© Max Morse

RAMAT GAN, Israel – 2008 U.S. all-around champion David Sender of Arlington Heights, Ill., is one of four athletes who will lead the U.S. Delegation into Ramat Gan Stadium during the Opening Ceremony on July 13 to mark the beginning of the 18th Maccabiah Games in Tel Aviv, Israel, July 13 – 23, 2009.

Sender, a member of the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team and a nine-time collegiate All-American, will carry the USA banner into Ramat Gan stadium with fellow Illinois natives Aaron Cohen of Buffalo Grove and Gillian Schwartz of Evanston. Lindsey Durlacher of Buffalo Grove, Ill., will carry the American flag to lead the USA Delegation into the stadium.

Durlacher, an alumnus of University of Illinois and current resident of Colorado Springs, Colo., is a member of the Open Judo Team and a seven-time Maccabiah champion in wrestling. Cohen, also a Judoka, was an alternate on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team and is a member of the 2009 World Championship Team. Schwartz, a top U.S. women’s pole vaulter, is a two-time Olympian, competing in Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008.

The World Maccabiah Games are a quadrennial event that is held in Israel the year following the Olympic Games. The 18th World Maccabiah Games will be the world’s third largest international athletic competition. More than 7,000 of the world’s best Jewish athletes from six continents and over 60 countries will compete at the Games.

Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel (MUSA) is the official sponsor of the U.S. Team to the World Maccabiah Games, the Pan American Maccabi Games and the Maccabi competitions in Europe and Australia.