It’s been quite a summer for those of us in Birmingham. The JCC Maccabi Games, hosted by the Levite Jewish Community Center, brought about 900 teen athletes, along with coaches and guests, to Birmingham for a week of athletic competition and other festivities.
At the same time, this summer also saw former Birmingham-Southern College head soccer coach Preston Goldfarb, a member of our Jewish community, continue his remarkable record of success coaching the US Men’s Soccer Team in the Maccabiah Games, an international “Jewish Olympics” held every four years in Israel.
“Goldfarb and a virtually new team from the USA made a triumphant return to that mountaintop, adding a 2017 gold medal to the one the Americans won under the veteran coach in 2013. They became the first team to win back-to-back World Maccabiah Games men’s soccer championships in the 80-year history of the event,” explained reporter Solomon Crenshaw Jr. on the Alabama News Center website.
Goldfarb had appointed his 2013 assistant coach to succeed him this year. That coach helped with tryouts but then got sick, Crenshaw’s story explained.
“I didn’t want to go back, but I got talked back into it by the chairman,” Goldfarb said. “I got permission from my wife to do it. You’re gone about a month. It was a long time and I’m almost 70 years old now, so it was a hard thing to do.”
The Birmingham Jewish Federation and Levite Jewish Community Center congratulate Coach Goldfarb on this outstanding achievement and thank him also for all he continues to do to benefit the Birmingham Jewish community.
In an email to the BJF, Coach Goldfarb wrote, “It was indeed extremely special to do it in back to back Games with two different teams. I’m also being inducted into the Jewish Sports Heritage Hall of Fame next April in New York! Quite an honor for my family!”