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Sid Jacobson JCC Brings Home Gold and Silver From the 2010 JCC Maccabi Games

The 2010 Maccabi Games were a great success this summer for the Sid Jacobson JCC team, which included several athletes from the Syosset-Jericho area: Zachary Goodman, Michael Friedman, and Renee Kiviat. Taking place in Omaha, Nebraska this year, the local delegation took home medals in every sport in which they took part in. The five-day event featured Olympic style competition in which athletes aged 13-16 excelled.


This year Sid Jacobson JCC sent 20 of their finest athletes to the Omaha JCC Maccabi Games, a proud tradition of Jewish athletic competition. More than a century old, today these games are the largest event for Jewish teen athletes around the world. The games’ mission is to cultivate a deeper understanding and instill an appreciation of Jewish values within Jewish youth, enrich their Jewish identity in an informal setting and encourage their identification with the state of Israel. The local delegation competed from August 1-6 in boys’ and girls’ basketball, and boys’ tennis. The games encompass individual as well as team sports, and non-athletic activities such as a “Day of Caring and Sharing” (community service) and evening activities.

The combination of dedication, enthusiasm and commitment found in the athletes, volunteers and staff led to the overwhelming success. Both the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams finished the four-day competition with silver medals. Coaches Jon Cohen and Shari Roessler were on the sidelines as the girls’ basketball team, consisting of Hayley Alexander, Jackie Behar, Emily Beiser, Sabina Fayman, Ariel Fieldman, Renee Kiviat and Morgan Roessler brought home silver.

The boys’ basketball team, coached by Mitchell Pruzan and Michael Wimmer, also had an impressive week, winning a number of close games on their way to the silver. The team was made up of Daniel Belmont, Jared Benatar, Evan Dorman, Sam Fieldman, Michael Friedman, Zachary Goodman, Alec Ludwig, Andrew Wolfe and Artur Zusman.

The local delegation’s success was not restricted to the hardwood, as medals were also earned on the tennis court: Zachary Lessen won the gold medal in Boys’ 5/16 Tennis Singles Division, Brandon Gold won the silver medal in Boys’ 15/16 Doubles Tennis Division, and Michael Schwitzer won the gold medal in Boys’ 13/14 Doubles Tennis Division.

Sarah Schmitt, delegation head and JCC Program Director of Membership and Fitness, explained, “Year after year, the athletes who represent Sid Jacobson make us proud. Their strong athletic ability coupled with our dedicated coaches, make for a very successful week. This year’s games were definitely a set we will remember, Omaha did an amazing job of offering quality venues and activities for our athletes.”