As I began at Maccabi USA last month, it was easy enough for me to envision how the competition at the Pan Am and European Maccabi Games would go on the field and what the parallel Jewish international experience would look like off. I imagined that while in uniform, I would see our athletes’ fierce competitive spirit, and when off the court, field, and course, a deep sense of Jewish camaraderie and connection would emerge. What I couldn’t have imagined was exactly how the two would intersect.
This week, we witnessed an amazing example of exactly that in the Women’s Open Soccer tournament. Our women beat the competition handily, outscoring their opponents 33-0 in the four games they played. Despite their dominance, they played with kindness, generosity, respect, and grace, or what we might call in Hebrew a deep sense of
(kindness). And their opponents responded in quite an unexpected way at the medal ceremony on Monday.