Written by Sam Oshtry
The glory and gold of the Maccabiah frequently goes to the athletes and coaches, who are often rewarded with medals for their hard work and incredible achievement. On Monday night in Tel Aviv, some of the Maccabi USA donors were honored for their contributions to the organization. While the generous donors may not get the credit during the actual games, behind the scenes they are an essential part in allowing Maccabi USA to bring a delegation of 1,351 to Israel for the 21st Maccabiah. This is the largest traveling delegation to a multi-sport event in history.
Along with Maccabi USA executives, donors gathered for cocktails and dinner with a beautiful view overlooking downtown Tel Aviv and the Mediterranean Sea. Maccabi USA executive committee member Donna Orender spoke to the attendees. Her remarks led into a video put together by the Maccabi media team consisting of highlights from Israel Connect and some athletes thanking the donors for all they have done.
Maccabi USA president Jeff Bukantz introduced the largest donor in Maccabi USA history, and the keynote speaker for the evening, Stuart Weitzman. Weitzman previously pledged to donate $5 million dollars to endow scholarships for athletes in financial need to participate in the Maccabiah if Maccabi USA raises $3 million on its own by the end of the year.
“The most profound and important question I was ever asked is what are you going to do with your money,” Weitzman told the attendees. “You want to be a part of what your success can give to others…this is a special organization.”
It was a special night thanking the donors for their tremendous donations to Maccabi USA and advancing Jewish heritage through sport.
Sam Oshtry is a senior at the University of Maryland majoring in journalism. Lauren Rub is a recent graduate of Syracuse University with a degree in television, radio and film.