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A Taste of the World to Come

Every week, Jody Hirsh, the JCC’s Judaic Education Director, provides a Judaic message in honor of Shabbat. Below is the Shabbat message for Friday, August 7, 2015.

A Taste of the World to Come

The rabbis tell us that the Shabbat is a “taste of the World to Come.” For the rabbis, the World to Come is that perfected life after the Messiah comes: a life of abundance, and peace, and safety, and satisfaction which is the repaired and perfected world toward which people, in partnership with God, work. The Shabbat, they told us, is a taste of that perfected world.

All week here in Milwaukee, we’ve also had a Taste of the World to Come as a result of the JCC Maccabi Games. All week, almost 1,000 Jewish teens from all over the USA and the World converged on Milwaukee for competitions, friendship, social gathering, and special events. They have been training for this week for months, if not years. There have been so many “World to Come” moments. When two groups of kids encounter each other and discover they are competing in the same sport and therefore rivals, often wish each other “Good Luck!” Now THAT is sportsmanship. The World to Come. Or… when two basketball or soccer teams finish their cutthroat game: one team wins, and one loses, of course, and the winning and losing teams hug each other. The World to Come.

On Wednesday was the special day of “JCC Cares.” The Maccabi kids participated in community projects helping those in need: They partnered with Special Olympics of Wisconsin to help with a track meet for kids with special needs; they packaged snacks for the Hunger Task Force feeding thousands of disadvantaged children; they helped install public equipment at Walker Square Park; and, they rebuilt and replanted the Jewish Community Garden at the JCC which provides fresh vegetables for families in need.  Truly the World to Come.

The image and example of these Jewish athletes has truly given us a taste of the World to Come.





Shabbat Shalom

Click here to view past Shabbat Messages.

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milwaukeemaccabiA Taste of the World to Come


A basketball game for the ages took place today at Homestead High School between the Chicago and St. Louis teams. They were playing for a spot in the championship game this afternoon. This game wasn’t expected to be so intense, as St. Louis was down for the whole game. But, as the clock wound down each team seemed to get better and better. The main highlight of the game, though, was in the last seconds. With Chicago ahead 57-53, St. Louis player Adam Boonshaf knew he had to shoot quickly. He shot and made a three pointer as the buzzer rang, making the final score 57-56. Even though Chicago ended up on top, this is sure a game to remember.

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Zoe - Star ReporterBasketball

Winning Volunteer

In the semi-finals, the Boca Raton girls volleyball team beat Austin 25-13.

The winning coach, Alexandra Scheiber, was a Maccabi athlete herself for three years. “I love the games so much I volunteered to coach as soon as I was old enough. This is my second year coaching, and I Iook forward to volunteering many more years to come!”



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Ari - Star ReporterWinning Volunteer

You Don’t Have To Play To Feel Proud

Imagine scoring the winning point. It’s amazing, it’s a moment that you will never forget. You feel proud. Star Reporters don’t really get that opportunity. We have the opportunity to voice what we see and are proud of.

Yesterday I went to a team Austin volleyball game where they were playing Denver to see who would play for gold.After every serve, bump, set, or hit my heart started racing. I felt as if I was playing with them. Every time the ball flew through the air there was a moment of silence, when all I wanted was for our team to win. Thankfully Austin won and headed to play Boca, Ann Arbor, Detroit team.

That game was held today and I was anxious to see who would win. Would Austin win the gold? Sadly, Austin lost but we did win silver. Knowing that my friends won, and did such a good job makes me very proud and happy that I came from team Austin. We played well, were enthusiastic, and had great rachmanus. Go ATX!!!

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Hannah - Star ReporterYou Don’t Have To Play To Feel Proud

The Polish Athletes

Philip and Adam are fifteen year old athletes from Poland. They came to the United States for the first time in order to participate in the Milwaukee JCC Maccabi Games and the Fort Lauderdale JCC Maccabi Games. They said they have really enjoyed their time in the United States and that the climate of Wisconsin reminds them of home. When they arrived they got to see the scenery from Chicago to Milwaukee. They also said that they will stop in New York on their way home. They said that they had really enjoyed their time in the United States and would like to come back next year for the JCC Maccabi Games.

Many people may wonder how the foreign athletes speak English so well. Philip and Adam were very proficient in English and enlightened me on how they new it so well. They said that they don’t have any family in the United States, but that in Poland English is a very common language and is an important subject in school.



