On a most perfect August Hamptons day, former “top 10 tennis player in the world,” Diego Schwartzman performed a clinic at the private Bridgehampton estate of Rodney Propp in celebration of the upcoming 15th Pan American Maccabi Games in Argentina. Proceeds from the celebration are to benefit Maccabi USA, along with the Pan Am Maccabi Games and the Stuart Weitzman Scholarship Fund. During his clinic Mr. Schwartzman displayed his skilled talents that enabled him to defeat Rafael Nadal in the 2020 Italian Open and rise in world tennis rankings. The event was Co-Chaired by Maccabi USA Board members Deb Lichtenfeld, Meredith Shifman and Joel Roodyn.
Diego Schwartzman, although he stands only 5’7”, has been able to beat the top players in the world throughout his career by maximizing his world class return of serve skills along with phenomenal conditioning and steel-clad confidence. He is well known for his strict disciplined training geared to build up strength to hit with the bigger and stronger players on the tour. Watching him handle the various array of shots coming at him from the participants with such ease and fluidness while smiling and voicing encouragement was awesome. During the clinic he ran down every tennis ball hit to him from every angle only to give each player a perfect ball to hit.
Also in attendance and participating in the clinic was Maccabi USA Gold Medalist (Women’s Soccer) Taylor Cohen who, like Mr. Schwartzman, spoke to the sold-out crowd and took questions after the clinic and BBQ. Mr. Schwartzman’s family was also in attendance. It was very moving to hear directly from his father Ricardo, of his family’s escape from Poland while fleeing the Nazis, believing they were on a ship to America and ending up in Argentina.
Diego was heartfelt in recounting his family’s financial struggles and sacrifices made to pursue his professional tennis career. He chose not to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah, in favor of saving money for tennis. He expressed his gratitude towards the Argentine and American Jewish communities in rallying behind him these last few years and feels their support in tournaments around the world. His story was very powerful and moving, yet full of wit and good-natured comments.
The Maccabi Games build Jewish Pride through sports and promote support for Israel, Zionism, and Jewish continuity through athletic educational, and cultural experiences for participants of all ages. Maccabi USA sent its largest delegation ever (over 1300) to Israel in July 2022 for the life changing Maccabiah and has plans to send a record-breaking 700-member delegation to Buenos Aires this December.
Co-Chairperson Deb Lichtenfeld thanked everyone for coming and stressed the important role that the Maccabi movement plays in connecting the global Jewish community. Also speaking were Maccabi Argentina (FACCMA) President Esteban Bluvol and Maccabi USA CEO Marshall Einhorn who applauded the generosity of the guests and reiterated the importance and appreciation of their financial support.
For more information and ways to donate visit: https://maccabiusa.com