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Merage Jewish Community Center of Orange County • Samueli Jewish Campus • OC 2013 JCC Maccabi Games®

OC Wave Length Staff Abby Steinmetz Deana Berman Lee-El Yehezkel Jeremy Frank Aaron Ratner Henry Passo Anne Berg Channa Schachet-Briskin Deborah Frank Michael Kaplan Sydney Pomish Justin Kalvari Michael Sandr Blaze Bernstein Daniel Gillman Joe Kleid Gabie Permba Lili Harris Coaches: Linda Cooper Kathy B Shapiro Abby Cutler

Activities Second Day of Competi - tion and ArtsFest Starts at 8:00 am Lunch 11:30 = 1:00 pm JCC, Beckman, MAP 5:00 pm Buses depart to BOOMER’S 9:00 pm Pick Up at BOOMER’S

Photo by Joey Kleid

Springfield Basketball Boys

Rachmanus on the Court by Lee-El Yehezkel

How does one display Rachmanus on the court? Ask the Springfield and Dayton basketball teams, who showed a brilliant display of sportsmanship in today’s game. It was a difficult game, but Springfield was winning by 50 points. The Dayton coach jokingly suggested that the Springfield coach swap for the tallest, most talented player. It seemed like a crazy thing to do, but the Springfield coach was more than willing to mix up the teams. In the end, both teams had an amazing time playing against and with each other. Aaron Ezra, the commissioner of basketball, said, “As much as I love competing and winning games, that’s what the games are about, making friends, making memories, and having fun.” The Springfield and Dayton coaches showed what it truly means to be part of the Maccabi games.


An Inspiration to Play by Michael Sandor

Zoe Greenwood, Samantha Sack, Linsey Feuerzeig and Juliettle Brams from St. Louis won their first game 7 to 0 putting them off to a good start. The girls were pleasantly surprised when their families came out to support them and they are so excited to continue play. They loved opening

Meeting the Athletes: Ben Potts

by Gabi Poermba and Lila Harris

Today we had the honor of meeting 17-year-old basketball player, Ben Potts from Denver, Colorado. He is a proud representative of Denver and good example for Maccabi. Not only is he a skilled player, but he also demonstrates courage, compassion and teamwork on the court. Ben has been playing basketball since he was three years old. Based on his outstanding performance during the game today, he may reach his aspiration to become a professional basketball player. Page 2

This is Ben’s fourth year at Maccabi, and he has shared that his experience so far this year has been fantastic. This is Ben’s fourth year at Maccabi, and he has shared that his experience so far this year has been fantastic. In life, people push you around, but you have to keep going, and not let it stop you,” stated Ben. Ben has told us that his team has, “good chemistry” on and off the court. For example, no players were left out during the game. We wish Ben and his team good luck for the rest of the games and in his future career.

One of the greatest aspects of Maccabi is the good spirit and positive vibes that seem to be found everywhere. Look at any athlete, coach, or volunteer and you will see nothing but smiles and good camaraderie. However, for one young Maccabi athlete, there is pain behind his cheerful expression. Meet Pepe Jafi, a fourteen-yearold soccer phenom from Mexico. Just several weeks before the games began Jafi started Hebrew school for the first time. Within days he was on the soccer team and ready to fly to sunny California. But right before he left, tragedy struck. With only two weeks before he was set to leave Jafi learned that his grandfather had died. The world seemed to turn upside down. Jafi had been very close with his grandfather and his death was the only thing he could think about. About a week before the games began, Pepe Jafi decided that he wouldn’t come to Orange County. He wanted time to mourn his grandfather’s death and came to the conclusion that soccer wasn’t as important. Jafi’s mother encouraged him to play. But not only did he play, he dominated. In a 9-0 rout of Detroit, Pepe Jafi scored not once, but four times. He put Mexico up 1-0 within minutes and would go on to score three additional goals. After the game his mother said, “I’m glad he decided to play, it’s what my father would have wanted.”

