Philadelphia, PA, December 10, 2008 – 79 of the top Jewish Tennis players have been appointed to represent the USA at the 18th Maccabiah Games in Israel, July, 2009. This number includes three coaches. These men and women come from 22 states and will field the team in Juniors Boys’ and Girls’, Open Men and Women’s and Masters Men and Women’s divisions. They include a top-40 Nationally ranked Woman’s athlete and a brother/sister Team. There will be an additional 24 athletes appointed to the Grand Masters division, 65 years young and older, by the end of 2008.

Athletes in all divisions were selected after tryouts in Florida and Pennsylvania. The Juniors and Open athletes had tryouts in Philadelphia and the Masters athletes had tryouts in Boca Raton, Florida. The Grand Masters athletes have tryouts this week and next. The Team includes one athlete from Arizona; seven athletes from California; two athletes from Colorado;? two athletes from Connecticut; one athlete from Washington DC; nine athletes from Florida; three athletes from Georgia; three athletes from Illinois; one athlete from Indiana; one athlete from Massachusetts; six athletes from Maryland; one athlete from Michigan; one athlete from Missouri; one athlete from North Carolina, four athletes from New Jersey; 26 athletes from New York; two athletes from Ohio; four athletes from Pennsylvania; one athlete from South Carolina; two athletes from Texas and one athlete from Wisconsin.

Logan Hansen, who was a top recruit at Stanford University in her freshman year and is currently ranked 38 nationally, will represent the Open USA Tennis Team.? Sister and brother Stephanie and Ryan Heller, of Northbrook, IL, will both represent the USA Team as members of the Open Team. Stephanie plays Tennis for the University of Indiana and Ryan played for the University of Michigan prior to graduating in 2007.?

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.