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At the Maccabiah Games: U.S. Wins the Most Medals with 246; Israel Comes in Second with 217

July 26, 1985
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American athletes at the 12th Maccabiah Games copped the most medals, with a total of 246, and Israel trailed behind, with a total of 217. Athletes from other countries were left in the dust, with only Canada peering over the horizon with 51 medals. These are the final ratings as the Games closed here today with a festive ceremony tonight in Jerusalem.

The official Maccabiah ratings were:

United States 109 gold medals, 90 silver, 47 bronze; Israel 62, 67, 85; Canada 12, 15, 24; Brazil 10, 11, 11; Britain 7, 6, 9; Holland 7, 51, Modi’im (a team of potential immigrants from South Africa) 6, 12, 10.

Australia 6, 5, 8; France 6, 4, 1; Mexico 1, 3, 12; Sweden 1, 2, 2; West Germany 1, 2, 1; Denmark 1, 0, 1; Argentina 0, 5, 6; and others, four silver and seven bronze.


Two Miami women athletes slogged it out for the Maccabiah tennis singles crown at the Ramat Hasharon tennis center yesterday, with 19-year-old Ronni Reis eventually triumphing 6-1 6-2.

Reis then went on to win both the women’s doubles and the mixed doubles — equalling a Maccabiah feat last performed by South African Ilana Kloss in 1973 (the ninth Maccabiah).

Reis’ partner in the womens doubles was Eileen Tell, and in the mixed doubles it was Jonathan Kamissar — both also Americans, as were all the losing finalists, too.

Reis, who plays for the University of Miami, is ranked among the world’s best 200, although her opponent in the singles final, Jamie Golder, also of Miami, ranks higher than Reis in the computerized WTA charts.


In the softball final, the U.S. team triumphed over Canada by 3-0, in a hard fought game. The winning hit was by Neil Kabinoff. According to the Jerusalem Post’s softball reporters, the U.S. team was probably the best Jewish softball squad ever assembled.

The paper said the team had been sponsored by B’nai B’rith, which budgeted $60,000 for training and preparation. The coach was Villanova University’s Larry Shane, one of the best in the United States. Among the star players were Mary Rubinoff and Dave Blackburn who have both played for Camarillo Kings, the 1982 world champions from southern California. Neil Kabinoff was named to the all-American junior college team.

Blackburn of Los Angeles and Chicago shut out the Canadians in the finale, allowing only three hits. It was his fourth victory, two of which were over Canada. The other two tourney wins were racked up by Rubinoff, also of Los Angeles.

The U.S. and Canadians met three times, with Canada winning the first game 3-2 and the Americans the last pair, 2-1 and 3-0. They were by far the most outstanding teams in the tourney. The other teams competing were Argentina, Mexico and Venezuela. The Americans crushed them 17-0, 6-1, 9-0, respectively, and downed Israel 18-1.

Kabinoff of Philadelphia led all the hitters, slamming three home runs, two of them against Canada. According to coach Shane of Philadelphia and Steve Bloom of Cleveland, chairman of the B’nai B’rith U.S. Maccabiah Games softball committee, the American team dedicated the championship game to Eddie Rosenblum of Washington, who died July 19. Rosenblum, 92, was a member of the B’nai B’rith U.S. Maccabiah softball team committee and the U.S. Olympic Committee, and was a founder of the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Washington.

Among the rooters for the Americans were Hollywood actors Gabe Kaplan and Lou Gossett, both of whom sat on the team’s bench. Gossett cancelled his flight back to the United States to cheer the B’nai B’rith players on to the title.

Another celebrity at most of the games was Dr. William Wexler, honorary president of B’nai B’rith International. Wexler rooted for both the U.S. and Israel, having lived most of his life in America and the last decade in Israel.

Record crowds of 1,000, 1,500 and 2,000 witnessed the three U.S.-Canadian games, respectively, even though the field has very few seats.


The American competitors most sweeping success was in the pool where they took almost all of the medals. Every single one of the 25 American swimmers won a medal of some kind. The Americans won every relay. And every American woman swimmer finished up with a new Maccabiah record.

The two youngsters selected as the outstanding swimmers of the 12th Maccabiah were Cheryl Kreigsman of Los Angeles and Rick Aronberg of New York, both aged 17. Kreigsman won three individual and two relay golds. American coach Norman Goldbloom said after the wins that both Kreigsman and Aronberg would swim in the U.S. National and should be able to compete for places in the U.S. Seoul Olympic Team.

Aronberg won three individual gold and one relay — including a sub-16-minute time for the 1,500 meters race.

But topping the medals table in the pool was 21-year-old Seth Baron of Auburn University, Alabama, with three individual golds and three relay golds.

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