Greater Baltimore JCC Maccabi Experience Director Paul Lurie has been involved with the Games for 18 years. Still, Lurie dubbed this summer’s event, held from Aug. 4 through Aug. 9 in Orange County, Calif., as “one of the most amazing weeks of Maccabi” he has ever experienced.
“The size of our delegation, the quality of our kids and coaches, the great support we had from parents who came out and watched — all-in-all it added up to an absolutely amazing week,” Lurie said.
The Baltimore delegation consisted of 121 athletes, nine ArtsFest participants and 19 coaches and chaperones.
Highlights included the Under-16 boys lacrosse team going undefeated while capturing Baltimore’s sole gold medal. The 16U girls lacrosse squad earned a silver medal, and both the 16U baseball and 16U boys basketball teams brought home bronze medals. In individual sports, Jessica Meister won a silver medal in recreational tennis, Sedric White won two silver medals in table tennis, and swimmer Adam Katzenberg was part of a silver-winning relay team.
And in ArtsFest, Mitch Traub earned the middot medal for having a lev tov (good heart).
“The Thursday when the medal matches were played was probably the most fun I’ve ever had at Maccabi,” Lurie said. “Just being around the camaraderie, the kids understanding the big picture of the experience and understanding why we were all there; seeing that was energizing and inspiring.”