By Sharon Wisch-Ray
Birmingham’s small Jewish community extended its Southern hospitality to a Team Dallas delegation of 102 athletes and 25 coaches among some 900 participants and 28 delegations in its Maccabi Games last week.
Aside from the athletic competition and socializing, a highlight of the week was JCC Cares. With Tisha B’Av on Tuesday, the Birmingham hosts created a unique program that included a visit to the famed Civil Rights Institute. Athletes and coaches heard from a survivor of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. The rest of the week was lighter in nature, with a block party Wednesday evening in Downtown Birmingham that athletes loved and a closing party Thursday night at the Birmingham J.
When it came to medals, Team Dallas fared well with 18 gold, eight silver, eight bronze and eight Middot medals.
- Gold: girls’ soccer, girls’ basketball, flag football, 100-meter fly (swimming), 400-meter individual medley, 200 fly relay, 100 freestyle, hip-hop group, dance solo, dance choreography, dance jazz group, dance duet, dance lyrical group, dance duet, dance choreography
- Silver: 100 backstroke (swimming), 200 IM, 200 backstroke, 400 medley relay, girls’ tennis, three dance solos
- Bronze: Under-14 boys’ soccer, under-16 boys’ baseball, 50 fly, boys’ under-14 tennis, dance choreography, dance duet, golf
- Middot medals: the Maccabi games’ highest honor for athletes, coaches or delegation heads exemplifying the character and values of a Maccabi athlete:
Jaden Pollak (golf), David Eydelzon (swimming), Ben Kaplan (baseball), Gail Leytman (tennis), Tanya Johnson (assistant volleyball coach), Laurel Fisher (delegation head), Connie Roseman (girls’ basketball coach) and Gregg Bucholz (swim coach)