LIVINGSTON, NJ — Livingston High School girls volleyball setters Allison and Gayle Edelstein were recently selected to represent the USA at Maccabi’s 20th Maccabiah Games this July in Israel, the third-largest sporting competition globally.
According to father Phil Edelstein, the July event is expected to draw more than 9,000 Jewish athletes from 80 different countries.
“Gayle and Allison are both standout athletes who are also very proud of their Jewish heritage,” he said. “Travelling to Israel to play in the 20th Maccabiah Games would be the most thrilling trip of their lives.
For the Edelsteins, skill at setting runs in the family and it made them both standout athletes during their time at Livingston High School.
According to Phil, Gayle, 17, the younger Edelstein, was an early leader in the sport as a starter on her middle school volleyball team and, like her older sister, went on to join the varsity team her freshman year of high school, where she was a starter from day one.
By high school, Allison, now 21, was the only freshman recruited to play on the varsity team at Livingston High School, where she won many individual awards and a state championship throughout her career. She was also the all-time school leader in assists, continued to play club volleyball with Atlantic Valley Volleyball and also traveled to Atlanta to play in the Junior Olympics. Gayle also played club volleyball for Atlantic Valley.
During her four years at Franklin and Marshall College, Allison helped the team go to the NCAA National Tournament, led the Centennial Conference in assists and passed the 2,000 career-assists mark.
Gayle, an award-winning setter, won multiple county and conference championships. Now approaching graduation from Livingston High School, she has surpassed her sister as the all-time leader in assists and was named Livingston Athlete of the Week on TAPinto Livingston during her senior season for doing so.
The senior accepted admissions to McDaniel College in Westminster, MD, but has also been recruited by Washington College, Arcadia University, Susquehanna University and Springfield College.
The Maccabiah Games, organized by the Maccabi World Union and held every four years, is MWU’s signature activity in international Jewish sports.
“We are hoping that our friends, families and those who support volleyball and the state of Israel will help send these two young ladies on an experience of a lifetime,” Phil said. “To have the opportunity to play a sport they love, representing the United States in a country they have both come to love is an amazing opportunity. To do it together, as sisters, is just perfect.”
In order to fund their trip, the sisters’ father, Phil has launched a crowdfunding campaign with a goal of raising $16,000 to fund their trip. View the Edelstein Sisters’ Gofundme campaign HERE.