Local JCCs send kids to Maccabi Games

For some reason (quite possibly sadism) the JCC Maccabi Games has decided to play its seven-on-seven girls’ soccer games on a full-sized field — out of doors, in Houston, in the dead of summer.

Rona Goldstein takes a deep breath. Houston. Summer. Flames emanating from cracks in the earth.

“Yeah, it’s going to be hot,” says the Peninsula JCC’s director of sports and recreation with a chuckle.

“But we have such amazing girls. They’re ready. It’s going to be fun.”

The PJCC in Foster City is one of five Bay Area Jewish Community Centers to send delegations to this summer’s JCC Maccabi Games, which will be held in Baltimore Aug. 5-9, in Houston Aug. 5-10 and Orange County Aug. 12-17.

The PJCC’s 15-athlete delegation (all female, coincidentally) is not the largest, though it could well be the most overheated when all is said and done.

The JCC of San Francisco will send 56 athletes and nine staffers to the Houston games, featuring basketball and soccer squads of both sexes as well as male golfers, female volleyball players, male tennis players and female dancers.

The JCCSF boys basketball squad lost in the bronze-medal game last year, coming in fourth in a field of nearly 30 teams.

Coach Craig Salgado said he has a completely new team this year with nary a player over age 14. He hopes they’ll be wily, 16-year-old veterans when San Francisco hosts the Maccabi games in 2009.

“We hope they’ll stick together,” he said. “Many of these kids have been involved in JCC sports programs for 10-plus years. This is what Maccabi is all about: getting your kids involved in your center and staying involved and this team is in many ways a poster for that.”

Contenders from Palo Alto’s Albert L. Schultz JCC are heading to Orange County in the Bay Area’s second-largest contingent of 34 young athletes. Sports represented include boys and girls soccer, boys basketball, swimming, tennis, golf and track.

Finally, the Osher Marin JCC will take around nine athletes to Orange County, while the Addison-Penzak will take a small contingent to Baltimore.

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi is the managing editor at Mission Local. He is a former editor-at-large at San Francisco magazine, former columnist at SF Weekly and a former J. staff writer.