Moses Rifkin got hooked on Ultimate by Spirit of the Game. The idea that players could compete in a way that required respect between opponents was as appealing to him at age 14 as it is now. He is genuinely thrilled by the opportunity to combine the ideal and sport that mean so much to him with the effort towards justice and peace that Ultimate Peace provides.
Moses began playing ultimate at Paideia High School, and some of his teammates then remain some of his closest friends today. In college at Brown University, Moses helped lead his team to the 2000 National Championship. A solid offensive player for Boston, Moses was part of the team that won the 2000 WFDF World Championship and as a member of Seattle Sockeye, Moses has twice been fortunate to win the UPA National Championship. He was awarded the inaugural Farricker Award in 2002, given to the UPA player who best combines integrity with playing ability, and he counts this as his proudest moment as an Ultimate player.
It’s been a long road, leading from high school to top-level club Ultimate, and Moses feels truly fortunate to have stumbled his way along it with such great teammates. Off the field, Moses is a high school science teacher and enjoys cooking, reading, and fun.
David Bestock hails from Seattle. He has been playing ultimate since 1996, and has coached for seven years. Mostly he just loves to play, and enjoys instilling the joy of the sport in his teammates and the kids he coaches. He has been privileged to be successful at the highest levels of the sport, and values the respect among competitors so prevalent in the sport of Ultimate.
David also plays soccer, basketball, and loves staying active and getting out into the wilderness. He has worked as an environmental educator, collaborating with high school groups to plan and facilitate service projects around the Puget Sound area. He likes working with young people because of their fresh perspective and tireless want to improve the world around them.
David recently completed a video project in Sudan, working with The Carter Center to educate three different tribes about public health issues and disease control. He now continues to do freelance video work, as well as music and theater production. He also works part time as a substitute teacher.
In addition to his work in Sudan, he’s traveled a bit around Europe and in Morocco. He’s not yet been to the Middle East, and is very excited to go, particularly with Ultimate Peace and the goal of sharing both sport and culture.
Team sports have always been an important part of Loriana’s life. She is hard-working and derives energy from motivating others. Loriana discovered Ultimate during her freshman year at Claremont McKenna College, and found that not only were the people in the ultimate frisbee community great, but the game is a rich way of life. In 2004 Loriana helped lead the Claremont Colleges Women’s Ultimate Team to Nationals. It was the first time she played ultimate in Seattle, and the trip initiated what has now been four and a half years of playing in the Emerald City.
Loriana plays league ultimate when not in the club season. She has played on three womens’ teams in Seattle, making one of the most competitive women’s teams in the country in 2008, Seattle Riot. She has spread her love for the sport by coaching middle and high school teams and participating in the Riot Girls and Women’s Annual Clinic.
When not on the field playing ultimate, or at the track or the gym doing workouts for ultimate, you may find Loriana in the mountains: rock-climbing, trail running, biking or camping. Otherwise she may be traveling the world, never ceasing to carry a disc with her. She has found that the best unifying force in any culture is play. Loriana is extremely excited about the opportunity to contribute to the noble vision of Ultimate Peace in the Middle East.
Nathan came out for his high school Frisbee team in 2003. After playing a short 2 months, he joined a local youth club team called MoHo. The people, the excitement of the sport, and the friendly atmosphere of practice allowed Nathan to quickly fall in love with the sport.
After graduating high school in 2005, Nathan joined a club team called Seattle Voodoo. After playing one season with Seattle Voodoo, Nathan made it on to the roster of Seattle Sockeye as a defensive specialist with a love for guarding the opponent’s best players.
When not on the field, Nathan coached a local middle school team as well as summer camps for kids interested in learning Ultimate. Now in his 6th year of playing Ultimate, Nathan plays year round for his club team and his university team. Nathan is a student at Western Washington University studying kinesiology and psychology. Ultimate is Nathan’s biggest passion and he is very excited to show and teach others the important values of Ultimate.
