The Epstein School traditionally holds its own Maccabiah games each year mirroring the international Jewish athletic competition. This year, for the first time, Epstein’s event went online May 15 with the theme of a Virtual Tug-o-War.
“The number one goal was to keep as much of the tradition as possible,” said Clint Purcell, assistant athletic director, Maccabiah coordinator and faculty member.
“The most exciting event has always been the tug-o-war, and that’s where we focused our attention. Since we couldn’t pull in-person, we tried to think of a way that we could show team spirit and ‘pull’ for our team virtually.
“That’s where we got the idea of completing challenges for ‘tugs.’ We also felt it was important to include a ‘live’ aspect to the day.”
Volunteers stepped up to host Zoom sessions for a musical bingo, scavenger hunt, “and of course, no Maccabiah is complete without Torah Bowl,” said Purcell, who is also chair of the middle school math and science department.
At the end of the tournament, Epstein named its Athletes of the Year:
Drew Tovin, Bailey Zibitt and Maya Clayman.
The winners of the virtual event included:
First place – Green Team
Second place –Blue Team
Third Place – Yellow Team
“The Epstein School is proud of its winners and students for competing in a new and digital way!”
Epstein also expressed appreciation to Purcell for setting up and organizing the virtual version of the school’s annual Maccabiah event.
The Maccabiah, also known as “the Jewish Olympics,” bills itself as the world’s largest Jewish competition in the tradition and values of Maccabi, emphasizing the centrality of the State of Israel in the life of the Jewish people. The Maccabiah takes place every four years in Israel.