Special to the Ledger
When the USA Women’s Softball team travels to Israel next summer to compete in the 19th World Maccabiah Games, the team will include Idalia Friedson of Trumbull, who was selected to join this elite group of Jewish athletes. The Maccabiah Games is the third largest international sporting event in the world with over 7,000 athletes representing more than 60 countries. Friedson will be a member of Team USA.
A 2011 graduate with Advanced Standing from Merkaz Community High School for Judaic Studies in Bridgeport, Friedson received the Moshe Chakak-Yaron Award for Jewish tradition and athletics and the Koffman Family Award for commitment to academics, leadership, athletics, and arts. She attended Greens Farms Academy in Westport where she was selected softball MVP and All-Conference four years in a row and was a Western New England Prep School All-Star for three years.
Currently a sophomore at Amherst College in Massachusetts, Friedson completed her freshman season as a starting outfielder and batted .310 with a slugging percentage of .526.
In 2012, Amherst College was ranked 23rd nationally with a 36-6 record, reaching both the NESCAC playoffs and the NCAA Division III tournament. “I have always dreamed about playing internationally and am incredibly honored and humbled to be a part of Team USA. I am excited for what the Games and the opening ceremony will feel like,” says Friedson. Although a high school varsity three-sport athlete, Friedson has always had a love for softball. She first joined Trumbull Little League before playing travel softball with the Connecticut Charmers, Tradition, and Competitive Edge. She credits her coaches for teaching her softball and life skills that inspire her on and off the field. Friedson’s Jewish identity runs strong and runs deep. In addition to Merkaz, she attended Congregation B’nai Torah in Trumbull, Mishkan Israel day camp and Camp Gan Israel. She recently created a website, nevertoforget.org, to commemorate the stories and photographs of 40 Fairfield County Holocaust survivors in the Adopt-A-Survivor program.
“Combining my love for softball with my love of Judaism is the perfect intersection of my two greatest passions. The ability to represent the United States while playing in Israel is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I will never forget,” Friedson says. Friedson will travel to Israel next July for approximately four weeks to meet and train with her teammates from across the country. The Games will be held July 17-30.
Maccabiah USA is the official sponsor of the United States Team to the World Maccabiah Games. Each athlete is responsible for fundraising and every athlete must make a “yachad” commitment, meaning that the athletes support the Maccabiah Games “together.” To help meet her commitment, Friedson has set up a webpage, http://bit.ly/102fu6t, for donations and raffle tickets.