Hannah Marks has been involved with Maccabi USA since before her first birthday, literally. Her father, Bruce Marks, was an athlete on Team USA’s Masters Basketball team at the 1989 Maccabiah Games, and Hannah followed. Although she admittedly has no memories from her time in Israel, the seeds were planted, thus beginning Hannah’s lifelong support of Maccabi USA.
A self-described “sports fanatic that is bad at sports,” Hannah has found other ways besides being on the field or court to stay involved with athletics. Growing up, she tried various sports, but none stuck as “her” sport. “As soon as the other girls got skills that surpassed my natural height advantage, I stopped playing sports, but still stuck with coaching and managing, because I love being around sports,” remarked Hannah. Prior to the 2005 Maccabiah Games, Hannah interned in Maccabi USA’s offices, lending an extra hand as the office got hectic as happens prior to any international Games. As a student at Abington High School in suburban Philadelphia, Hannah needed to complete a service project in order to graduate. Naturally, she chose to coach a team in the Junior Jewish Basketball League. “Basketball has always been a big part of my life and my family’s,” she explained.
In advance of the 2013 Maccabiah Games, Maccabi USA was looking for one more Management Staff member to round out the team; in stepped Hannah. “It was the best news ever,” she said. “I love Maccabi USA, so this was my way of staying involved in the organization as a non-athlete.” Although she had been on Birthright, her experience on the ISRAEL CONNECT program gave her the opportunity to get to know Israel on a more personal level, specifically Jerusalem, where she was based with the Open Men’s Soccer team. She also left Israel with new, lifelong friends, such as Candice Schmutzler, an Athletic Trainer that was also bunkered with the Soccer team. At the time of the Maccabiah, Hannah had just graduated from the University of Wisconsin and was looking for work. “The 2013 Maccabiah Games were a catalyst for me for really good things,” she exclaimed. “I grew more as a person than I ever thought I was going to.”
(As pictured from L-R: Candice Schmutzler, Hannah Marks)
After the Games, Hannah knew she had to stay involved with Maccabi USA. Later, she received an email introducing Maccabi Young Leadership (MYL) in Philadelphia. “It was a no-brainer for me,” she said. “Maccabi has been a part of my life at all different points, this just felt natural.” As the Outreach Chair for MYL Philadelphia, Hannah hopes to reach more young Jewish professionals like herself that love sports, but don’t necessarily play them. “I feel the need to bridge the gap for non-athletes to be involved in the Maccabi Movement. I want to bring awareness of all the good that Maccabi does to those who aren’t athletes, as there are other ways to be connected to this organization,” she explained.
In addition to being the Outreach Chair for MYL Philadelphia, Hannah is the General Manager of ZogSports- Philadelphia, “the nation’s largest charity-oriented, co-ed, social sports league”, according to its website.
Maccabi USA is currently seeking Management Staff for the 2017 World Maccabiah Games. To apply, click HERE! For more information, please contact Shane Carr, Program Director at 215.561.6900 x. 4147 or email@example.com.