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Palm Beach Champions at Maccabi Games

Hannah Pierce(Maine), Melissa Perlman(Boca),Emily Mossler(Indiana), Samantha Lee(Oregon) with their Gold Medals


Melissa Perlman, a 31-year-old Boca Raton resident, returned home to South Florida this past week with some extra hardware. The Public Relations executive (owner of BlueIvy Communications – a PR and communications firm based in Boca Raton) and Assistant Cross Country and Track Coach at Spanish River High School in Boca Raton secured an individual bronze medal and team gold medal while in Israel competing on behalf of Team USA in the 19th Maccabiah Games.

Palm Beach County Athlete wins at Maccabi Games

Melissa Perlman making her country proud after winning at The Maccabi Games

Perlman, who was competing in the Games for the second time (the first being 16 years ago during the 1997 Maccabiah Games in Israel as a member of the Juniors Track & Field team), raced the Half Marathon, which was held in Ramat Gan (within the city of Tel Aviv) on Tuesday, July 23. She competed in a field of 1500 runners, 80 of which were part of the Maccabiah Games representing a variety of countries. Perlman finished third overall in a time of 1:29:31 (a personal best for her) winning the bronze medal. The course, which was humid and hilly, meant there weren’t many personal records to be had…but Perlman ran approximately 9 minutes faster than her own previous best time. Ahead of Perlman was a Canadian in first and her teammate Emily Mossler (of Miami of Ohio) in second. The women of Team USA (Mossler, Perlman, Hannah Pierce, Samantha Lee, and Caron Trakman) combined to win the team gold team medal. On the men’s side, Israel won the team gold and the USA team won the silver.

“I was truly honored and thankful to have been given the opportunity to be a part of Team USA,” said Perlman. “And those feelings only grew as my experience and time in Israel progressed. The Maccabiah Games are something special. My time exploring Israel over the past three weeks, the friendships and relationships I built with my team as well as the other athletes from around the world, and the overall experience of competing in an international race wearing my Team USA jersey is something I will cherish and remember for a lifetime.” 

Perlman announced prior to the games that her goal was to break 1:30 and to medal. She achieved both. Perlman was supported during the race by a number of South Florida residents, including: Rick Rothman, head coach at Spanish River High School and Perlman’s former high school coach; Jordana Kimelman, who also ran in the Maccabiah Games and is a student-athlete at Spanish River High School; Alex Smolka, who was the coach of the Maccabiah open Track & Field Team and is the cross country and track coach at FAU in Boca Raton; Robert Fellman, the Chairman of Track & Field/Half Marathon for Team USA; as well as a number of former FAU athletes (Jordan Zwick – who ran and coached at FAU and finished second for Team USA in the men’s half marathon; Adam Simon, who ran for FAU and competed in the 10K and 5K in Israel; Ryan Davis, who also ran for FAU and competed in the 10K and 5K; and Eric Kessler, who ran for FAU and competed on the track for Team USA).

Learn more about the 19th Maccabiah Games at

We congratulate Melissa and her teammates, as well as all the many Palm Beach athletes and all Team USA Coaches and Athletes who represented us in a positive and successful manner while they were in Israel. We also thank Melissa for sending back reports and pictures from Israel’s Maccabi Games. Be sure to tell your friends you read this on


Tim Byrd

Tim Byrd “The Byrdman” is the Publisher and Host of Palm Beach Live Work Play. He is also the President and CEO of a commercial voice over company. His extremely successful and diverse career has reached into all aspects of the communications and entertainment industries across the United States and Europe. Tim can be reached at

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