Philadelphia, PA, February 18, 2009 – 51 men and women have been appointed to represent the USA as part of the Open Men’s, Open Women’s and Masters Men’s Softball Teams at the 18th “Chai” Maccabiah Games in Israel this July. This number includes 45 athletes and a coach and assistant coach for each Team.

At the 17th Maccabiah, both the Open Men’s and Open Women’s Softball Teams took the gold medal in their respective divisions. The 18th Maccabiah will be the first set of Games where there will be a Masters Men’s Softball Division and all members of the Team are excited about the prospects for this highly competitive division. Fred Cohen, Overall Baseball & Softball co-chair said, “It took a few years to get this [Masters Men’s] division started, but overall, all the participating countries are excited to be able to participate, and I know as an athlete I am looking forward to working with my Team to bring the gold medal back to the USA.”

The athletes and coaches come from across the country and represent 12 states. They are: Paul Rubin and Kelsey Stander of Arizona; Alison Adelman, David Blackburn, Emily Bliss, Daniel Cosgrove, Jason Gluckman, Monica Hanono, Lawrence Lorin, Joshua Persell, Barry Schoenbrun, Kenneth Schwartz, Lawrence Silfen, Matthew Singer, Gabriel Spooner, Karli Stander, David Waco, Mark Weinstock, Daniel Winnick and Daniel Winters of California; Mark Brill, Robyn Handler and Michelle Moses of Florida; Jeremy Spear of Hawaii; Fred Cohen, Kate Haber, Carrie Heller, Anthony Kahan, Ron Katz, Samantha Kessler, Terry Markus, Ronald Saslow and Madeline Tropp of Illinois; Stacy Berg of Maryland; Jaime Heller of New Jersey; Samantha Epstein, Nathan Fish, Michael Goldman, Joshua Lamberg, Michael Lamberg, David Lohman, and Steven Schucker of New York; Samantha Marder of Ohio; Harold Binder, Terry Goldberg, Amanda Gutmaker, Jason Polin and Scott Rosen of Pennsylvania; Ronald Hecht of Texas and Michael Groves of Virginia.

About the organization:

Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel (MUSA) has 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.? They strive 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.?

“Now more than ever, we need to get involved and commit to building a proud Jewish Identity among our young people in the U.S., Israel and the Diaspora,” stated Ron Carner, General Chairman, USA Maccabiah Team. “The Maccabiah (Games) is not just about sports, but about providing for these young people a Jewish awareness of who they are, where they come from and where they are going.”

The World Maccabiah Games are a quadrennial event that takes place in Israel.? The 18th World Maccabiah Games, scheduled for July 12 – 23, 2009 will be the world’s third largest international athletic competition.? Over 9000 of the world’s best Jewish athletes from six continents and over 60 countries will compete at the Games.

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