Maccabi Alumni of the Week: Zak Elfenbein
MJCCA Athletic Director and 7 time alumni of the JCC Maccabi Games!
Athlete – 3 years, Coached – 3 years, and Delegation Head – 1 year
ATLMaccabi2019.org: What year(s) and sport(s) did you participate in?
Zak Elfenbein: I have participated in basketball at the Maccabi games (both national and international) as a player in 2006-2008, as a coach in 2011, 2012, 2015, and a Delegation Head in 2017.
ATL: What was your favorite part of opening ceremonies and the Games as a whole?
ZE: My favorite Maccabi opening ceremonies was in Miami in 2017. Being from Miami, watching the community I was raised in host delegations from all over the nation, including the community I am a part of now, was remarkable. My favorite moment in Maccabi was as a first time coach for Team Miami in Springfield, MA in 2011. My team was young and inexperienced, but was able to upset multiple top seeds enroute to a silver medal in the U16 division. Even though I have had Maccabi experiences that ended in winning a gold medal, being a part of that group in particular was truly special.
ATL: What was your favorite pin/apparel you got to trade for?
ZE: My favorite Maccabi item was this past summer when team Atlanta went to the OC and all participants received a custom Under Armour backpack.
ATL: How excited are you for Atlanta to host the 2019 Games?
ZE: Participating in a Maccabi games is always an incredible experience, attending the Maccabi games is always wonderful, but being a part of a community that is preparing to host a set of Maccabi Games makes me proud in an almost indescribable way. The opportunity to showcase the Atlanta Jewish community, engage Jewish families for the first time in our backyard, and hosting Jewish athletes (coaches, spectators, etc.) from all over North America is thrilling.