Philadelphia, PA (June 27) – When the Maccabi USA Open Women’s Field Hockey Team travels to Vienna, Austria next week for the 13th European Maccabi Games, the Team will include a local Los Angeles athlete by the name of Sophie Gunter, who was selected to join this elite group of Jewish Field Hockey athletes.  Gunter and the other 115 members of Team USA will be part of over 2000 Jewish athletes from all over Europe, Israel and the Diaspora who will participate in these historically significant Games, which will be the largest gathering of Jews in Vienna since World War II.

Gunter, a graduate of Sinai Akiba Academy, a Camp Ramah alumnus and current Harvard-Westlake School sophomore is an All Delphi League Field Hockey player who plays Forward for her local Hollywood Club Team.  She is proud to represent Jews from the USA, particularly those in the local Jewish Community who have given her so much support.

“When the USA Team marches into the Stadium for the Opening Ceremony in Vienna, I can’t predict the emotions I will have,” Gunter said. “The Jewish Pride I was raised with by my family, Camp Ramah, Rabbi Scheindlin, Rabbi Wolpe and all the great teachers at Sinai Akiba, will just come pouring out!”

She credits her Field Hockey skills to two main events in her life.  The first is all the street hockey pucks she shot with her brother Simon when they were little children, growing up in Los Angeles.  The second is the dedication and coaching she has received from Coach Erin Creznic at the Harvard-Westlake School.

About the organization:

Maccabi USA (MUSA) is a federally recognized not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization with an extensive history of enriching Jewish lives through athletic, cultural and educational programs.  The organization is the official sponsor of the United States Team to the World Maccabiah Games, the Pan American Maccabi Games and the Maccabi competitions in Europe and Australia, as well as a co-founder of the JCC Maccabi Games for teens in North America.  As the official Maccabi representative in the U.S., Maccabi USA supports Jewish athletic endeavors, enhanced by cultural and educational activities in the United States, Israel and throughout the Diaspora.

MUSA develops, promotes and supports international, national and regional athletic-based activities and facilities.  It strives to provide Jewish athletes the world over the opportunity to share their heritage and customs in competitive athletic settings.  MUSA supports programs that embody the Maccabi ideals of Jewish Continuity, Zionism and excellence in sport.