Press Release

J Teen Wins Plotkin Scholarship
Team Houston Tennis players wins scholarship to play in JCC Maccabi Games
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
by mgroogan

J Teen Wins Plotkin Scholarship

Houston, TX – Evelyn Rubenstein JCC of Houston and the Plotkin Family annually awards a Team Houston tennis player the Raymond E. Plotkin Scholarship to play in the JCC Maccabi Games. Eli Cowan, son of Ben and Jenifer Cowan, was named as this year’s recipient of the scholarship. The 15 year old tennis star attended the Emery/Weiner School and will be a freshman at Bellaire High School this fall.

“Eli was so inspired by Raymond's story and really identified with his passion for tennis as well as his connection to the J,” said Ben Cowan, Eli’s father. “I think the Plotkins could tell how genuinely important this is to him. Eli is determined to represent Raymond and his values, as well as the J, at the Maccabi Games this week and we know he will make us and the Plotkins proud.”

The Raymond E. Plotkin JCC Maccabi Games Tennis Scholarship was established in 2009 by Elaine and Ronald Plotkin to honor the life and memory of their son, Raymond. Raymond passed away when he was 18 years old during his freshmen year at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque from complications from the H1N1 (swine) flu.  Raymond loved participating on the JCC Maccabi Tennis Team and representing Houston.  He considered tennis a great life-long sport.

“Playing for Team Houston Tennis was one of the highlights of Raymond's life,” said Elaine Plotkin. “After he died, our family wanted to do something to both remember Raymond and to help give another young person the opportunity to attend the Maccabi Games and get as much out of the experience as our Raymond did. Our family selected Eli Cowan as the recipient of our stipend because of his lifelong love of tennis, his involvement in classes and activities at the J and his enthusiasm towards participating in the Games this year.”

The J is sending a delegation of 68 teens to represent Team Houston at the JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest. The JCC Maccabi Games happened in Birmingham, Alabama from July 30 – August 4. The second round of games take place in Albany and Schenectady, NY from August 6 - 11. The Alper JCC in Miami, FL will host JCC Maccabi Games & ArtsFest from August 6 - 11.

The Plotkin family annually awards a scholarship to one Team Houston tennis member based on an essay application. Eli Cowan’s name will be added to a permanent plaque that hangs in the J’s Tennis Center with Raymond's picture. Visit for more information about our programs and services. Find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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