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Philadelphia, PA, September 26 – Maccabi USA will present the inaugural Legends of the Maccabiah Gala, honoring individuals who have contributed greatly to the organization as athletes, volunteers and supporters.  Additionally, the first annual Maccabi Spirit Award will be presented.  The majority of the Legends Honorees are from the San Francisco Bay area and the Gala Dinner will be held at the Four Seasons San Francisco on October 25 and the Master of Ceremonies will be National Basketball Association Legend, Rick Barry.

This inaugural class of Maccabiah Legends includes:

  • Leland Faust – Water Polo & Triathlon; 7th, 9th, 16th & 17th Maccabiah
  • Ken Flax – Hammer Throw; 1988 & 1992 Olympics, 12th & 13th Maccabiah
  • Mitch Gaylord – Gymnastics; 1984 Olympics, 11th Maccabiah
  • Brad Gilbert – Tennis; 1988 Olympics, 11th Maccabiah
  • Dana Gilbert – Tennis; 10th & 11th Maccabiah
  • Paul Klapper – Golf; 13th Maccabiah
  • Lenny Krayzelburg – Swimming; 2000 & 2004 Olympics, 16th & 17th Maccabiah
  • Jason Lezak – Swimming; 2000, 2004 & 2008 Olympics, 18th Maccabiah
  • Wendy Paskin – Jordan – Swimming; 9th Maccabiah
  • Max Sheldon (z”l) – Tennis; 13th & 14th Maccabiah
  • Gary Shemano – Golf; 11th, 15th, 16th & 17th Maccabiah
  • Bob Sockolov – Tennis; 12th, 13th & 17th Maccabiah
  • Mark Spitz – Swimming; 1968 & 1972 Olympics, 7th & 8th Maccabiah

The Maccabi Spirit Award was created to recognize those individuals who embody the ideals of the Maccabi Movement – using sports to strengthen Jewish Continuity and increase support for the State of Israel.  The inaugural award will be presented to Dr. Peter Pollat, who for the last 25 years has incorporated these ideals in his life as he volunteered as a Coach and Leader for the San Francisco youth Team participating in the JCC Maccabi Games and as a vital supporter of Maccabi USA and the World Maccabiah Games.  He has made a tremendous difference in the lives of hundreds of kids who have gone on to lead lives with stronger connections to their Jewish faith and heritage.

Lead Sponsors for this event include: Gary Shemano; Ben Eisler & Allen Orwitz; Susan and Leland Faust; The Lisa & Doug Goldman Fund; Vicki and Paul Klapper; Peter Pollat; Marian and Allen Byer; The Koret Foundation, Tab Taube, President; Lenny Krayzelburg Swim Academy; The Silk Family; The Lazlo N. Tauber Family Foundation; Union Bank and Wells Fargo.  There are limited seats still available for the dinner.  For detailed information on attending and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Sara Feinstein at or 215-561-6900 x119.

About the organization:

Maccabi USA (MUSA) is a federally recognized not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization with an extensive history of enriching Jewish lives through athletic, cultural and educational programs.  The organization is the official sponsor of the United States Team to the World Maccabiah Games, the Pan American Maccabi Games and the Maccabi competitions in Europe and Australia, as well as a co-founder of the JCC Maccabi Games for teens in North America.  As the official Maccabi representative in the U.S., Maccabi USA supports Jewish athletic endeavors, enhanced by cultural and educational activities in the United States, Israel and throughout the Diaspora.

MUSA develops, promotes and supports international, national and regional athletic-based activities and facilities.  It strives to provide Jewish athletes the world over the opportunity to share their heritage and customs in competitive athletic settings.  MUSA supports programs that embody the Maccabi ideals of Jewish Continuity, Zionism and excellence in sport.

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