Israeli Olympic baseball manager Eric Holtz to coach USA women’s softball at Maccabiah

Recruitment is underway for players to join the Maccabi USA women's softball team at the 2025 Maccabiah Games.

U.S. Women's softball team, Maccabiah Games. Credit: Courtesy of Maccabi USA.
U.S. Women's softball team, Maccabiah Games. Credit: Courtesy of Maccabi USA.

Ken Roban, chair of the Maccabi USA Open Women’s Softball Team, has named Eric Holtz as head coach for the 2025 Maccabiah Games.

Holtz was a player in the Israel Baseball League in 2007 and coached two gold-medal-winning USA teams at the Maccabiah in 2013 and 2017. He also served as manager of Israel’s baseball team at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Now the resident of Westchester, N.Y., is focused on women’s softball and is seeking qualified athletes to compete on behalf of Maccabi USA.

“After coaching for 25 years and making it to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics (which no one said was possible), I have no reason to coach other than the fact that today more than ever I want to share my Jewish pride and my pride of being involved in the ultimate support of Israel,” said Holtz. “I want to take athletes that have never been there and allow them to fall in love with the most magical place on earth, Israel, while then also competing for an international medal. Those two things are what motivate me to coach.”

Maccabi USA is seeking Jewish female softball players to represent the United States at the 2025 Maccabiah Games in Israel, July 8-22, 2025. Maccabi USA will be fielding a team in the Open 18-plus division.

Credit: Maccabi USA.

“We have selected an incredible coaching staff including Holtz and Ellen Goldstein, a two-time alum of the games. Together, they will provide immense leadership and support to our athletes at the international stage,” said Roban. “The Maccabiah is the second-largest sporting event in the world, and softball will be a highlight of the games.”

The Open Women’s Softball Team will be part of the overall USA Maccabiah Team, which is expected to include more than 1,300 members, making it the largest Maccabiah delegation yet.

The 2025 Maccabiah Games will consist of 10,000-plus athletes from 80 countries participating in more than 40 different sports. More than just an international sporting competition, they are a celebration of Jewish culture, unity and pride.

Israel Connect, Maccabi USA’s cultural and educational program, takes place for seven days before the start of the games. All Juniors, Youth, Open and Paralympic athletes participate in the program where they have the opportunity to tour historical and religious sites, take part in cultural identity seminars, and train with their teams, all while developing lifelong relationships.

The first Maccabiah was held in Israel in 1932 with athletes from 18 countries. By 2017, the games grew to include nearly 10,000 Jewish athletes from more than 60 countries, making it the second-largest international multi-sport event, and one of the largest gatherings of the Jewish diaspora around the globe. Traditionally held every four years, the games have only been interrupted twice in its 90-year history, by World War II and, more recently, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In July 2022, Maccabi USA sent its largest-ever delegation of more than 1,300 participants to Israel, making it even larger than the U.S. delegation to the World Olympics.

Tryouts for the Open Women’s Softball Team will be held in New York on June 22 and in Southern California on June 30. To apply, visit: www.maccabiusa.com.

For more information, contact: Maccabi USA women’s softball chair Ken Roban at kroban33@gmail.com or Maccabi USA senior director of programs at Shane Carr: scarr@maccabiusa.com.

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Maccabi USA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with an extensive history of enriching Jewish lives through athletic, cultural and educational programs. Maccabi USA is the official sponsor of the United States team to the World Maccabiah Games, the Pan American and European Maccabi Games, and the Maccabi Youth Games, as well as a sponsor of the JCC Maccabi Games for teens in North America.
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