When the USA Women's Softball team travels to Israel next summer for the 19th World Maccabiah Games, the team will include Trumbullite Idalia Friedson, who was selected to join this elite group of Jewish athletes. The Maccabi Games is the third largest international sporting event in the world with over 7,000 athletes representing more than 60 countries.
Friedson attended Booth Hill Elementary and Hillcrest Middle School. She is a 2011 graduate of Greens Farms Academy in Westport and is currently a sophomore at Amherst College. In high school, Friedson was selected MVP and All-Conference four years in a row and was a Western New England Prep School All-Star for three years. At Amherst College, 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,” said Friedson.
Although a high school varsity three- sport athlete, Friedson has always had a love for softball. She played Trumbull Little League when she was younger and then continued to be involved as an umpire. Friedson played travel softball with the CT Charmers, Tradition, and Competitive Edge. She credits her coaches for teaching her softball and life skills that inspire her on and off the field.
Having attended Congregation B’nai Torah in Trumbull, Merkaz Community High School for Judaic Studies and Mishkan Israel day camp, Friedson’s Jewish identity runs deep. 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,” explains Friedson.
Friedson will travel to Israel next July for approximately four weeks to meet and train with her teammates from across the country. She will compete in the games from July 17th-30th, 2013. 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”. She has set up a webpage, http://bit.ly/102fu6t, for donations and raffle tickets.