
TJHN supports the Maccabi Games core values as they relate to developing athletes and people who are well grounded and connected to their community as we would any other similar games. TJHN also supports all of the the people who volunteer that make those and any other games possible. One persons actions should not reflect on all of the other people involved.
In that regard we would like to inform our readers on just what the Maccabi Games are all about.
- The Maccabiah Games were first held in 1932 and now take place in Israel every four years. The 19th Maccabiah Games are scheduled for next July and are expected to draw 7,000 Jewish athletes from 50+ countries, competing in 35 sports. It is the third largest international athletic competition, behind only the Olympics and the World University Games.
- Several Olympic Gold Medalists have competed in the Maccabiah Games including swimmer Mark Spitz, Lenny Krayzelburg and Jason Lezak, and gymnasts Kerry Strug and Mitch Gaylord. NBA players Dolf Shayes and Ernie Grunfeld also competed and coached in the Maccabiah. Two members of Team USA at the last World Cup soccer competition were also former Maccabiah athletes — Jonathan Bornstein and Benny Feilhaber.
- Maccabi USA is the US based organization responsible for sending our delegation to the Maccabiah Games every four years. The goal of the organization is to use international sports competition to strengthen Jewish identity and promote an enhanced connection to the State of Israel. The Maccabiah Games are much more than an athletic competition. In addition to competing and bonding with Jewish athletes from all over the US and the world, members of Team USA participate in a special week long program during which they explore Israel, tour historic and religious sites and develop a strong connection to the Jewish homeland.
- Hockey was first included in the Maccabiah in 1997 when Israel, USA, Canada, and Ukraine competed. Canada won the gold, followed by the US and Israel. Two NHL players competed in the first Maccabiah — David Nemirovsky (Canada) and Mike Hartman (USA). The US and Canadian rosters were made up primarily of College, Major Junior, and minor pro players.
- Hockey has not been played since due to a lack of an available fourth team (Israel, US, and Canada have always been interested but we’ve had no success getting a fourth). Hockey will be making a return to the Maccabiah in 2013 and will include France and potentially Russia in addition to ISR, US, and Can. Competition will be held in three categories — Junior (’95 and ’96 birth years); Open; and Masters (40 and up).
- The games will be played in the Canada Center, Israel’s only regulation ice rink which is located in Mettula, a small city located on the northern border with Lebanon.
- All of the Ice Hockey staff member are volunteers.
- Tryouts for the team will be held August 17-19 in Warwick, PA, outside of Philadelphia. Visit the Maccabi USA website www.maccabiusa.com for more information.
This year’s USA team will be coached by NHL Broadcaster (and 1997 Maccabi Team member) Billy Jaffe. He will join by current Dallas Stars forward Eric Nystrom on the bench. Team Canada will be led by Stanley Cup winning coach Mike Keenan.
TJHN would like to thank Devra Schorr Maccabi USA Ice Hockey Co-Chair for providing this information.