Monthly Archives:September 2014

Shana Tova — Happy New Year!

Posted by September 24, 2014 • Share:

L’Shana Tova!

JCC Maccabi Sports Camp wishes you and your family a sweet and prosperous new year!

Still life closeup - challah, apples, pomegranate and bowl of ho

It was an exciting year as we embarked upon our inaugural summer. We could not have done it without the amazing support and enthusiasm from you and your community and we look forward to continued collaboration in the New Year.

To see camp in action, take a quick peak at one of our session highlight videos and get a sense of the magic that happened in our first summer.

May we all enjoy a sweet new year together.

Josh & Mara
JCC Maccabi Sports Camp


Fall Outreach & Events

Posted by September 2, 2014 • Share:

Ever wonder how we spend the “off-season”?  Great question!  We spend a lot of time traveling, organizing, and hosting events all around California and North America. We LOVE meeting families and getting people excited about camp!

This fall and winter we’ll be running parlor meetings at individual family homes; camp fairs at synagogues, JCCs, and Federations; visiting and running programs at Jewish Day Schools and synagogues; sponsoring events like Junior Maccabi; collaborating with BBYO Connect; and much more!

Already on the schedule is a middle school dance at the JCC of Greater Baltimore (Sept 13), a camp fair hosted by the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta (Sept 21), a basketball skills clinic with the Maccabi Haifa Basketball Club at the JCCSF (Oct 19), and the annual Kosher BBQ Cook-off at the JCC of Southern Nevada (Oct 19).

If you have an idea for an event or are interested in helping us organize an event, please email Josh Steinharter at


Shawn Green, former MLB All-Star, with our Session 3 campers

Shawn Green, former MLB All-Star, with our Session 3 campers

Shawn Green, former MLB All-Star, leading a hitting clinic for our campers




Summer in Review

Posted by September 2, 2014 • Share:

Dear campers, parents, friends, and supporters,

Wow! What an awesome inaugural summer for JCC Maccabi Sports Camp!

We had 113 campers and staff representing 11 states and 4 countries over the course of three fun-filled sessions.

More important than where everyone came from is the amazing and positive experience had by our campers and staff in our camp’s first year. It was truly remarkable to see camp transform from an idea described on a piece of paper to an actual program being experienced by our first wave of campers.

As a sports camp the appeal for most was the opportunity to work with professional coaches and receive high-level individualized training. This was certainly accomplished, but what soon became evident was the learning taking place on and off the field and meaningful friendships forming throughout our camp.

Campers learned what it meant to be part of a community.

A community that eats meals together, celebrates Shabbat together, watches sports movies together, lives together and sings Hinei Mah Tov together.

Each day before lunch we gathered as a community and in addition to hearing what each sport practiced that day, athletes and coaches also shared observations of Jewish values. Examples of Tikkun Middot, or strong character, such as helping a teammate in need or overcoming adversity by pushing oneself through a difficult drill became everyday occurrences. Campers helped each other observe Shmirat Haguf, holding one and other accountable to stretch, stay hydrated and apply sunscreen. Players of all grades, genders and skill levels played and competed together exemplifying our value of K’lal Yisrael.

What else happened at camp?

We created the game “Zombie Waterworld”, watched nations compete in our Futsal tournament, learned how to play lawn games like cornhole and ladderball, ate lots of Kind bars, met famous Jewish athletes like Hank Greenberg, Sue Bird and Aly Raisman (not really!), laughed and cheered during the camp Talent Show, watched the classic “The Sandlot”, held our breath during “Maccabi Minute” (our version of “Minute to Win It”), made paracord bracelets and constantly occupied the Gaga pit.

Did I mention we spent time with former MLB All-Star Shawn Green, who gave a hitting clinic to our baseball players and celebrated Shabbat with our whole camp? We did!

Naturally, camp isn’t camp without tie-dye, campfires and s’mores…all of which became integral pieces of our memorable experience.

The Maccabi Cup was contested for the first time this summer with the Blue Team dominating all summer. Let’s hope the Green Team can get their name etched on the cherished Cup for the first time next summer.

Combine all of this with amazing weather, beautiful athletic facilities and delicious food and you have a special place we call JCC Maccabi Sports Camp.

We are so excited we got to share it with our 1st Team All-Camp members and look forward to welcoming more young Jewish athletes to our camp next summer!

See you soon!


P.S. To see some of our best photos from this summer, visit us on Facebook.

Summer Visitors!

Posted by September 1, 2014 • Share:

This summer we had hosted an impressive list of visitors. We appreciate everyone who took the time to visit us; we were honored to show you around camp and hope you had an enjoyable visit! See below for complete list.


Shawn Green poses with campers and staff during his visit this summer.

Shawn Green, former MLB All-Star, poses with campers and staff during his visit this summer.

Jeremy Fingerman, CEO, Foundation for Jewish Camp

Michele Friedman, Director Specialty Camp Incubator, Foundation for Jewish Camp

Sandy Edwards, Associate Director, Jim Joseph Foundation

Joel Einleger, Sr. Program Office, Director of Strategy, Camp Programs, Avi Chai Foundation

Jay Frankel, Director of Field Operations, Specialty Camp Incubator, Foundation for Jewish Camp

Rick, Tanuka & Esha Gordon, JCC Maccabi Sports Camp Board Chair and family

Zack Bodner, Executive Director, Oshman Family Jewish Community Center

Deborah Pinsky, Executive Director, Peninsula Jewish Community Center

Jordan Dale, Executive Director, Surprise Lake Camp

Ruben Arquelevich, Executive Director, URJ Camp Newman

Miriam Chilton, Director, URJ Strategy, Finance and Operations, Youth, Camp and Israel Programs

Jim Heeger & Daryl Messinger, Foundation for Jewish Camp, URJ Camp Newman & Oshman Family JCC Board Members

Jodi Sperling, Vice President, Director of Camping and the Merrin Center for Teen Engagement

Ian Israel, Director Camp Keff, Peninsula Jewish Community Center

Michael Mason, Educator, Congregation Beth Am, Los Altos Hills, CA

Abra Greenspan, Director of Learning, Congregation Etz Chayim, Palo Alto, CA

Deborah Newbrun, Jewish Educator and Camp Consultant

Lisa Pavlovsky, Manager, Scholarship & One Happy Camper Programs, Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund

Brenda Silvers, Camping Coordinator, Jewish Federation of San Diego

Jeff Bayer, NFL Hall of Fame Award Winning Photographer

Jonathan Bayer, Jewish Musician and Educator

Shawn Green, Former MLB All-Star & all-time great Jewish ballplayer

Aaron Pribble, Former Pitcher in Israeli Baseball League

Dan Gillick, current member of SF Flamethrowers (professional Ultimate Frisbee team)

Gary Kimball, Consultant, AM Skier Insurance

Danny Herz, Varsity Boys Basketball Head Coach, David Posnack Jewish High School

Noa Ben-Hamou, Shlicihim & Camp Coordinator, Jewish Agency for Israel

Sheena Lister, Athletics Program Manager, JCCSF

Evan Gatozzi, Associate, Informing Change

Shaun Steingold, Board Member, Ronald C. Wornick Jewish Day School

And a special “thank you” to Josh’s immediate and extended family: Meghan & Ben Steinharter, Alan & Martha Steinharter, Adam & Annette, Noah & Sydney Steinharter, Yeshaya & Debbie Ballon and Sara Ballon.