Community Briefs: Maccabiah Staff, Cemetery Cleanup Postponed

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Evan Eigner. Courtesy of Maccabi USA

Two Local Men Named to Coaching Staff for 21st Maccabiah Games in 2022
Philadelphians Jesse Kitzen-Abelson and Evan Eigner were named to the coaching staff of the 21st Maccabiah Games slated for Israel next summer.

Kitzen-Abelson was named head coach for the men’s gymnastics team (open division), while Eigner was named to the same post for the women’s gymnastics team (open division). For both coaches, this is their first time representing Team USA.

Kitzen-Abelson is the head coach for the Temple University men’s gymnastics team. He is a member of USA Gymnastics, the College Gymnastics Association and the Gymnastics Association of College Teams.


“Being Jewish and competing for our country in the sport we have dedicated our lives to is such a unique opportunity,” he said. “It defines us as humans. We are Jewish athletes and professionals coming together for sport.”

Eigner is the assistant coach of men’s gymnastics at the U.S. Military Academy. He is a member of the College Gymnastics Association and USA Gymnastics. His father, Fred Turoff, was a participant and coach in the Maccabiah Games and is a member of the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

Jesse Kitzen-Abelson.   Courtesy of Maccabi USA

“The Maccabiah Games is one of the greatest and most meaningful sporting events in the world,” he said.

The first Maccabiah was held in 1932 in Ramat Gan; 390 athletes participated. By 2017, the games grew to include nearly 10,000 Jewish athletes from more than 75 countries competing in 40 sports. That made it the world’s third-largest international multi-sport event, behind only the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup. The Maccabi USA delegation in 2017 totaled 1,131 members.

July 17 Cleanup Planned at Har Jehuda in Upper Darby is Postponed
A cleanup of Har Jehuda Cemetery in Upper Darby that was slated for July 17 was postponed, State Rep. Mike Zabel (D-163) announced.

A new date wasn’t announced.

Conditions at the cemetery at 8400 Lansdowne Ave. have drawn complaints in recent years. Multiple people have complained about overgrown vegetation and damaged headstones.

In a Jan. 7 Jewish Exponent article, cemetery President Larry Moskowitz acknowledged the problem and said changing economics make running a cemetery increasingly difficult.
The 30-acre cemetery, which was founded in 1896, holds 20,000 graves.

— Compiled by Andy Gotlieb

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