ORANGE, NJ – Livingston sisters Gayle Edelstein and Allison Edelstein and fellow Livingston resident Jamie Schneck were recently honored at a meeting of the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders at Orange Town Hall for being selected to represent Team USA in girls volleyball during the 2017 Maccabiah Games, commonly known as the “Jewish Olympics,” to be held in Israel this July.
Freeholder Patricia Sebold, also a Livingston resident, presented each of the girls with commendations to commemorate her hard work and also congratulated the girls, whom she considered leaders in girls volleyball in Livingston. As a retired schoolteacher, Freeholder Sebold celebrated the young women for their academic and athletic achievements and wished them luck at the Maccabiah.
Gayle Edelstein, a graduating senior at Livingston High School, was one of two freshmen to make the varsity team at her school four years ago. She served as a starter for the team and was recruited by several universities to play volleyball on the college level.
In the fall, Gayle will attend McDaniel College in Westminster, MD, where she will play on the school’s Division III volleyball team. She has also won many individual awards, including All State as a senior. Under her leadership, the volleyball team has won multiple county and conference championships.
Allison Edelstein began playing volleyball in the 7th grade and has excelled since then. She will graduate from Franklin and Marshall College (F&M), in Lancaster, PA, and is also an alumna of Livingston High School.
Allison is currently enrolled in the George Washington University Doctor of Physical Therapy program, where she will graduate from in August. During her four years at F&M, she helped the team go to the NCAA National Tournament as a sophomore, and in her junior and senior years, she led the Centennial Conference in assists and passed the 2,000 career assists mark.
Like her younger sister, Allison has won many awards, including XX Super Essex Conference Championship, XX Group IV Championship and a New Jersey State Championship.
Jamie Schneck, a 2013 graduate of Livingston High School and a 2017 graduate of Springfield College in Springfield, MA, will continue her education at Life University Chiropractic School in Marietta, GA. She began playing volleyball at Mount Pleasant Middle School in Livingston and later helped lead her Livingston High School team to multiple county, conference and state championships—including two Group 4 Sectional Finals and the 2011 Group 4 State Championship.
Schneck served as co-captain of the Girls Varsity Volleyball at Livingston High School. She was named a Star Ledger “High School Player of the Week” and was selected by the Star Ledger as the 2012 “Essex County Girls Volleyball Player of the Year.”
While at Springfield College, she and the team won the 2013 NEWMAC Conference and competed in NCAA Division III regional playoffs annually. In both the 2015 and 2016 seasons, the team ended their season at the NCAA Division III Sweet 16 round. In 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, she was named to the NEWMAC Academic All-Conference Team in Women’s Volleyball.
The three girls will together represent their country in the Maccabiah Games. The games, which take place every four years and emphasize the centrality of the State of Israel in the life of Jewish people, is the world’s largest Jewish athletic competition in the tradition and values of Maccabi.
The principal mission of the Maccabiah is to facilitate a worldwide gathering of young Jewish athletes in Israel, stage the highest-possible levels of sports competitions, and strengthen their connection to the State of Israel and the Jewish people.
Teams from France, Brazil, Germany, United States, Canada, Hungary, Australia, and other locations will assemble in Israel to compete next month.