Philadelphia, PA, September 1 – Jake Blumenfeld, of Fairfield, Connecticut, has been appointed to the Youth Men’s Soccer Team representing the USA at the 2nd Maccabi Australia International Games (MAIGs) in Sydney, December 26, 2010 – January 2, 2011.  The Games will take place at Olympic Park where many of the competitions took place during the 2000 International Summer Olympics.

Blumenfeld’s passion for soccer is so intense that he chose a philanthropic way to share his passion for the sport with those less fortunate.  He started in 8th grade by collecting gently-used soccer equipment and donating it to a local foundation that provides educational programs and events for underserved children and families in the Bridgeport community.  He then contacted a former coach to request help in providing opportunities for kids in the community.  The Coach, Rodrigo Nunes of Sacred Heart University was so impressed by Blumenfeld’s desire to help these kids that he agreed to place 10 of the children each year, free of charge at his soccer camps.  In his junior year Blumenfeld started a program called ‘Pass Back’ in his high school, where he solicits help in gathering gently-used soccer equipment that is then donated to the New Haven Youth Soccer Club.  The items donated are used at a mentoring program for immigrants and refugee children.  Blumenfeld was honored for his efforts by the Connecticut Junior Soccer Association in January.

Blumenfeld, a senior at Fairfield Warde High School plays Defense and Midfield for the varsity team.  He will play for the Middlepath FC in New York when the school season ends.  Blumenfeld has also been a member of the Connecticut Olympic Development Team from 2008 – 2010.  He was selected for the Connecticut Region 1 tournament against New Jersey in 2009 where he played center defense and didn’t allow New Jersey to score any goals and the game tied at 0-0.

When asked about his expectations for the Games, he replied, “I know this will be an amazing and rewarding experience both athletically and culturally.  I look forward to connecting with other Jewish athletes from around the world and am so proud to represent the United States at the MAIGs and look forward to combining my passion for soccer and my love for Judaism.”

About the organization:

Maccabi USA (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.  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.