Jennifer Chaitin doesn’t know when to stop.
Or at least that’s she described the scene at her house last week and this week. Last week, Chatin opened her Nyack home to four boys from Israel coming to Rockland County for this week’s JCC Maccabi Games.
The Israeli athletes were the earliest to show up, arriving Aug. 6 for the games, which started Monday. The Rockland JCC has a cultural exchange program with the Israeli delegation, so those athletes showed up a week early and had activities each day last week, including trips to Manhattan and Six Flags.
The boys are out playing for the Israeli basketball team each morning and afternoon, and have a night activity every night this week except for Wednesday. Wednesday is Host Family Night, a night when the JCC Maccabi Games don’t plan anything so the athletes and families can spend time together. Many host families get together Wednesday night.
On Host Family Night, Chaitin will open her home for a few other families and host a party for 70-plus people.
While most teams leave Rockland Friday, a few teams are staying through the weekend so they don’t travel on the Sabbath. Not only will Chatin’s four athletes from Israel be at her house until Sunday, starting on Friday, she’s taking in three girls from Great Britain whose host family couldn’t watch them over the weekend as well.
“I don’t have a car big enough to take all of them out,” she said. “They’ll have to have fun around the house. We have chickens. Maybe the chickens can entertain them for a few days.”
Chaitin said she’s happy to have the kids over, though. She has three children of her own who are now too old for the games, but she said all three of them only talked about how much they loved them while competing.
“I really believe in the games,” she said. “The only way kids can play is they have somewhere to stay. They’ve been great so far. It’s a great experience. They’re full of energy and life.”