The Levite Jewish Community Center is proud to be sending a team of eight teenagers to Israel to compete in this year’s JCC Maccabi Games. We’re so proud, in fact, that we’re going to host a send-off breakfast at The J on Wednesday, July 5, at 6:30 a.m. Everyone is welcome to attend.
More than a thousand Jewish teens from 10 countries will gather in Israel to kick off the weeklong Olympic-style sports event that includes opening and closing ceremonies, community service, and social and cultural activities. The event, which ties in with the ongoing celebration of Israel’s 75th birthday, will be followed by two weeks of educational travel throughout the country. The last time the games were in Israel was in 2011.
Team LJCC includes soccer players Ari Altmann, Dylan Bor, and Miles McMillan, and flag footballers Eli Brook, Ben Davis, Jonah Kipp, Micah Goldis, and Bobby Rutkoff. The team will be supervised by LJCC staff members Katie Hausman Grace and Cody Bass.
“I’ve heard a lot of stories about the JCC Maccabi Games we hosted here in Birmingham in 2017,” says Executive Director Brooke Bowles. “Katie played a major role in that success, so now I’m thrilled that she’ll help lead our team for the games in Israel. It’s going to be such a great experience for them all.”
“I can’t wait to see Masada National Park, go hiking, and eat everything!” Ben says, while Ari is looking forward to putting a note in the Western Wall — something he did not have a chance to do on a previous visit.
Other team members are looking forward to visiting the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center and the Golan Heights, plus Jerusalem’s famous shuk marketplace.
“This trip is about so much more than just the sports,” Katie says. “These boys are going to experience a lot while we’re there, and Cody and I look forward to having the same experiences while helping them process it all.”
In addition to funding from the Levite Jewish Community Center, this adventure has been made possible by a contribution from the Maurine and Leroy Monsky Fund of The Birmingham Jewish Foundation.