Maccabi Games: Summer 2014 approaching

Marlee Zeitz, Eastside Sports Editor

There are only 15 days left until the Maccabi Games start! The Maccabi Games consist of team and individual sports where Jewish teens around the world get to compete with each other for four consecutive days. The games take place every summer at a different city in the United States as well as an international country. This year they are right here in Cherry Hill. Jewish Community Centers from all over get together to plan this week for teens.
The Maccabi Games offers teens from ages 13-16 to participate in whichever of the 15 sports offered they would like. Some sports hold try outs, but other sports known as “individual sports” do not.
Some examples of individual sports would be dance, table tennis, track and field, tennis and more.
All of the games will be held at either the Katz JCC, Cherry Hill High School East, Eastern Regional High School, Cherokee High School and many more places in the South Jersey area.
Since there are 1,000 visiting athletes from around the world coming to Cherry Hill for the week, members of the Cherry Hill community open their homes to these athletes. From 9 AM- 9 PM Maccabi athletes are on the go. When they are not participating in the physical games, athletes are at their hosts house. This year there will be 500 families hosting athletes.
There are several opportunities for members of the community to get involved with the games for the week. One can either be a host, sponsor, volunteer or an athlete.
Months and months of preparation is put into this. Meetings upon meetings, Maccabi chairs plan for days just for the four days.
Each athlete comes from is or her own delegation. Cherry Hill is known as Team South Jersey.
The Maccabi Games are known to be wonderful with an outstanding reputation. Meeting athletes from around the world and spending time with them is something most communities really enjoy. Rachel Becker (’16) who participated in the games last year in California said, “I did lacrosse last year in California and it was a lot of fun. I made friends from all over and I am still in touch with someone from England.”
The hype for the Maccabi Games Summer 2014 is increasing day by day. Athletes are getting anxious for the week to finally start. Cherry Hill is ready and can’t wait for the countdown to end. Let’s hear it for Team South Jersey!