Dan has always been enamored with Maccabi USA and its mission of using Sports to Build Jewish Pride and connect athletes to each other and their culture & heritage. Learn more about Dan and how he plans to build a broader Maccabi USA Alumni community.
Dan has always identified as a Jewish athlete. He started competing in Judo at the age of six and his teacher was a family friend, Lou Moyerman, who was already involved with Maccabi USA. As a young athlete, Dan had the opportunity to watch Lou prepare for the Maccabiah Games and knew how special it was; it became something he aspired to do. His first experience with the Maccabiah Games was as a coach/athlete for the Open Judo team at the 16th Maccabiah Games in 2001 where he won a team bronze medal. He had the opportunity to repeat that experience in the same role at the 17th Maccabiah Games in 2005, winning another team bronze medal.
(Dan pictured second from left on left photo and the left end on the right photo)
Dan has stayed involved with Maccabi USA as a manager, serving as Associate Team Manager at the 18th and 19th World Maccabiah Games in Israel and as the Team Manager at the European Maccabi Games in Berlin in 2015. When asked why he has stayed involved with Maccabi USA, Dan quickly replied, “The mission of the organization just spoke to me. Using sports to build Jewish Pride and help break the stereotypes that have hovered over Jewish athletes was very important to me. And of course, after having the opportunity to wear USA on your back as you march into the Opening Ceremony is an unforgettable experience; and I have done whatever I can to help others have that same life-changing opportunity.”
Dan’s first career was in art conservation and he had some amazing opportunities in that field. After the ISRAEL CONNECT program at his first Maccabiah Games in 2001, he sat on a beach reflecting on his recent experience and his life and decided he wanted to move his career in a direction where he could help others and contribute more towards society. Upon his return he moved into the education field where he held various positions in program development and implementation, consulting, and most recently as principal for a K-8 public school in Philadelphia.
After returning from Berlin as the Team Manager in 2015 and reflecting on the phenomenal experience he had just had, he felt he wanted to continue to make a greater impact on society in another role. During this time, he learned about the newly-developed Alumni Relations Director position at Maccabi USA and felt it would be a natural fit. This was the second time he changed career direction to focus on providing service to others after participating in a life-changing Maccabi experience.
“I’d always hoped to have the opportunity to be more involved [in Maccabi USA] and didn’t imagine the possibility of working as a member of the professional staff,” Dan reflected when talking about what compelled him to apply for this new position. “I was excited about the opportunity to re-engage alumni with the organization and to keep those already engaged more involved in order to build a broader community of Maccabi USA nationally.”
“People have a lasting memory and emotional connection to their Maccabi experience,” Dan continued. “I want to find ways to help them ‘re-kindle’ that emotional connection and recapture that feeling of pride of representing your country and being at the top of your game. I want them to draw from that experience and tap into that seminal moment of their Jewish identity.”
Dan will work on building the Maccabi USA Alumni Association by creating an infrastructure and engaging alumni at the local level. He hopes to do this developing local chapters in key regions with the support of Regional Chairs. The chapters will program and market activities that will include alumni and sport-specific reunions, happy hours, meet & greet sessions, team send-off parties, competitions and games.
Everyone at Maccabi USA is excited to help and support Dan as he develops Alumni Association chapters and programming. To stay involved and engaged, make sure to stay connected through social media. You can connect with Dan and the Alumni Association on Facebook at Maccabi USA Alumni and on Instagram and Twitter @MaccabiAlumni.
Dan and his wife Lisa live in suburban Philadelphia with their children Olivia and Everett, who are both avid soccer players.