Philadelphia, PA, January 15, 2009 – Nine elite Jewish Rowers have been appointed to the Maccabi USA Rowing Team and will compete at the 18th Maccabiah Games in Israel, July 12 – 23. They will be part of the USA Team of over 980 athletes, joining 8000 other Jewish athletes from over 60 countries.

Head coach, Craig Hoffman, of Berwyn, PA has great expectations for the Team. “Besides competing to win gold medals at the Games, I hope all members of the Rowing Team embrace their Jewish heritage. I am personally looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones in Israel.” Hoffman, Head Rowing Coach at Malvern Preparatory School, will be joined by assistant coach, Elizabeth Meltzer, Director of Rowing at Lehigh University.

The Rowing Team consists of nine members from five states. They are: Elizabeth Barnett of Huntington, NY; Anna Kamerow of Chevy Chase, MD; Gregory Kaplan of Philadelphia, PA; Peter Morelli of Cambridge, MA; Caroline Post of Wayne, PA; Talia Retelny of Aventura, FL; Jeremy Serkin of New York, NY; Ryan Strauss of Philadelphia, PA; and Jonathan Werner of Atlanta, GA.?

Prior to the commencement of the Games, the Rowing Team will join all other Juniors, Youth and Open Teams at a Cultural Pre-camp in Israel.? The Pre-camp provides a unique opportunity for the athletes to explore the culture and beauty of Israel and learn about their own heritage.?

About the organization:

Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel (MUSA) has 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.? They strive 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.?

“Now more than ever, we need to get involved and committed to building a proud Jewish Identity among our young people in the U.S., Israel and the Diaspora,” stated Ron Carner, General Chairman, USA Maccabiah Team. “The Maccabiah (Games) is not just about sports, but about providing for these young people a Jewish awareness of who they are, where they come from and where they are going.”

The World Maccabiah Games are a quadrennial event that takes place in Israel.? The 18th World Maccabiah Games, scheduled for July 12 – 23, 2009 will be the world’s third largest international athletic competition.? Over 9000 of the world’s best Jewish athletes from six continents and over 60 countries will compete at the Games.