Today is November 17, 2019 -

Post-Maccabi: personal reflections

Congratulations to all involved in successfully bringing the JCC Maccabi Games to Northeastern New York. Great job JCCs, professionals, lay leaders, co-chairs, volunteers, hosts, funders, security team, medical team, counselors, coaches, and athletes. As one would expect from an undertaking of this magnitude, there were some minor issues, but they were completely overshadowed by the overwhelming success of the week.

My first volunteer assignment was to welcome the Israelis at the Albany airport and escort them to the Albany JCC. I sat in the front of the bus with the coaches. They had questions for me about the area and their free time.

1. “How far is Connecticut?”
a. “Connecticut is bigger than Israel. You are going to have to be a bit more specific. Where in Connecticut do you want to go?”

2. “Niagara Falls is here in New York. How far away?”
a. “Five and a half hours.” Now their heads were ready to explode. There was really no capacity for them to understand what I was saying, so they gave up and asked me about shopping.

Hosting was fun. We had a great group of guys and we enjoyed spending the week with them. When asked how many we can house, we considered two factors: (1) How many mattresses and/or how much floor space for mattresses do we have? (2) How many seats do we have in our cars?

So, we had six family members living at home this week and hosted another eight kids. These are the questions that we should have asked, but didn’t: (1) When the program book says that the kids will have dinner, will they have enough dinner so that they won’t be hungry when they get to my house at 10:00 p.m.? (2) What is the capacity of my washing machine?

It was a great week. A hearty yasher koach all the way around!


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