SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — The end of the Maccabiah Games signaled the beginning of new lives for at least three Australian athletes.
Adam Joseph, 28, and Rebecca Sheridan, 24, soccer players from Sydney who met at the 17th Maccabiah in 2005, became engaged at the end of the 18th Maccabiah.
“I waited until the Games were over — in fact, the first busloads are already on their way back to Australia,” Joseph said. “We were walking on the Tel Aviv beach and I pulled the ring out of my pocket.”
Another soccer player, Dara Podjarski, 27, made aliyah, answering the call of President Shimon Peres in his address at the closing ceremony.
The move to Israel is a natural step for Podjarski, as she has been working for the Zionist Federation of Australia for several years.
"On the one hand, it has been a complex mixture of ideological and emotional foundations,” she told the Jerusalem Post. “On the other hand, it simply felt right. I’m simply doing this at the right time in my life. It’s a natural progression and it’s extremely exciting."