The Jewish Observer
News from Middle Tennessee's Jewish Community | Sunday, March 3, 2024
The Jewish Observer

Nashville Teens Bring Home Gold and Golden Memories from 2023 Maccabi Games

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Team Nashville participated in the 2023 Maccabi games and brought home a gold medal, and plenty of memories.

Team Nashville joined 1800 athletes from around the world for the 2023 JCC Maccabi Games in Fort Lauderdale August 6-11. Members of Team Nashville included: Aaron Cheng, Jack Barocas, Harry Stahl, Oliver Stahl, Delegation Head Rebecca Moriarty, and Coach Diamond Battle. The athletes joined other delegations and created complete teams to compete in the 14U and 16U 3v3 basketball tournament.  


Cheng joined a 16U 3v3 basketball team alongside teammates from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Rochester, New York. After three days of tournament play, their team went on to defeat Team Ohio to secure their gold medal. Cheng had an amazing time and remarked, “My favorite part of Maccabi was being able to meet people with the same interest in sports and compete against them for a shot at winning it all.” 


Barocas and both Stahl brothers played together on a 14U team with teammates from Newport News, Virginia and were coached by Diamond Battle. Their team advanced past an undefeated team in the semifinals and went on to win the silver medal. Maccabi’s Midot Values were personified by the team’s dedication to sportsmanship on and off the court.  


While sporting events are the main attraction, JCC Maccabi offers many opportunities to engage with other Jewish teens. On the first day, Team Nashville participated in a mitzvah project to donate new sneakers along with an encouraging note to students in need. Opening ceremonies took place on Monday night with each delegation parading around the stadium to the cheers of spectators. Tuesday night, JCC Maccabi provided teens with a private arcade experience at Xtreme Action Park. On Wednesday night, the teens’ host families took them to a fun local attraction and dinner. The week rounded out with closing ceremonies and a casino night on Thursday evening. 


Another delegation head said it best, “These athletes come from different cultures and backgrounds and expressions of Judaism. Some of them don’t even speak the same language! There are athletes from Ukraine, Argentina, and other countries. But what unites them all and gives them common ground to create friendships is sports and that’s the magic of JCC Maccabi Games”.  


JCC Maccabi Games occur each summer and athletes ages 12-16 are eligible to participate. For more information on next year’s games, contact Rebecca Moriarty at 

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