By his own estimation, the 2005 World Maccabiah Games changed Jordan Schilit’s life. “Going to Israel (in 2005) as an athlete truly opened my eyes to the whole Jewish experience and gave me a chance to find one of my greatest passions, Track & Field,” recalled Jordan. “The sport was new to me at the time. Those Games made me want to do something meaningful with Track & Field.” Today, Jordan is the Assistant Coach for the Men’s & Women’s Track & Field team at Middlebury College in Vermont and will serve as the Head Coach for Team USA’s Juniors Track & Field team at the 2017 World Maccabiah Games!
(Jordan at the 2005 World Maccabiah Games)
After the 2005 Games, Jordan was hooked on the sport and would begin a career filled with personal and team achievements. Schilit attended Haverford College as an undergraduate, helping Haverford win their first ever NCAA team championship, and was a six-time NCAA Division III All-American in both Track & Field as well as Cross Country. After graduation, he competed professionally for the prestigious Nike Oregon Track Club Elite. In his own words, much of his success throughout his career stems from his coach in 2005, Todd Wolin. “I attribute a lot of my success to him and what he taught me in Israel,” exclaimed Jordan. “I didn’t even think about running in college, and here I am as an All-American, in many ways thanks to the direction and guidance I received from Coach Wolin.”
(Jordan with Nike Oregon Track Club Elite)
In 2013, Jordan returned to Israel with Team USA as a member of the Open Men’s Track and Field team. Coming into those Games, he felt very confident in his abilities as a runner, having just graduated from Haverford with his aforementioned decorations. Unfortunately, Jordan contracted mononucleosis prior to the Games and knew he wasn’t going to be able to perform to his standards. That didn’t stop Jordan from sharing a very special moment with his family.
The Opening Ceremony at the World Maccabiah Games are special for nearly everyone involved, with thousands of Jewish athletes from around the world marching into Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem supported by tens of thousands of Jews. “Somehow, I spotted my parents in the crowd,” remembers Jordan. “It was a very special moment for me to go over and jump the barriers and take a picture with them. I will never forget that.”
(Jordan and his parents Karen and Keith at the Opening Ceremony of the 2013 Maccabiah)
Jordan hopes to impact his athletes in 2017 the way his coaches did for him in 2005 and beyond. “For many, this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity. I want to offer all the knowledge I have, and really want to effect and impact their lives like Coach Wolin and others did for me,” exclaimed Jordan. “The whole Maccabi experience is coming full circle for me, and I couldn’t be more excited!”
(Jordan running for Haverford College)
Maccabi USA is currently seeking Jewish Track & Field athletes for Juniors Boys’ and Girls’ teams, for those born between 1999-2002, as well as Open Men’s and Women’s teams, ages 18-35. To apply, click HERE! For more information, please contact Shane Carr, Program Director, at 215.561.6900 x. 4147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.