Written By Noam Watt
The U18 baseball and squash teams visited the Aviv Mercaz LaKashish in Tel Aviv on Sunday, as part of Maccabi USA’s Lev L’Lev Day of Service. Upon arrival, the group was greeted by a bustling rendition of Hava Nagila, ripe with dancing, singing and smiles. It’s not what you expect at a senior center. But Aviv is no ordinary senior center. Its community members are Holocaust survivors and immigrants, full of life despite their older age.
The delegation decorated flowers, adorned Maccabiah stickers, and formed relationships with the members of Aviv. They exchanged stories of their sports, their upbringing, and a common love of Judaism. And then, they danced. They clasped hands and did the hora, moved their feet with joy, and passed the spirit of the Maccabiah from athletes to elders.
As the athletes boarded the bus back to the kibbutz, they reflected on how their perception of the senior center was vastly different from the reality they experienced. They came home filled with joy, gratitude, and an appreciation for their new friends.
Noam Watt is a Class of 2022 Graduate from the University of Connecticut. He is a native of Lexington, Massachusetts and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.