Philadelphia, PA, December 18, 2008 – 24 talented Jewish Gymnasts were selected to represent the USA at the 18thMaccabiah Games in Israel, July, 2009. Over 120 athletes from around the country came to Norman, OK for the Maccabi USA Team Trials and the Junior Gymnastics Invitational Meet, including Gymnasts from Canada. It was an amazing experience for all who participated and attended these events and the selected athletes will represent the USA in the Open Women’s and Men’s and Juniors Girls’ and Boys’ Divisions.

The athletes come from 13 states across the USA including: California – five athletes; Florida – two athletes; Illinois – two athletes; Massachusetts – two athletes; Maryland – three athletes; Minnesota – one athlete; North Carolina – one athlete; new Jersey – four athletes; New York – two athletes; Oklahoma – one athlete; Texas – two athletes; Virginia – two athletes; and Washington – one Athlete.

There will be four coaches for the Teams. Stuart Greenberg of Pembroke Pines, FL will coach the Open Women’s Team. Noah Riskin of Cambridge, MA will coach the Open Men’s Team. Sara Biederman of Columbia, MD will coach the Juniors Girls’ Team and Genadi Shub of Fair Lawn, NJ will coach the Juniors Boys’ Team.?

Ben Fox, of Norman, OK is the Gymnastics Chairman for the Maccabi USA 18th Maccabiah Organizing Committee.? Fox developed this event to provide exposure not just for the athletes trying out for the coveted Team positions, but for younger, junior athletes to take part in a professionally run Gymnastics Meet.?

The entire Gymnastics Team will head to Israel in early July and take part in a Cultural and Educational Pre-camp prior to the start of the Games, which will provide them the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture of Israel and increase their knowledge of their Jewish 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 13 – 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.

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