Summer is just around the corner and there’s a lot of information about camp that we want to share. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sending a series of emails on the most important topics to help prepare your child (and you!) for a terrific experience at JCC Maccabi Sports Camp.
Missed an email? Don’t sweat it! Click the topics below to catch up.
Update about Camp at Menlo College
I want to provide an update on some improvements at Menlo College that will have an impact on our program, but will not stop us from having an amazing summer. Actually, nothing is going to stop us from having an awesome summer!
In our time with Menlo College as our home, we’ve been fortunate to see quite a few physical improvements to the campus, some that have impacted our program and others that didn’t. In the nearly two years since we last held camp, new pavers have been installed throughout campus, the main entrance has been reconfigured (for beauty and safety), there are aesthetic additions to beautify the school, and a new state-of-the-art dorm is being constructed.
There are a few ways these recent changes affect camp. First, the terraced fire pit was removed and replaced with a ground-level space, paved with stone and surrounded by a short wall. While different from before, we still expect to use this space for festive cabin gatherings, camp programs, and Shabbat campfires (we are able to create our own fire pit in that space). At the same time, there were many camp memories made in that fire pit and it’ll surely be missed.
The new dorm, which may one day be a home for our campers, is being built where our pool used to be. Although many of our campers preferred not to use the pool, it was certainly a cool hang out spot and gave us the opportunity for some fun programming. We are already working on creative new ideas and ways to replicate the energy and fun that happened in this area.
And lastly, there is the simple fact that the dorm is currently under construction. The construction area is completely fenced off and we have no concerns about safety. I have been to camp several times to ensure that all aspects of construction are taking place inside an area that is not accessible to campers.
We know that hearing this news might be surprising for some campers, especially those returning to camp. Camp is about many things, including having fun and creating memories with friends, and often those memories are tied to spaces.
Almost any camp director will tell you, it’s not the physical space but the people you’re with that makes camp special. Changes over the years do not take away any memories, in fact, it may make them brighter and more meaningful. It’s important to cherish the memories created at camp, and to look forward to creating new memories in new spaces. I choose to see the new spaces on campus as an opportunity and I hope our campers will too.
I expect that even by hearing this news now, your camper might have some feelings the first time they see the impacted spaces. That is normal and totally ok. We want to validate their feelings and then look to think positively. Overcoming adversity, dealing with a difficult situation, and finding new ways to make fun – these are the life lessons we are lucky to learn from camp.
Our program team has been to camp several times specifically to look at and think about the campus in new and creative ways. We’ve got some great stuff planned and I know that despite, or maybe in light of, these challenges, camp will be more fun and amazing than ever before. It’s going to be a fantastic summer.
Thanks for being a part of our camp family and for joining us this summer. We can’t wait for camp to begin!
Welcome Back, Volleyball Head Coach Emily Horner!
We’re thrilled to announce Coach Emily’s return for her 2nd season as the leader of our volleyball program, the fastest growing core sport in our community.
California Volleyball Native
Emily was born in Mission Viejo, CA which is about six hours south of camp. She started playing volleyball in seventh grade and grew up playing on the beach and indoor. She made the decision to take her collegiate career as an indoor volleyball player at the University of Pittsburgh. Emily is currently continuing her career playing beach volleyball at UC Davis while she pursues a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education.
Club, High School & College Volleyball
Emily graduated from the University of Pittsburgh where she was a member of the NCAA Division 1 Volleyball Team. Her junior and senior year, the team captured ACC Championship as well as qualifying for the NCAA tournament, making it to the second round both years. The team ranked top 10 in Division 1 volleyball for 3 weeks for the first time in program history. Prior to college, she competed at varsity for her high school for three years and set records in both hitting and service aces in a single year. She also played travel for T-street Volleyball club, where she helped her team win 18 Open at Nationals, proving to be the top team in the nation.
Volleyball Coaching Experience
Emily began her coaching career directly after graduating high school where she assisted in coaching the high school team at her Alma Mater that summer. After that, the summer of her college years were spent coaching at the Dan Fisher (University of Pittsburgh) Volleyball camps with potential recruits for the University of Pittsburgh as well as players from ages 8-17. She continues coaching currently by giving private lessons to those learning and continue to grow in their volleyball skill. Although she wants to pursue education, she knows that coaching will be present in her future one way or another!
Multi-Sport & Multi-dimensional
Off the court, Emily loves being active by running, hiking, or just involving herself in other sports (despite her skill level). She also loves listening to music and attending concerts. When she’s not hanging out with friends, she usually is supporting her local sports teams (whether it to be high-school, college, or the fan base of the area).
This Summer at Camp
Emily is looking forward to teaching volleyball basics & advanced skills. She’s also looking forward to seeing players grow on and off the court. Her main focus points as a coach are that her players give full effort, value communication, and most importantly bring energy to the court. If her players follow these with their best foot forward, they will prove to be successful and grow in the sport. She also loves that volleyball is a team sport and looks forward to the group of girls becoming cohesive and learning the importance of playing cooperatively with each other as well as playing for each other.
Welcome Soccer Head Coach JJ Davidson!
J.J. Davidson was promoted to the head coach of the Yeshiva University men’s soccer team in July of 2018. He spent the previous season as the assistant coach of the men’s and women’s soccer programs.
Davidson had a successful first season with the Yeshiva University men’s soccer program, in 2018. Under his leadership, the Maccabees made history by tying a program-record for most Skyline wins in a season. One of those victories, included a come from behind win to earn the Maccabees their first ever win over the Golden Eagles of St. Joseph’s Long Island, by a score of 3-2.
Out of all the head coaches in program history, Davidson has the highest Skyline Conference winning percentage. Davidson’s teams are not only successful on the field, but excel in the classroom too. In the fall of 2019, six student-athletes finished the semester with a 4.0 grade point average and the team earned the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award for the fourth time in program history.