Coaching, teaching, and mentoring youth have always been an important part of Dave’s life. He coached basketball for 10 years, running youth camps and in community youth leagues in New York City and Berkeley, CA. He is a former 6th grade teacher in a public school in NYC, and continues to feel passionate about being an educator at the University of Washington. Team sports have also been an important part of his life including playing ice hockey and baseball as a kid, playing on his high school basketball, soccer and volleyball teams and playing two years of basketball in college. He discovered the sport of Ultimate well into his athletic career while spending a year as a medical intern in Providence, Rhode Island where he played with Brownian motion, traveling to the semifinals of college Ultimate nationals. Although his medical practice takes up significant time, he continues to love playing Ultimate whenever he can and sees it as an incredible sport for fostering community and empowering youth.
When not playing team sports, Dave or “Doc” is a physician on faculty at the University of Washington where he divides his time between caring for amputees at the VA, doing research in a motion analysis lab, and teaching medical students and residents. He can also be found on top of a mountain making an incredible sandwich or on his porch playing the banjo. He traveled to Israel in 2009 as a part of the Ultimate Peace and is honored to be on the team of coaches going back this summer to bring together kids from different backgrounds in the Middle East to share the joy of playing Ultimate.
Louis first discovered the magic of Ultimate at summer camp when he was 12 years old. Over the next several years, it grew from an occasional hobby into a huge part of his life. Since moving to the San Francisco Bay Area after high school, he has played for Stanford Bloodthirsty and various local men’s club teams, including a 3-year stint with Revolver. This spring he’s helping to start a new club team called Wolf. He also continues to seek honor for Jewish Ultimate by playing with the Matza Balls and Jewbilation at their annual tournaments.
While Ultimate is Louis’s favorite sport, he’s also passionate about many others: soccer, climbing, yoga, and basketball, to name a few. However, he’s found that none of those other sports can match Ultimate’s unique blend of teamwork, athleticism, and sportsmanship. He has no doubt that Ultimate’s popularity will continue to grow rapidly both in the United States and abroad. He’s very excited to teach young Israelis and Palestinians the sport — and then come home and apply his freshly-honed Ultimate evangelism skills to his impressionable young niece and nephews.
To pay the bills, Louis is a software developer and entrepreneur. He recently concluded a 5-year tenure with real estate search startup Trulia.com. Along with a colleague from Trulia and two other friends, he’s now busy creating a new web startup that will help companies find better candidates to hire.
Louis is thrilled to return to Israel for the first time in a decade. As a firm believer in the power of non-violent conflict resolution, he’s especially gratified to be able to contribute to the quest for Middle Eastern peace in a way that people across the political spectrum can support.
Mike has been and Ultimate player and organizer for 15 years. He currently captains the San Francisco club team Revolver which finished 5th in the US in 2008. He is also President of the Board of Directors for the Ultimate Players Association (UPA), the 30,000-member governing body of Ultimate in the United States. Mike is married to fellow Ultimate Peace Coach Samantha Salvia – they are parents to the youngest (honorary) member of Ultimate Peace, Rylan Payne.
Mike was on the 2005 Matza Balls team that traveled to the Israel to teach and play Ultimate, and helped prompt the inception of Ultimate Peace. His experiences on the 2005 trip helped him see the power of using Ultimate to connect kids in different cultures.
Mike started playing Ultimate while in college at Stanford University in 1993 and played 5 years with the Stanford Men’s team. Later he would become Stanford’s first Head Coach (2000-2004, 2007-2008) and coached the team to its 2nd National Championship in 2002. Mike has played national-level Club Ultimate for 12 years, with Saucy Jack (1996-1997), Jam (1998-2005), and Revolver (2006-present). Mike acted as a Founder and Captain for each of these teams. Mike has been on the Board of Directors of the UPA since 2004, during which time the UPA’s membership has more than doubled.
