Being exposed to people from different countries and backgrounds is so important for a young person’s development. And a group of South African teenagers had this opportunity during August when they participated in the JCC (Jewish Community Centres) Maccabi Games in Fort Lauderdale in the USA. The South African youngsters participated for the first time in this annual event held in different US cities.
Over 1500 Jewish teens, ages 12-16, representing communities from across the globe, come together for an unforgettable week of competition, community service and social activities. This event included athletes from the USA, Canada, Israel, Argentina, Mexico, Ukraine, Great Britain and South Africa. It is an ideal forum for athletes to create Jewish connections, friendships and memories to last a lifetime.
The JCC Games targets a slightly younger age group than the traditional Maccabi Games in Israel, which appeals to Maccabi SA, since the organisation is able to broaden their services. The South African team was an all-female one made up of girls 7v7 soccer and a dance group.
The soccer team included some Cape Town girls, all of whom attend Herzlia: Amy Distiller, Izzy Abrahamson, Ruby Snaid and Luna Beyhan.
For Luna Beyhan, this was a great tournament. In addition to being chosen as captain of the soccer team, she was crowned as the top goal scorer of the tournament. In her role as captain, Luna was also appointed flag bearer for Team SA for the Opening Ceremony, following in the footsteps of many accomplished Maccabians who have been awarded this honour throughout Maccabi SA’s 87 year history.
The trip ended on a high when Team Maccabi SA was awarded the JCC Midot Medal by Ana Ehrlich, head of the JCC Fort Lauderdale Games. The Midot Medal is presented to the team or athletes that demonstrate JCC Midot (values) including respect, kindness, Jewish peoplehood and Tikkun Olam.
Congratulations to all the members of the two South African teams!
Maccabi South Africa: website
• Published in the October 2023 issue – Click here to start reading.
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