Debbie Adams (Far Right)
Strong ties to Maccabi USA run deep for Debbie Adams. Hailing from Philadelphia (which also happens to be the home to Maccabi USA), she’s passionate about the things she loves most and especially the people she loves most. The things she loves most: golf and Ohio State football. The people she loves most: her immediate family and Maccabi USA. Her roles within the organization, past and present, are countless and she has never backed down from a challenge. Maccabi USA is very lucky to have Debbie as a part of our organization. Her only subpar contributions to the organization are her scores on the golf course!
When did you first get involved with MUSA?
The first time I got involved with the Maccabiah was in 1989 when I qualified for the 13th Games for Golf. I was so excited to be part of the team. I had never been to Israel before and to have an opportunity to represent the United States as a Jew was an experience, I knew would change my life forever. To be able to meet Jewish people from all over the world was an eye-opening experience.
Why are the Games important in your life?
The Maccabiah is a very important part of my life because when I was over in Israel for my first Games, I was just a Jew. Growing up I had a Bat Mitzvah, went to synagogue and celebrated the Jewish holidays. When I left Israel and came home, I wasn’t just a Jew, I was a proud Jew. Everything that I did in Israel for those three weeks, Shabbat dinner with an Israeli family, swimming in the Dead Sea and hiking Masada, having closing ceremony at the Kotel made my Jewish identity so much stronger.
What other roles have you had within the organization?
Now that I am not competing anymore, I wanted to be on the other side and help out with the organizing committee. I have always wanted to volunteer with Maccabi USA but because we live in North Carolina it was very difficult. Over the past few Games cycles, it has been so much easier for me to be involved with technology constantly getting better and better, even just in the last few years. My volunteer roles within the organization have included being an Accommodations Manager and Chair for the Golf team. In 2019 I was the General Chair for the European Maccabi Games in Budapest, Hungary. I am also an Officer of Maccabi USA, serving as a Vice President and am a Vice Chair for the 21st Maccabiah with Tonja Magerman.
What is a favorite memory over the years you have been involved?
One of my favorite memories was when I played at my first Games in Israel during Opening Ceremony. Before the Opening Ceremony, all of the athletes get together in a staging area. I went around to meet as many people as I could and get pictures with people from all different countries. Everyone was so excited to be there, and I loved seeing what every country’s team uniform looked like. As a Jewish athlete there is truly nothing like being at the Opening Ceremony with 30,000 people watching you march in, with USA written on your back. It truly was one of my most memorable experiences in my golfing career.
Talk about what it has meant to you to have your family involved with MUSA.
My kids have competed in each Maccabiah from 2009 through 2017. My daughter Stacey has played twice (2009 & 2013) in the Maccabiah, and my son Scott has played twice in Israel (2013 &2017) and once at the European Maccabi Games (2019). It was very important to me that my children had the same opportunity to participate in the Maccabiah/regionals games like I did. With that, I wanted them to have their own experiences and make their own memories at the Games. Stacey met her now husband at the 18th Maccabiah in Israel in 2009. They were both 16 years old and on the Golf teams and have been married since 2017. My Maccabi family is very close to my heart, and I want Maccabi USA to carry on everything that is has been and will be doing for the next generations to experience it.
What is your wish for the 21st Maccabiah?
I am very excited to be part of the 21st Maccabiah. We are working very hard to ensure that everyone will have experiences of a lifetime in Israel.