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Joey - Star ReporterThe Polish Athletes

JCC Cares From The Sidelines

This is my third time participating in the JCC Maccabi Games, and every time JCC Cares is run in a very different way. Last year Austin went to Boca where we weren’t allowed to go see other JCC Cares projects. This year I was able to take part in helping and then see others do the same thing. This morning I got on a bus at 8:45 and headed to the JCC garden. All that I had known was that the JCC garden feeds people who can not afford to get the food that they need. We walked into the introduction room where we were told about what we would be doing and were shown a video. After watching the video and seeing the statistics of how many people really rely on this garden to feed there families, I understood that this was very important. My group had to build new beds so that they could have more space to grow fruits and vegetables. I enjoyed my JCC cares project but still didn’t feel like I was making a very big difference. After our project was done we got on the bus and headed back to Nicolet. I had heard about how amazing the Special Olympics have been in the past so I went to check it out. When I got there it was amazing to witness what was happening. I was able to see so many Jewish teens playing with so many children who are special needs. Watching what was going on made me proud to see what we could accomplish it just a few hours. When I did my own project I was just doing the labor. I wasn’t really thinking about who would benefit, but sometimes we need to just step back and see what our work can do.


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Hannah - Star ReporterJCC Cares From The Sidelines

Growing Up Team Austin: Kendall Miller

Team Austin is a vibrant group of young individuals who are passionate about Judaism, community and having a whole lot of fun! One Team Austin volleyball player, Kendall Miller, has been a part of the Jewish community deep in the heart of Texas for her entire life. From attending a Jewish day school through 8th grade, to participating in synagogue and BBYO events, you can say that Kendall has a very strong Jewish identity and enjoys being a part of the Jewish community. One of her favorite parts of being a Jewish teen is having the opportunity to attend the JCC Maccabi Games. In 2004 the JCC Maccabi games were held in Austin Texas. At this time Kendall was just three and her family hosted some teens from Maryland. “My parents told me that when we hosted I drew pictures of them. They also told me that I was angry that they were sleeping in my bed” Kendall said. At that age Kendall didn’t really know what the JCC Maccabi Games were all about but she did get another opportunity in 2013 when the games came back to Austin. At that time Kendall was twelve and decided that she was going to be a swimmer. “The JCC Maccabi Games was an amazing experience that I will never forget. I loved having so many Jewish people in Austin where you cant find so many”. The next time the games came around Kendall knew that she was going to participate but this time it would be different. Kendall was going to be a volleyball player. Because Austin has such great community Kendall was able to bond with the older girls on her team and really felt like they were family. Kendall knew that every year would be just as amazing as the one before, but she also knew that she would grow up and every year she would have a different experience. “So far the JCC Maccabi Games this year have been amazing. I love meeting so many new people. This year there was a surprise though. As I opened my swag bag I found an ad with my face on it. My young twelve year old face. This really made me think about my experiences at the games. I remembered how I have changed and it made me feel proud of my accomplishments”.


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Kendall with her twelve year old face







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Hannah - Star ReporterGrowing Up Team Austin: Kendall Miller

Break A Leg



Children’s Hospital lent one of their X-Ray machines to the JCC Maccabi Games to diagnose athletes’ injuries. As of Wednesday afternoon, the machine has been used 12 times.

Thank You Sandra and Jenny for donating your time!

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Ari - Star ReporterBreak A Leg

Hangtime: A Brief Look

Everybody knows Hangtime, the open-all-day, fun hangout spot for teens to have fun and, hence the name, hangout. Maccabi athletes can pop in and out of Hangtime in between their sporting events for food, water, and most of all, fun!  Today I interviewed two Hangtime volunteers about this JCC Maccabi Game programs.

Sara Hermanoff, one of the volunteers of Hangtime at the Milwaukee JCC Maccabi Games, says that the most important thing about Hang Time is “for the kids to feel comfortable.” She adds, “it has to feel like it’s their place.” She feels similarly to Israeli native Noa, who describes Hangtime as a “free space,” where kids can do anything from playing board games to sleeping.*

*For more information on the activities that happen every day at Hangtime see Rachel’s blog post here!

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Zoe - Star ReporterHangtime: A Brief Look

Learning From The Pros

Being a star reporter can mean very different things either you don’t play sports, or you absolutely love photography, or writing. Sometimes star reporters don’t get many cool opportunities. This year my experience was different. We went on a little field trip to ESPN, channel 4 (TMJ4), and the Journal Sentinel. We were able to take tours of all of the facilities and learn some new tips. I had two highlights from our trip. The first was at ESPN. We went into the recording room and were able to see all of the microphones and hear some tips from the people who were on the radio. We were able to hear what people were going to hear on the radio in person. My second highlight was at channel 4. As we were about to finish another person came over and asked for two volunteers. All of the star reporters from Austin quickly raised there hands, me being one of them. We didn’t know what we were volunteering for and when they started asking for microphones we had an idea. They were going to interview us for the six o’clock news. We didn’t really know what they were going to ask us, but when they started I felt like I knew exactly what I wanted to say. They asked us about what our highlights from the Games have been, what we liked about Milwaukee, and what was so special about the JCC Maccabi Games. Austin will definitely be watching the news tonight because Austin will always represent.

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Hannah - Star ReporterLearning From The Pros