Auburn duo raising funds to attend 19th annual Maccabiah Games in Israel this summer

Joe and David Munden will represent the United States at the 19th annual Maccabiah Games this summer in Israel. - Courtesy Photo
Joe and David Munden will represent the United States at the 19th annual Maccabiah Games this summer in Israel.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

Joe and David Munden will have the opportunity of a lifetime this summer.

For David, 37, it’s a chance to lead the USA Junior Karate team at the 19th annual Maccabiah Games on July 17-30 in Israel.

For Joe, 15, an Auburn Mountainview High School student, it’s a chance to compete on his father’s team.

The Maccabiah Games, which are staged every four years following the Olympics, attract more than 7,000 athletes of Jewish-descent from 60 countries. It is the third largest international sporting event in the world.

“It’s extremely exciting,” David said. “This is the highest level I’ve been able to coach at, so that’s exciting, and I get to coach Joe and other athletes from all over the country.”

For the past seven years, the Mundens have competed and trained with the Japan Karate Federation Northwest team based at the Auburn Valley Y.

David was first approached about competing in the games four years ago.

“I wasn’t able to compete at that time because of injuries,” he said. “But my son was up and coming at the time, so I asked him if he would be interested in competing. He was gung ho about it. It’s been his goal for the last few years.”

The Mundens travelled to Miami in December to qualify for the USA Maccabiah Junior Karate team.

“Joe did wonderfully. He did a great job and was immediately accepted for the team,” David said.

At the same event, David – who has coached the Auburn Y team at national events for the past couple of years – was approached about leading the U.S. Junior Karate team. He applied and was chosen.

David is excited about the upcoming games and the chance to experience a foreign culture.

“The competition part is only one piece of it,” he said. “The first week is the Israel Connects program, where they take you around to see all the history. I love history, so knowing that everywhere you turn, you’re going to be looking at history that is much older than the U.S. is exciting.

“(But) after the first week, it’s time to knuckle down and train,” David said. “It’s very cool. It’s different than most competitions where it’s go, train, compete and leave.”

All that remains for David and Joe is raising money to fund the trip and inclusion in the games.

“Every person makes a yachad commitment. Yachad is a Hebrew word, which means together, and every person makes a commitment to raise a certain amount,” David said.

For David and Joe, that amount is $10,500 between them.

“We have a couple of sponsorships and donations already,” David said.

To contribute to Joe click here.

To contribute to David click here.


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