Louisvillians Compete in Milwaukee Maccabi Games

Opening Ceremonies 2A contingent of teens from Louisville traveled to Milwaukee August 2-7 where they participated in the 2015 Maccabi Games and came home with some medals.

About 850 teen athletes from 20 cities plus Canada, Mexico and Israel competed in the games, which are for Jewish teens ages 13-16. The six Louisville athletes competed in track, soccer, tennis and table tennis. The teens participated in their competitions during the day, enjoyed evening activities with other athletes and were housed with host families in Milwaukee.

The teens also participated in a community service event called JCC Cares. This year, there were four projects, including planting a community garden at the Milwaukee JCC, cleaning up and building exercise equipment at a community park and community center, packing snacks for a community food bank, and the track athletes participated in a unified track meet with the Special Olympics.

The medal count for Louisville was four gold, five silver and five bronze. Two athletes, Andrew Tuvlin and Isaac Wolff, were awarded Midot medals, which recognize participants who display one of the six values (midot) that embody the spirit (ruach) of being a JCC Maccabi participant: Repairing the world (tikkun olam), respect (kavod), joy (rina), pride (ge’avah), open-heartedness (lev tov) and Jewish peoplehood (amiut yehudit).

The week kicked off with opening ceremonies in the BMO Harris Bradley Center, home of the Milwaukee Bucks, which were much like what you’d see for the Olympics and ended with a state fair-like festival on the grounds of the Milwaukee JCC.

Andrew Tuvlin, 14, won a bronze medal in mixed doubles tennis. He said he was paired with a partner from Akron, OH, because Louisville sent such a small delegation. “I had a lot of fun, and I met a lot of kids from Miami, even though it was in Milwaukee.” He said the competition was tough.

“It was the best people from all over the country and the world,” he said.

Tuvlin is on the tennis team at duPont Manual High School.

Max Strull, 15, played soccer at the games. Because he was the only soccer player from Louisville, he was placed on a team with kids from Denver, CO, San Diego and San Jose, CA.

“I had a lot of fun,” Strull said. “I got to know a lot of different people. My host family was very nice.”

Strull, who attends Kentucky Country Day, said he really enjoyed the opening ceremonies. He participated in the food bank project, packing snacks for inner-city children while he was there.

Louisville’s athletes did well in the competition. Levi Wolff, who competed in track, brought home three gold, three silver and two bronze medals. Zev Meyerowitz, who competed in track, won a gold and two silvers. Isaac Wolff, table tennis, brought home a Midot medal which recogtnizes sportsmanship, respect, joy, kindness, Jewish community and service and is awarded to only a select group of athletes. Ethan Grossman took a silver in table tennis singles and a bronze in doubles. Andrew Tuvlin took a bronze in tennis and also earned a Midot medal. Max Strull competed in soccer.

The Maccabi Movement began in 1895 when the first all-Jewish sports club was formed in Constantinople. The first world Maccabiah Games were held in Israel in 1932. Now, this two-week competition takes place every four years and has featured many world class Jewish athletes including: Mark Spitz (swimming), Mitch Gaylord (gymnastics), Ernie Grunfeld and Danny Schayes (basketball), Brad Gilbert and Dick Savitt (tennis). This year, Louisvillian Nikki Bernstein in the European Maccabi Games. See story, this page.


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