When the call came, Dr. Jeffrey Friedman answered it. As a clinical director for Sleepy Hollow-based , Dr. Friedman saw a great opportunity to step up and reach out — by volunteering his services for what he feels is a most worthy cause: the , an Olympic-style event being held in various locations throughout Rockland County this week.
Hosted by the JCC of Rockland, the 2012 Maccabi Games has brought together over 1,250 Jewish teen athletes from the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe and Israel in a Grand Opening Ceremony held in Suffern on Sunday, August 12 at Rockland Community College’s Fieldhouse. In addition, the event has engaged over 1,000 volunteers, 600 host families, and thousands of spectators to ensure the smooth running and success of the week-long event.
“The Maccabi Games is such a happening in the Rockland area…it promotes goodwill, friendly competition and well-being. I consider it an honor to be part of it, particularly because it’s being played in the county where I grew up,” says Dr. Friedman who is serving as medical director for the in-line skating venue. His expertise not only includes the latest techniques in chiropractic care, but sports medicine and nutrition.
Throughout the week, he has been coaching and counseling the young athletes — helping them play their best, while being safe in the process. On his experience thus far, Dr. Friedman says “These kids are really good; they take care of themselves but they play really hard. We’re fortunate that we’ve not had any incidents at my venue more serious than a swollen limb or two that required ice.”
Other sports competitions taking place this week include basketball, baseball, tennis, soccer, softball skating, golf and tennis. But as important as the competition, is the greater message that the Maccabi Games embodies: “It’s a way for Jewish youth to participate in a cultural journey, while learning the values of teamwork, sportsmanship, compassion and community. It’s been rewarding on many levels,” says Dr. Friedman.
For more information about the 2012 Maccabi Games, which concludes today, please visit www.jccrockland.org.