Throughout the past month, about 10,000 Jewish athletes — including some with ties to Maryland — from about 80 countries convened in Israel for the 20th Maccabiah Games.
Every four years, the Maccabiah World Union — comprising six confederations in Australia, Europe, Israel, Latin America, North America and South America — hosts the event to celebrate Israel, Judaism and the athletic talents of those participating in what's commonly referred to as the "Jewish Olympics."
This year, the Maccabiah Games have run July 4 to 18 and most of the 36 sports offered for the Open Division — the classification each country's top athletes participated in — took place in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
In the finals, which ended July 16, Israel led the charge with 115 gold medals, 101 silver and 102 bronze.
The United States, with a delegation of more than 1,000 people, finished second with 31 gold, 41 silver and 33 bronze, while Australia, Ukraine and Canada rounded out the top five countries.
Here are some of the Maryland athletes who contributed to the American success:
>>Veronica Binstock (Severna Park High) — silver on beam, bronze on floor
>>Jack Mutchnik (American University wrestler, St. Paul's grad) — gold in Greco-Roman wrestling at 71 kg, bronze in freestyle wrestling at 65 kg
>>Nate Engel (from Annapolis and assistant coach at Navy) bronze at freestyle 57kg
>>Jake Rozhansky (Maryland men's soccer player and Montgomery Blair graduate) and Aaron Franco (Maryland men's soccer player) gold with U.S.
Track and field
>>Shayna Rose (from Baltimore, Johns Hopkins grad) gold in the 10km road race
>>Lauren Rothfeld (played from Salisbury from 2013-14 to 2016-17) gold with U.S.
>>Kayla Devlin (from Annapolis and Annapolis High grad) and Meredith Shifman (Johns Hopkins grad) silver with U.S.