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JCC Association of North America Welcomes Samantha Cohen as New Vice President of JCC Maccabi®

July 5, 2018
Sara Koenig, West End Strategy Team
[email protected]; Office: 212.498.9300; Cell: 917.420.0303

JCC Association of North America Welcomes Samantha Cohen as New Vice President of JCC Maccabi®
Veteran JCC Maccabi® athlete and longtime JCC leader will begin new role in fall 2018, overseeing signature summer sports and arts program

NEW YORK — Today, JCC Association president and CEO Doron Krakow announced that this fall, Samantha Cohen will begin as the new vice president of JCC Maccabi®. In this role, Cohen will develop and implement a vision for the 36-year-old program—the largest Jewish teen sports program and artistic showcase in North America.

Cohen, who has 18 years of experience with both the national and global Maccabi games, currently serves as associate executive director and vice president of program services at the Merage JCC of Orange County in Irvine, California. By the end of this summer, she will have served as the senior professional and lead host for the JCC Maccabi Games twice for her JCC, first in 2013, and again this August, in partnership with the Alpert JCC of Long Beach.

Born and raised in London, Cohen first became involved with the JCC Maccabi Games® 18 years ago as an athlete. She went on to compete in Maccabi Europe and Maccabiah in Israel, participating in a total of 21 sets of competitions on four different continents.

She will use her unique perspective as a JCC Maccabi alumna to strengthen and evolve the program, which is celebrating a milestone 36th year this season. Since 1982, the Games and ArtsFest have helped more than 100,000 Jewish teen athletes and artists from across North America forge meaningful connections with one another, deepen their own Jewish identity and build ties with Israel and with athletes and artists from around the world.

“We are honored and proud to have Sam join our team. She has held virtually every conceivable role in the Games from athlete to coach, to delegation head to host community director, at both the local and international level. Her passionate commitment to Jewish teen engagement through JCC Maccabi is palpable and she has a remarkable vision for its future.” said Doron Krakow, JCC Association’s president, and CEO.

Cohen began at the Merage JCC in 2011 as the director of JCC Maccabi Experience. In various leadership roles since, she has strengthened the Orange County community by building relationships with key partners and stakeholders, including major donors, local leaders, and agencies, government officials, foreign diplomats, faith leaders, volunteers and staff. She has spearheaded growth in the JCC’s Center for Jewish Life, as well as in its cultural arts, adults, JCC Cares as well as through JCC Maccabi programming, and has managed JCC Global partnerships with sister communities around the world.

In addition to being a dedicated JCC Maccabi athlete, Cohen holds a master’s degree in human rights from the London School of Economics and graduated with honors from the University of Manchester with a degree in Politics and International Relations.

Cohen will begin her tenure at JCC Association’s New York office this November.


JCC Association of North America strengthens and leads JCCs, YM-YWHAs and camps throughout North America. As the convening organization, JCC Association partners with JCCs to bring together the collective power and knowledge of the JCC Movement. JCC Association offers services and resources to increase the effectiveness of JCCs as they provide community engagement and educational, cultural, social, recreational, and Jewish identity building programs to enhance Jewish life throughout North America. By supporting the 25,000 Jewish communal professionals who connect with two million JCC participants each year—JCC Association encourages engaged lives of purpose and meaning.

Learn more at, on Facebook and  on Twitter at @JCCAssociation

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