Mike, Samantha, and Rylan live in Oakland, California. Mike spends the time he’s NOT playing and working on Ultimate as a Director for Business Strategy at Gilead Sciences, a large biotechnology company that markets several drugs to help HIV+ individuals manage their disease. Prior to Gilead, Mike was a consultant with McKinsey & Company in San Francisco, and holds an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Josh has been an avid Ultimate player and fan since he helped organize his high school’s first Ultimate team in 2001. He was a member of Stanford ‘s men’s team for 4 successful years, including 3 Nationals semi-final appearances. In 2005, Josh was co-captain of the Stanford crew and was voted to the UPA’s “All Nationals” team. Josh has been a member of Revolver, a San Francisco Bay Area Men’s club team, for the past 3 years. As part of the offensive core of the team, Josh has helped the team go far into Nationals, most recently a 5th-place finish. Josh looks forward to bringing his leadership to and sharing his love for the sport at Ultimate Peace in the Middle East.
Off the field, Josh puts in many hours as an engineer at Facebook, building applications like video and chat. And of course, leading the Facebook Ultimate team to victory against the likes of Google and Apple.
Marc has been playing ultimate for over 20 years. He started playing in the mid 1980s, organizing games at his high school, before going on to play his college years at Iowa and Stanford.
He then went on to found and captain several of the great Bay Area teams (Saucy Jack, Jam, Revolver) that have been been at the top of USA Ultimate for many years. During that time Marc was elected captain of his team 7 times, chosen for his abilities as a key strategist and inspirational player.
In 2005, Marc traveled to Israel to teach and coach – this had a great impact on him and it has been his dream to return and expand the mission of what had been done.
Ultimate Peace is the fulfillment of his desire to bring the best of Ultimate to promote harmony through play. Marc is regarded as both a great Ultimate Player because of his skills, his leadership, and his exemplary spirit.
Shimrit is originally from Newton, Massachusetts, but has spent the last few years in Atlanta, Georgia where she taught first grade for two years in the Teach For America program. She first began playing Ultimate with the Middlebury College Lady Pranksters and more recently played with Ozone in the 2007 and 2008 club seasons. Her mother is an Israeli Kibbutznik and her childhood summers were spent visiting family members and attending camp in Israel. Shimrit is looking forward to taking part in an experience that combines her desire for peace in the region, and of course, Ultimate!
Lisa is honored to have the opportunity to participate in Ultimate Peace. She could not imagine a better way to promote aspects of peace than by teaching Ultimate, a sport with inherent qualities of sportsmanship and comaraderie. Currently, Lisa is in her second year as coach of the Amherst College’s women’s frisbee team, and loves sharing and teaching the game. She started playing Ultimate over ten years ago in high school. Her participation in the sport continued at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, where she captained and led her team in 2004 to the collegiate national championship game. Currently, Lisa is in her fifth season with Brutesquad, a women’s club team from Cambridge, Massachusetts.
When Lisa isn’t playing Ultimate, you will probably find her in the geology lab, examining rocks from Earth and Mars. She is currently in a doctoral program at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst studying the climate history of Earth using samples from caves located in Bermuda and Peru. Lisa is ultimately excited to be able to travel to the region and contribute to Peace.
Through Ultimate Sam has traveled the world, fostered her closest friendships, and met her husband and fellow Ultimate Peace Coach Mike Payne. Ultimate Peace is an opportunity to share the sport that has given her so much.
A four-time national champion with San Francisco Fury, Sam found Ultimate while studying as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in 1996. Before Ultimate, Sam was a NCAA Division I field hockey champion and trained in the US National Program. After launching her Ultimate career in the UK, Sam returned to the US for graduate school at Stanford University. During the 1999 season, she captained Stanford Superfly to their 3rd consecutive National Championship. Sam joined Fury in 1999 and during her tenure captained the team for three seasons, won four national championships, and competed in World Championships in Germany and Finland. In addition to playing club Ultimate with Fury, Sam volunteers as an observer in the UPA college series. When she is not chasing her son, Rylan, Sam works as a water resources engineer on California water projects.
After a long career as a soccer goalkeeper, Jen started playing Ultimate on Friday mornings at Gan Sacher, when she was living in Jerusalem in 2000. The next year, as a graduate student at Stanford, she quickly found a new home on the field and has been hooked ever since. She loves that Spirit of the Game weaves mutual and self- respect into the fabric of the sport, and that the Ultimate community holds itself to the highest standards of both competition and sportsmanship.
