Nearly 2,500 Jewish youth and 450 coaches from 62 delegations from around the world converged Aug. 4 on the Merage Jewish Community Center in Irvine for the annual JCC Maccabi Games & ArtsFest, held Aug. 4-9.
When Dave Blackburn, a six-time starting softball pitcher for the Maccabi USA team, got into a severe car accident in 2010, he had one central fear.
Being an alter-kacker — Yiddish for someone who’s an “old fart” — is relative. Many of the species, stereotypically, while away summer days at the beach cabana, sporting white shorts and knee-high dark-checkered socks, playing cards with the boys and grumbling about surgeries or high blood pressure medication.
When Steve Pompan played on the U.S. tennis squad at the last Maccabiah Games in Israel, he was struck by the spectators’ tribal inclination to give advice to the players battling it out on the court.