The JCC Games are the ultimate American adventure

By Danny Caro, October 29, 2010
Follow Danny on Twitter

When I look back at my achievements within the Jewish arena, my one regret is not taking part in the JCC Games.

Last year’s GB delegation was the most successful yet and it’s no surprise that Maccabi have appointed the husband and wife team of Brian and Helena Green to head the delegation again next year.

A team of 36 athletes achieved some outstanding results, but according to Green, “more importantly, raised more than £4,500 for Maccabi GB’s Challenge Project, helping participants with special needs to engage in Maccabi GB activities both in this country and in Israel”.

For some, the August 2011 event in Philadelphia will feature Jewish teens competing in an international arena for the first time. Another first is that GB are hoping to send an Under 16 girls lacrosse team and there are still places available in the girls U16 football, boys U14 football, boys U14 basketball, swimming and tennis.

2011 will be a busy year for Brian who is also Junior Team Manager of Team GB at the 13th European Games in Vienna just before it.

“We were absolutely hooked by the experience last time around and were honoured to do it again,” said Brian. “It is a huge undertaking and much planning is involved for these types of trips but we simply could not turn down the opportunity.”

Maccabi’s ethos is about providing Jewish continuity and the JCC offers a sporting and social experience for all with new friendships formed on and off the field of play. Brian said: “The team continued to do us proud both with their sporting attitudes and their exemplary behaviour. Maccabi GB is about more than just sport and the JCC Maccabi Games provides the perfect opportunity for our young participants to engage in sporting events, but also to make friends with Jewish teenagers from around the world, to discover their own Jewish identity and to be a part of an international event engaging over 1,000 Jewish people.”

The JCC could be the highlight for many Jewish athletes but one man who looks destined for bigger things is young golfer Marc Brenner. A star in Denver last summer, Brenner, 14, recently became Abridge Golf & Country Club’s youngest Junior Captain.

- There are two standout games in London on Sunday. The first sees London Maccabi Lions A take on North West Neasden A in the clash of the titans at Rowley Lane. Neither team has started the season well and it’s a massive game for both teams who recently crashed out of the Sunday FA Cup. Neasden’s early season form has suffered with a number of key players suspended following misdemeanours from last season, while for the Lions, striker Mike Pearson is a doubt with a knee injury.

The other top match comes in the JC League Cup where Premier Division high-flyers North London Raiders A entertain Hendon United Sports Club A in Uxbridge. Hendon will go into the game with a psychological edge having beaten the Raiders 4-3 in September.

- Bob Spivak of Philadelphia and Roy Salomon, of Toronto have been appointed co-Presidents of the 19th World Maccabiah Games, which will run from July 16- July 30, 2013.

    Last updated: 11:50am, November 12 2010