Under Davidson’s tutorage, freshman forward Jonah Beberman was named the Skyline Rookie of the Year, as well as a member of the All-Skyline first team. Senior midfielder Dan Cohen earned a spot on the Skyline All-Conference second team. Beberman and Cohen were named Jewish Sports Review All-Americans, while Alberto Benhamu was acknowledged as an honorable mention.
Davidson also serves as a youth soccer coach for the New York Red Bulls, where he coaches in the organization’s youth training programs.
Thanks to his strong soccer background, Davidson was selected to serve as the head coach of the Maccabi USA Open Men’s Soccer Team for the 14th Pan American Maccabi Games, which took place in the summer of 2019. That same year, he completed his USSF “C” License.
Davidson was the head coach of the USA Under-16 junior boys team in the 2018 International Maccabi Youth Soccer Games.
Prior to joining Yeshiva, Davidson coached at the Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School and was proud to lead his program to its first championship in school history.
Davidson earned his Master of Arts in Psychological Studies with a concentration in Sports and Exercise Psychology, from Seton Hall University in 2020.
Welcome Head Baseball Coach Will Chapman!
Will Chapman joins the JCC Maccabi Sports Camp for his first summer to help campers love and respect baseball as much as he does. Will played baseball in college and professionally. His playing career has taken him all around the US as well as to Australia, Japan, and several countries in Europe. Will has coached baseball at all levels from Little League to college.
Baseball Playing Career
Will received a Division 1 baseball scholarship to play at the University of California at Davis. Will played his final two college seasons at Gallaudet University. While at Gallaudet, he was twice named a first team Jewish All-American as an outfielder by the Jewish Sports News. He was named to the All-Conference Team both seasons as well. As a junior he batted .397 and pitched a complete game win in the playoffs. In his senior year he was also named to the All-South Region Team after batting .414. This time he pitched 8 1/3 innings for a playoff victory. He was ranked nationally in RBI, Toughest to Strike out, Doubles, and Batting Average.
After college, Will played three seasons of Independent Minor League ball in the Pecos League and the United League. He was then signed to play professionally in Australia for the Redland Rays, where he batted over .300 again. After two seasons in Australia, he was signed to play in Europe. He was twice named to an International All-Star team composed of the top US import players from all over Europe. Will did not play the 2020 season due to the pandemic.
Will has coached baseball at all levels from T-ball through high school and college. He was a volunteer assistant coach at Queens College in New York and at Cal State University San Bernardino. He was the hitting coach for the Onondaga Flames in the New York Summer Collegiate Wood Bat League where the team led the league in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. The Flames were made up of Division I, II, and III players and won the league championship.
JCC Maccabi Games
Will played baseball for Team Los Angeles in 2002 (Baltimore), 2003 (Houston), and 2004 (Boston). Each of those teams won the gold medal and Will won the team MVP award in 2003.
Will graduated with a degree in history from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2013. He received his master’s degree in Sports Industry Management from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. in 2017 (Will played minor league ball in the spring and summer and attended school in the fall and winter).
This Summer at Camp
Will is excited to coach at the JCC Maccabi Sports Camp this summer. He looks forward to meeting the campers and passing on his baseball knowledge in a fun yet challenging atmosphere.
Welcome Back Jason Sinkoff – Tennis Head Coach and Athletic Director!
Jason Sinkoff is excited to return to Camp for his 6th summer as Head Tennis Coach and his 2nd as our Athletic Director. Welcome back Jason!
Coaching Tennis in College
Tennis Head Coach Jason Sinkoff is in his third season as the Assistant Men’s Tennis Coach at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. In his first year they finished with the 3rd most wins in program history going 16-7. Under his leadership, the program was completely turned around and became a serious contender for the conference title. In his second season they moved up to the #3 seed in their conference tournament for the first time in the program’s history.
Prior to his time at James Madison, Jason was the Head Men’s Tennis coach at Wagner College where he also received an MBA with in Management, finishing #1 in his class.
In addition to coaching at the collegiate level, Jason has coached youth at summer camps in the San Diego area and worked as the Tennis instructor at a residential camp in Wisconsin. In 2009 he served as the Assistant Coach for the boy’s tennis team at Torrey Pines High School. That team won their conference title as well as the San Diego CIF Div 1 Title and sent graduates to compete at the collegiate level at UC Santa Barbara, Princeton, University of Arizona, UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis, UC San Diego, and Pomona College.
Playing Tennis in San Diego
Before he became a coach, Jason played tennis at Torrey Pines High School (San Diego, CA), Palomar College, and Hofstra University and was a Team Captain on his high school and college teams.
At Torrey Pines, Jason was named a two-time San Diego Union Tribune Scholar Athlete, and named to the All-City and All-Palomar League 1st Teams during his senior year. At Palomar College he played #1 Singles and Doubles and was voted Team Captain and Freshman MVP while obtaining a 4.0 GPA. He then transferred to Hofstra University to play Division 1 Men’s Tennis, was elected Team Captain for 3 years, Intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar-Athlete, CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award recipient, and Senior MVP. Jason graduated in 2012 with a BBA in Marketing and a Minor in Management.
Tennis at the JCC Maccabi Games
He competed at the JCC Maccabi Games three times, 2002 Montreal, 2003 Houston, TX (Silver Medal in Doubles), and 2004 Boston, MA (Gold Medal in Doubles). In 2010 he competed in the Men’s Open Division representing Team USA at the Maccabi Australia Games and won a Bronze medal in Doubles.
This Summer at JCC Maccabi Sports Camp
Jason is extremely excited to be back at JCC Maccabi Sports Camp. He’s eager to see many returning faces and to help develop confidence on and off the court.