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2015 Pan Am Daily Update- January 3

Message from Reuben Dizengoff, Open Swimming

Shalom and qué pasa from Santiago!!

The fast approaching conclusion of these games in Santiago afford me an opportunity for reflection.  In the last 5 months, I've traveled to the Maccabi Games in Berlin and Santiago, won medals in both Water Polo and Swimming, made countless new friends, and completed my first semester of Law School.  During the school year, I learned the "common nucleus of operative facts test." Leaving the legal aspects aside, I believe the basic tenants of the test apply to the Maccabi Movement alive today in Santiago.

So, then we must ask ourselves what is the common nucleus of facts for us Maccabi athletes? To borrow the words of PanAm Swim Coach Doug Markoff and Victor Popovsky of PanAm Men's 45+ Soccer: experience and acceptance.

My time playing Water Polo in the European Maccabi Games in August brought forward the first common operative fact among Maccabi athletes: the value of experience.  Serving as my entrance into the Maccabi World, those Berlin games inspired awe with regard to how other athletes and delegates from home and around the world experience Judaism. To have the forum, bolstered through participation in sport, to share with others what Judaism means to you is a powerful moment in your life.  I was extremely fortunate to join a marvelous Water Polo team that competed with passion, valued each other, and bolstered the connections among Jewish Water Polo athletes.

But, I am writing to you from the glorious Pan American Maccabi Games in Santiago.  These games exemplify why acceptance is the other common nucleus fact of a Maccabi Athlete.  Earlier this week, I stood behind the swimming blocks racing other competitors from other delegations, only to climb out of the water afterward and get embraced in a hug by my opponents. Today, I watched our rugby team tackle and ruck with full force and conclude their game by posing for a photo with their competitors. Tomorrow, when we return home, I know I will have left Santiago with a lot more people on my team. There is an aura in the air here in Santiago and it has led to the formation of an accepting, enthusiastic, and larger Maccabi USA family.

The experience of a Maccabi USA athlete, what Judaism and sport means to him or her, serves as a valuable asset to the strength of the Maccabi movement. I am here in Santiago not only to join with other swimmers from around the country or other athletes from around the world to compete and share our love for our sport but also to empathize and celebrate our wonderful Jewish heritage and future.

USA on 3! 1, 2, 3... USA!!!

Sincerely yours,

Reuben Dizengoff
2015 European Maccabi Games Open Men's Water Polo
2015 Pan-American Maccabi Games Open Men's Swimming

Team USA Results

Today's competitions: Basketball, Beach VolleyballField Hockey, Futsal, RugbySoccer, & Volleyball

Click HERE to see Team USA's schedule for tomorrow, January 4, which includes matches for the following teams: Juniors Boys' Basketball (Gold), Open Men's Basketball (Gold), Masters 35+ (Gold)/45+ (Gold) Basketball, Futsal (Bronze), Rugby, Open Women's Soccer (Gold), Masters 35+ (Bronze)/45+ (Bronze) Soccer, Tennis & Open Women's (Gold)/Men's (Gold) Volleyball! 

Tagging Maccabi USA on Social Media

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