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Competitions picked for JCC Maccabi Games

By Chad Tessmer

In mid-November, Milwaukee received the final list of athletic competitions it was awarded as host community for the 2015 JCC Maccabi Games.

Announcement of the sports for the Milwaukee Games — which will kick off at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on Aug. 2 — is a major milestone as local leaders continue to recruit, train and prepare for competition.

“These sports perfectly support the evolution of Team Milwaukee,” said delegation head Aaron Miller. “Not only were we awarded the athletics where we’ve performed well over the past couple years, but we’re also hosting sports that boast great local talent that can join the team.”

The full list of athletics and activities include:

Team Sports (Milwaukee athletes between ages 13-16)

Boys Baseball
Girls Basketball
Boys Basketball (14 and under, 16 and under)
Girls Volleyball (16 and under)
Boys Flag Football (16 and under)
Boys In-Line Hockey (16 and under)
Girls Soccer (14 and under, 16 and under)
Boys Soccer (14 and under, 16 and under)
Individual Sports (Milwaukee athletes between ages 12-16)
Table Tennis
Track and Field
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Steve Arenzon, who co-chairs the JCC Maccabi Games Athletics Committee with Alicia Sadoff, was thrilled with the final list.

“It’s a competitive process when it comes to designating which community hosts athletics. It was important to us that we hosted the sports where we’ve had high participation — like flag football and girls volleyball — while also adding sports that are hugely important to our community.

“To be hosting sports like baseball, soccer, basketball, tennis and track and field speaks volumes about the Games’ potential to have a big impact throughout greater Milwaukee.”

“It is hard to describe the sense of Jewish peoplehood you fell during the week of the Games, when the entire community comes together for the competition and comradery,” added Sadoff. “There are so many ways to be involved in the JCC Maccabi Games — as an athlete, coach, volunteer or host.”

Team Milwaukee earned 17 medals in the 2014 Games in Boca Raton, Fla., having grown more than 125 percent in size from the team that participated in Austin, Texas, the previous year.

“We’re looking at building a team of at least 100 teen athletes at a minimum,” said Miller. “We’re gaining momentum, getting excited and having our returning athletes help tell the story of what it means to be a member of Team Milwaukee in the JCC Maccabi Games.”

As part of its recruitment effort, Team Milwaukee also unveiled a new team logo. Jesse Rosen, director of the JCC Maccabi Games, said the design brought the team and the hosting efforts together in a meaningful way.

“Like the brand for the 2015 Games, this new look for Team Milwaukee celebrates our community while embracing our shared future,” he said. “Growing Team Milwaukee is as much about the 2015 Games as it is about all future Games. In fact, it’s about the very goals we committed to when winning our host bid — building and sustaining a strong Jewish community for generations to come.”

“It’s time,” said Miller. “For athletes of any ability and local coaches — it’s time to sign up, get to work and commit to Team Milwaukee’s success.”

Interested participants can learn more and sign up at
Chad Tessmer is Chief Marketing Officer at the Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center.

1st published in the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

milwaukeemaccabiCompetitions picked for JCC Maccabi Games
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