The Bender Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Greater Washington announced that United defender and captain Steve Birnbaum will be inducted into the Greater Washington Jewish Sports Hall of Fame at the Dinner of Champions 2017: Supporting Inclusion at Camp JCC on Saturday, Nov. 18.
Birnbaum joins over 150 members of the Hall of Fame who have been recognized for their accomplishments in the world of sports. He is being inducted for his accomplishments as a professional soccer player for D.C. United where he has played since he was the second overall pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. In 2016, the 26-year-old set career highs in starts, minutes, goals, assists and shots while being named to his first MLS All-Star Game. Prior to joining United, Birnbaum was team captain at University of California, Berkley, where he was All Pac-12 first team, Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention and was a finalist for the Soccer News Net College Boot Player of the Year award. Birnbaum also won a silver medal with the U.S. team in the 2012 Pan Am Maccabi games in Brazil.
Other Dinner of Champions 2017 Sports Hall of Fame inductees include: Martin Gorewitz, Baseball; Samantha Hetchkop, Soccer; Amy Subar, Triathlete, and Daniel Waldman, Tennis. At this event, Seth Goldman (co-founder of Honest Tea) and Julie Farkas will be accepting the Irene and Abe Pollin Humanitarian Award for making a positive difference in the local, national and global community. Robert Black is also being honored with the Bender JCC Maccabi Legacy Award for his role in advancing youth sports and especially the Maccabi Games. Six talented local high school athletes will receive the Hyman M. and Phillip D. Perlo High School Athlete Award.
The Dinner of Champions, now in its 26th year, is the primary fundraising event for the Bender JCC’s nationally-recognized summer camp inclusion program for children with disabilities. Event proceeds go toprovide adaptive equipment, one-on-one counselor support and lift-equipped busses that enable campers with disabilities to fully participate in camp activities alongside their typically-developing peers. Families in the inclusion program pay no more than the typically developing family.
“We are very fortunate to be able to honor Steve Birnbaum for his accomplishments as well as our terrific slate of honorees,” said Bender JCC President and CEO Michael Feinstein. “We are grateful that Steve was able to take time this summer to see our inclusion program and also do a clinic with some of our campers. It was an exciting time for everyone.”
The event is sold out but those who wish to support this worthy cause can do so by purchasing raffle tickets or by making a donation. For more information, visit www.benderjccgw.org/champions.