Team OC sent a team of 81 teens (ages 13-17) and 14 coaches to the 2015 JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest in Fort Lauderdale. Team OC was successful in both competition and in spirit. Winning accolades for being the most animated (and loud!) team at the Games.
They joined over 1,500 participants from across the globe in a weeklong event of games, arts, service and fun. “The opportunity to connect so many teens to the Jewish community and Israel is epic!
“The teens come home brimming with new friends and Jewish memories that will last a lifetime,” says Sam Cohen, Program Director of the Merage JCC.
Competing in baseball, basketball, soccer, volleyball, dance, swimming and tennis, our athletes brought home 14 medals.
Four teen artists joined Team OC participating in Maccabi fun. Sophie Sable, 14, showed off her talents as the only female in the event’s rock band, “Sophie and the Baguettes”.
In addition to competitive medals, Team OC was awarded more midot medals than any other team. The gold midot medals are awarded to teens who exemplify Jewish values throughout the course of their week together.
“I love the overall experience of the Games; the emotional and spiritual connection to Israel and the Jewish teens around you is indescribable,” said Alexis Abelove, four-time Maccabi Games veteran. “The Maccabi Games have made me realize that there is a place for me in the world. It is an unforgettable experience. “
Over the years, participants have spoken of making new friends and memories to last a lifetime, motivating some to return to the Games year after year, many eventually volunteering as coaches and chaperones. As a former athlete and now coach at the Maccabi Games, I know firsthand the feeling of pride representing our community at the Games,” said Jillian Yudin, Girls Soccer coach, involved in the Games for more than 10 years. _