Armonk Family Will Compete in Three Different Sports at World Maccabiah Games
Zachary Binder, Jeffrey Binder and Abigail Binder.
In what is likely the first of its kind, two generations of the Binder family from Armonk, will compete in three different sports at the 2022 “Jewish Olympics” known officially as the 21st World Maccabiah Games. Jeffrey Binder (55), Abigail Binder (20), and Zachary Binder (18) have been selected to compete in masters-level men’s tennis, open-level women’s volleyball, and open-level men’s fencing respectively. They will represent the United States as part of the Maccabi USA delegation to the world games held every four years in Israel – all will be first-time members of Team USA.
Since 1932, over 72,000 athletes have participated in the Maccabiah Games, in celebration of Jewish Strength and Solidarity. The Games have grown from 390 athletes from 14 countries in 1932 to over 10,000 athletes representing 85 countries, making Maccabiah the third largest international sports competition in the world.
All Maccabi USA athletes under age 25 take part in a seven-day Israel Connect orientation program that gives those athletes the opportunity to visit some of the most important and iconic historical sites in Israel. This six-day educational and cultural program fosters life-long connections to the State of Israel and deepens their Jewish pride and identity through sports.
Jeffrey Binder has been a competitive tennis player since his early teenage years, playing both high school and college tennis teams. He currently plays league and tournament tennis as part of the USTA Eastern Region and has been ranked among the top-10 players in the Eastern section for the 40 and over age category. He holds a USTA player ability rating of 4.5 and plays regularly in Westchester at several of its premiere tennis clubs including Chestnut Ridge Racquet Club in Mt. Kisco and Sportime in Eastchester.
Abigail Binder was a three-year varsity volleyball player for Byram Hills High School where she was captain of her team as a senior. She also played national-level competitive volleyball for Downstate Volleyball Club, one of Westchester’s most decorated volleyball clubs located in Peekskill. She is currently a Junior at the University of Michigan where she trains for volleyball and helps teach younger athletes the finer points of the game.
Zachary Binder has been fencing competitively since he was 7 years old and currently fences at the Division 1 NCAA level for Columbia University where he is a freshman. He holds a national ranking in the sport for multiple age levels and is a highly decorated competitor having either won or medaled (top 8) in numerous fencing competitions. At the age of 10, he began his top performances, by becoming the Y10 National Champion. Until recently, he trained extensively at two Westchester area clubs: Fencing Academy of Westchester in Hawthorne and Tim Morehouse Fencing Club in Port Chester.
“Representing Team USA in the sport that has been my life’s passion is an incredible honor and thrill but doing so with my kids at my side takes this thrill to a whole other level,” Jeffrey Binder said. “For years, I’ve been cheering them on from the sidelines, now, we get to march into the opening ceremonies arm in arm and pull for each other as we compete in our respective sports – all in the name of building Jewish pride and support for Israel. It is truly a dream come true.”
“Volleyball and staying connected to my Jewish roots are two very important aspects of my life right now and I am incredibly excited to combine the two and represent the USA at the games this summer. I can’t wait to get on the court with my teammates and keep up the winning tradition for team USA,” Abigail Binder said.
Zachary Binder added, “I am thrilled to be competing and excited to be able to experience Israel and connect with my Jewish heritage and culture. I am looking forward to competing against the best Jewish fencers from around the world. Also, competing alongside my family makes it even more special.”