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Kayla Kilstock: Returning Home

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Written By Kayla Levine

After living in London for nine years Kayla Kilstock is set to return to England for the 2024 European Maccabi Youth Games.

Kilstock started playing soccer at the age of four. Her family moved to London where she played on her first squad, a boys’ team, at six years old. When she turned 12, she moved onto her first all-girls team. After moving back to her current home in Bal Harbor, Florida, she has competed on both club and high school teams.

Kilstock will be able to combine her love for both soccer and Judaism by representing Maccabi USA in London this summer – something she has already done before. After participating in the 21st Maccabiah in Israel in 2022, Kayla not only got to compete but also see the amazing history and museums Israel has to offer.

Despite all the tragedy Israel has faced in the last year, Kilstock remembers the beauty and amazing landmarks she saw during her travels.

“The war museum, it was incredible to see, and the wall obviously was incredible, and to make friends there and feel a true connection with Israel,” she explained.

When talking about her experience at the 21st Maccabiah, Kilstock said, “It was so cool, getting to go to Israel for basically a month, play football and meet a lot of new people, and being in a Jewish environment it was so cool; and to get a win is so awesome.”

Her father, Richard Kilstock, who was the chair of the U16 girls’ soccer team at the 21st Maccabiah, was a big part of her reasoning for competing in these Games. Kayla’s family was able to travel to Israel to see her compete in the finals.

“My whole family and friends, so there were 30 people who came to the final for me,” she explained. Her inspiration for competing in the Games came from her father and also family friends who competed in the past.

“For the tryouts, my dad had been telling me for two years, there’s a [Maccabiah] and that he thought I was good. He was like we need you to get into that and try out.” Ever since those tryouts, Kayla has been playing in the Games, and she is now ready to compete in the city where her soccer career began. 

Kayla Levine is a native of Bucks County Pennsylvania, and is currently a junior at Temple University studying Journalism, you can follow her work on LinkedIn and at

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