February 22, 2020

Thoughts on the Maccabiah games from local star athletes

Madeline Aibel, 14

Santa Monica

Rhythmic gymnastics

“My experience has been an eye-opening, unforgettable adventure. This is my first time in Israel. When I first found out about the Maccabiah Games, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to visit this amazing country and experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete in the games.”

Aidan Blain, 15

Santa Monica

Track and field

“Meeting new people from different countries who are all connected by Judaism and athletics is amazing, and it has been one of the best experiences of my life. The Maccabiah Games is one of the best opportunities I have ever come across, and I’m overjoyed that I was able to take advantage and compete in these games.”

Joseph Leavitt, 43

Santa Monica


“Competing in the Maccabiah Games allows me to experience a full spectrum of emotions, from the joy of walking into the stadium at opening ceremonies to the thrill of victory to the agony of defeat. … Not many people my age get an opportunity to leave their desk job in the U.S. to go to Israel to compete again at a high level.”

Elijah Lichtenberg, 22

Beverly Hills


“My experience has been nothing but incredible. Meeting athletes from each delegation has been a unique experience, and competing in athletic competition in the land of the Jewish people has been very special for me.”

Steven S. Davis, 64

Beverly Hills 


“Nothing is better for me than being in Israel, being able to play tennis every day and meeting wonderful Jewish people from both Israel and around the world.”