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Dr. Samantha Willer: Helping & Healing

Sam Willer pix1

Written By Sam Prince

When you think about the upcoming European Maccabi Youth Games in London, England, you likely think about the athletes, coaches, and rich history of the city. What you may not think about are the doctors who travel to the Games to keep the athletes healthy.

Meet Dr. Samantha Willer – Maccabi USA’s lead physician traveling to London for the European Maccabi Youth Games. 

This will be Willer’s third time on the medical staff at a Maccabi USA international event. She was also part of the delegation for the 21st Maccabiah in Israel in 2022, and the 15th Pan American Maccabi Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2023.

As she was doing her sports medicine fellowship in Utah following her residency, Willer worked at a ski clinic at the base of the mountains. When her fellowship was ending, an attending physician asked about her future plans. She was unsure, and the attending physician told her about Maccabi USA. Since Willer is not Jewish, the thought of taking on the new position was a little daunting, but it didn’t take long for her to become assimilated and comfortable with the idea.

“I really do not feel as if I am not part of the group and I have never felt that way,” Willer said. “It’s a very welcoming organization but at the same time, I am very conscious of that. I think to myself, do people automatically know because of my blond hair or my last name? I have to recognize I am not Jewish but I have never been able to feel that way. I am really glad I got this opportunity.” 

The opportunity has been educational. It has given her insight into the Jewish culture – and afforded her a new perspective on the horrific October 7th attack, which occurred a few months before the 15th Pan American Maccabi Games.

“I definitely felt as if I took on another perspective and it was a really great organization to identify with both from a professional standpoint and as a personal belief standpoint,” Willer said.

October 7th will forever leave a scar within Israel and the Jewish world and the healing is just beginning. Dr. Willer knows plenty about healing and if called upon, that’s what she’ll help members of the Maccabi USA delegation do in London when the European Maccabi Youth Games start on July 30th.

Sam Prince is from North Caldwell, NJ. He’s currently a sophomore at Rowan University and has a dual major in Sports Communication and Media and Journalism. You can follow @sam_prince on social media and view his work at

Join us at the 2025 Maccabiah in Israel (July 1-22, 2025)
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