Jen played for Stanford Superfly for 5 years, captaining the team to a championship in 2003 (and playing for another in 2005). She’s honored to be back this year as a Superfly coach. She has played on several Bay Area women’s teams since 2001, and is currently a proud member of Zeitgeist. After many years of trying to join the Matza Balls as a Shebrew, Jen was ecstatic to be on the first Jewbilation team this past summer.
When not on the field, or generally enjoying the outdoors in some other way, Jen is a scientist at Stanford’s Program on Food Security and the Environment, looking for innovative ways to simultaneously address global hunger and manage our finite natural resources. She’s incredibly excited to be a part of Ultimate Peace, and to bring her passion back to the region that is the source of both her identity and her the love of the sport.
As a “sabra” (born in Jerusalem) but raised in the States, Nurit has always felt a connection to Israel and the region. She is thrilled and honored to combine her background and love for the sport of Ultimate to the Ultimate Peace initiative that she believes is deeply important.
Nurit began playing ultimate in college at Rutgers University. She was deciding between rowing crew, playing rugby or playing ultimate but the ultimate team got her first. After she attended the first practice, she was hooked.
Upon graduating from college Nurit was lured to Boston due largely to the strong ultimate scene. In Boston, Nurit has played for Lady Godiva for 6 years and was fortunate to win 3 UPA nationals with the veteran team. More recently, Nurit has spent the last 3 seasons playing with Brute Squad.
Nurit co/coached the college teams Wellesley Whiptails (2001, 2002) and MIT sMITe (2006,2007). She had to give up coaching when she started grad school and is currently finishing up her MBA at Babson College. She plans to work in marketing with Johnson & Johnson upon graduating.
Nick Handler found his passion for Ultimate and it’s incredible community as a freshman at Stanford University in 1999. Since then he has been dedicated to the Stanford program as a player, captain and coach, appearing at the UPA College Championships 5 times and winning a title in 2002. In 2006, Nick founded Revolver, a San Francisco Bay Area club team that has quickly established itself amongst the elite U.S. club teams as a successful but humble crew with an extraordinarily strong and positive team chemistry. Revolver has put up two 5th-place finishes at the UPA Club Championships in its short history.
Throughout all of his experiences teaching and playing Ultimate, Nick has discovered the unique transformative power of the sport – its ability to build lifelong friendships, to teach lessons of leadership, sacrifice and humility, and to foster mutual respect amongst teammates and opponents. As an Ultimate Peace Coach, Nick is excited and honored to use Ultimate as a tool to break down barriers and to plant the seeds of peace in a region that so desperately needs it.
As of January 2009, Nick is living in western Kenya with his girlfriend Lyndsay. He is spending 15 months working as a Program Associate for One Acre Fund, an organization that brings subsistence farmers out of poverty by providing them with a small loan package along with agricultural and health training. Of course, he has brought discs and cones along and plans to share the gift of Ultimate with rural western Kenya.
Lyndsay became passionate about the sport of Ultimate Frisbee as a student at Stanford University, where she played on the Stanford Women’s Ultimate Team for four years (2001-2004). In 2001 and 2002, Stanford placed second at National Championships and we won the National Championship title in 2003. After playing at the college level, Lyndsay played on a competitive coed club team from San Francisco called Mischief from 2006 to 2008. Mischief won the National Championship title in 2006.
While she has enjoyed the competitive aspect of her ultimate career, the most rewarding experiences Lyndsay has had with the sport have been coaching. From 2006 to 2007, she coached a low-income middle school team in East Palo Alto, California and, from 2006 to 2008, she coached the Stanford Women’s Ultimate Team. Through coaching, she learned a lot, discovered a passion for teaching and saw the potential for the sport of ultimate frisbee to transform the lives of youth. Lyndsay was especially motivated to see how being a part of an Ultimate frisbee team builds confidence, teaches communication skills, improves health, develops leadership skills and, most importantly, builds community that truly transcends traditional social, economic, political, and religious barriers. For this reason, she look forward to being a part of Ultimate Peace in the Middle East coaching team and to bringing a program like Ultimate Peace to East Africa in the future, where she is currently living and working.