Pepe Jafi smiles for the camera during a water break. (Picture by Justin Kalvari)


The Dream of a Jewish Dancer By LeeEl Yehezkel

When 14-year+-old Sapeer Yehezkel started dancing in preschool, she never dreamed that she would develop such a passion for it. Sapeer has devoted herself to several genres of dance, and especially has a love of tap dance, which works well with her natural talent in dance and rhythm. Ever since she started dancing, Sapeer has looked up to the dancers in the PG (performing group), aspiring to become one herself. She worked hard for years until, finally, she was accepted! Sapeer was ecstatic—but her dream was not to be. It turned out that the PG competitions were going to be held at the same time that Sapeer was meant to visit Israel with her family. Though Sapeer wanted very much to balance both her love of dancing and of Israel by doing both, she was forced to choose one activity. Sapeer chose to quit PG so that she could stay true to her Jewish and Israeli heritage, and connect with her Jewish identity. It was a hard choice, but it was the right one. Now, she is thrilled to be able to partake in the OC ArtsFest, where she can dance to her heart’s content and connect with Jewish and Israeli identity! When asked about why she chose to attend the ArtsFest dance program over the Macabbi competitive one, Sapeer says, “I thought that this would be a better way of meeting people.” And she has not been disappointed. Sapeer says that she hopes that her dance group will stay in touch with each other, and that this is a great way to meet other Jewish teens who understand her love of dancing.

Table Tennis Equality

Earn a Medal! There are Six Values (Middot) that embody the “Spirit” (Ruach) of being a JCC Maccabi participant. The Six Values /Middot are: Repairing the world/ Tikkun Olam Respect/ Kavod Joy/ Rina Pride/ Ge’avah Open Hearted/ Lev Tov Jewish People Hood/Amiut Yehudit Athletes and Artists are now able to earn a medal for role modeling the Middot!

Don’t Miss the ArtsFest’s SHOWCASE “Spirit”

Let’s all join together in Maccabi and strive to embody the six values of being a JCC Maccabi participant.

by Channa Schachet-Briskin, Blaze Bernstein, Jeremy Frank Table tennis(Ping Pong) went off to a strong start. All teams have a high level of skill and intensity. Surprisingly, there were only three girls out of all guys. Despite the girls being uneven, gender wise, they were skilled, motivated and most importantly happy. Cianna Blate, one of the only three girls participating in Table Tennis. When asked how she felt about being among so many guys she said that she had different skill sets and as long as they were evenly matched with the guys, they were okay. Cianna said her favorite part of Table Tennis was being inside where there’s air conditioning. You go, girls.

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NEVER FORGET The Star Reporters interviewed Holocaust survivors to get insight into this unique group of people. We were fortunate to interview: Freda Samel, Siggy Silbert, Salo Sherer, Clara Stern, Ruth Treeson, Vera Rabina, Fred Emmerich, Hetty Nihom, Marta Lightner. Never take anything for granted, you could lose it at any moment said Marta. Fred Emmerich survived the Holocaust by living a nomadic life in Germany, and many isolated areas in the Philippines. Salo Sherer, born in 1930 (83 years old) was born in Romania and deported to a ghetto in Ukraine where him and his family lived in poverty. At age 11, Salo was unaware of the severity of what was going on. He recalls trading articles of clothing for food since his mother worked as a seamstress. After discussing hardships that Mr. Sherer faced as a youth, one can more easily appreciate all the JCC does for the Jewish community. Always have a strong imagination… Ruth Treeson, was just 9 years old when the second world war broke out. She struggled through the war but her imagination carried her to freedom. I learned that sometimes it isn’t about one person; it is about everyone who fought for us. This was according to Vera Rakina. I spent the afternoon talking to a Holocaust survivor and she taught such a valuable lesson that I hope to always live by “Life is to short to miss out on what you still have left to live”

Star reporter monday 8 05 13  

The OC 2013 JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest has just begun. Click here to view the first issue of the OC WaveLength created by our Star Repor...

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