Sitting Down with Jake Steinberg


Jake Steinberg

1.) Can you give a little insight on growing up in Baltimore?

Growing up in Baltimore, I was lucky to have a passionate synagogue in Beth El which built a strong foundation for my Jewish beliefs and identity. Being a part of a community with a great amount of pride in Judaism has always been important for me in identifying the values and ideas which are close to me.

2.) What does it mean to you personally to be representing Team USA during the 21st Maccabiah games?

It is a new experience for me because, throughout my journey in sports, I’ve always been one of, if not, the only Jewish members of my teams, so I haven’t had the opportunity to share athletic experiences with other Jewish people. In this year’s Maccabi games, I will be surrounded by people that are guided in the same faith as myself and can now share those experiences with them.

3.) How has your Jewish identity been intertwined with being chosen to represent Team USA?

Competing in sports is something that I enjoy because it always brings out sides of you that aren’t seen very often. Being on Team USA as one of many Jewish people is an honor because I will get to see how other people like myself express themselves through sports and competition. Not just in our delegation but seeing how our religion is celebrated with other delegations will be a unique experience for me.

4.) Is there a specific Jewish athlete that has inspired you?

Unequivocally, a Jewish athlete that inspired me is Yossi Benayoun who is a former professional soccer player who played for some of the biggest clubs in the world including my favorite club, Liverpool FC. He showed me that Jewish people belong on the highest athletic stages. He set the bar for Jewish players competing in Israel as well as globally.

5.) What are you most looking forward to about traveling to Israel in summer of 2022?

It will be my long-awaited first trip to Israel this summer, so first and foremost, I am excited to get to have the experience that generations before me have had in enjoying Israel’s culture, infrastructure, and tradition. Also, I am looking forward to meeting some of my Israeli family that I rarely see or haven’t even met yet and being a part of their culture. Lastly, I love competing and being a part of a team looking to do great things, so I cannot wait to start playing Futsal with the team, forming a dynamic with them, and pushing to win a gold medal!


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