In my experience working with young athletes, I’ve learned that nothing else can quite match the excitement a child feels while participating in the Games—whether they win or lose, the memories they make and the friendships they build with Jewish teens in and outside of the Denver Jewish community is something they’ll always cherish.

I’ve witnessed firsthand how influential the Games are for our teenagers. They grow to understand the importance of teamwork and dedication, and they practice middot (values) and sportsmanship so they can represent our community proudly on and off the field.

“Sydney had such a fantastic time. Thank you for everything you all did before, during, after, behind-the-scenes and out front. We could not be happier with the experience, and she can’t wait for next year. She keeps saying she wishes she were still there.”

In 2016, we attended the Games in St. Louis with 62 young athletes. We participated in 11 different sports and won 45 medals. We took seven volunteer coaches, who gave their time and talents to ensure our young athletes had a safe, meaningful experience. Best of all, we were able to provide scholarships and financial aid to 51 teenagers who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to participate.

This 2017 Maccabi Games will be in Birmingham, Alabama. Our goal is to raise $18,000 in scholarships and financial aid, so we can offer the gift of the Maccabi Games to young athletes in our community who are in need of financial assistance.

I am personally donating to support Maccabi scholarships, and I invite you to join me in this effort. No amount is too small—every donation makes a difference.