Shalom Austin Participates in Orange County Maccabi Games

Shalom Austin Participates in Orange County Maccabi Games

Team Austin at Opening Ceremonies. Photo Credit: Jen Reed

By Jen Reed

Team Austin, 43 teens who traveled to Orange County, California, to represent the Shalom Austin Jewish Community Center at the 2018 JCC Maccabi Games and Artsfest, were part of 2,500 participating teens who for the first time in history, were all hosted by one community, Orange County, for the games.

The teens came together from 68 delegations from across North America, Mexico, Canada, Great Britain and Israel. The weeklong Olympic-style competition kicked off with opening ceremonies at Santa Ana Stadium.

Team Austin made a strong showing and returned with an impressive medal count, including two gold medals, four silver medals and three bronze medals. Team Austin competed in basketball, soccer, lacrosse, baseball, volleyball, tennis and track and field. Many Austin athletes competed within a mixed team format, made up of two or more delegations. In a true form of teamwork and collaboration, three of those mixed teams medaled.

Team Austin’s girls 16U soccer (Helena Lewis)—silver medaled; boys 14U baseball (Ben Caplovitz, Noah Gorelick and Nathan Abrahams)—bronze medaled; boys 14U soccer (Yehonathan Kleinerman, Andrew Bailey, Jonathan Kahn, Eyal Refaeli, Leo Klein and Yoav Rimini) led by Coach Laurence Statman, excitingly took the bronze. Team Austin’s girls 16U Volleyball (Aiden Horwitz and Jessica Woskow) also silver medaled.

On the individual sports stage, Team Austin athletes competing in tennis brought home medals in singles and doubles. Ally Sapire battled her way to a gold medal in the Girls 14U Recreational division. Meanwhile, doubles partners Hannah Cukierman and Haylen Cohen earned a silver medal and Amber Traub brought home a bronze in doubles. Tomer Porten was a double medal winner with a silver medal in the 400m and a gold medal in the 4x400 relay.

Four Team Austin teens participated in Artsfest, including Ray Swartz in rock band, Eden Goodman in dance, Max Bellomio in visual arts and Abby Baldwin in improv. These artists took part in a weeklong workshop, culminating with a stunning showcase highlighting their respective talents. A recording of the Artsfest Showcase will be available on Shalom Austin’s website in the coming weeks.

Team Austin is so grateful to community members who volunteer their time to support these artists and athletes. Volunteer coaches Marty Levinson and Wayne Pappert, Artsfest chaperone Scott Lindauer and Delegation Head Aron Waisman, devote their time and energy ensuring that Austin teens have an unforgettable experience. Shalom Austin staff members Jen Reed, Corey Schwartz and Laurence Statman rounded out the Team Austin crew leading the teens in Orange County.

To see this year’s entire opening ceremony, visit www.jccoc.org/maccabi/maccabi-opening-ceremonies.

The 2019 JCC Maccabi Games and Artsfest will be held in Detroit, Michigan. ■

Check out www.shalomaustin/maccabi to stay up-to-date.

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