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About JCC Maccabi Games and Maccabi World Union

JCC Maccabi Games

JCC Maccabi Games®,

a week-long Olympic-style sports competition, began in 1982 as a partnership with Maccabi World Union (MWU). Each year, three communities host the Games, with one also hosting JCC Maccabi ArtsFest®, which was held for the first time in 2006. Attracting approximately 3,000 teens from around the globe, these events give teens a chance to meet other Jewish youth while participating in sports they love or in an intense immersion in their art.

Summer 2023, JCC Maccabi Games in Israel will see more than 1,000 Jewish teens participating in athletic events and an educational travel experience hosted by JCC Association and Maccabi World Union, and generously and proudly funded by RootOne.

Each program gives Jewish teens the chance to give something back to their communities through JCC Cares, a day dedicated to acts of tikkun olam, or repairing the world, in ways meant to give back to the communities they are visiting.

These week-long experiences provide teens many, for the first time an opportunity to feel part of k’lal Yisrael, the greater Jewish people. JCC Maccabi Games and Access engage the entire Jewish community in a celebration of Jewish peoplehood, with a love of Israel at its core.

We work in partnership with Maccabi World Union, Maccabi Canada, and Maccabi USA to create a global experience that provides a springboard for local JCCs to create year-round engagement. In this way, JCC Maccabi becomes a conduit to cultivate lay leadership, support fundraising, build awareness of JCC programs and services, expand membership, and position the JCC as a leading agency in the community.

Maccabi World Union 

Maccabi World Union is the world's only International Jewish & Sports organization that focuses exclusively on sports for Jewish teens and young people. The organization comprises more than 450 clubs in over 70 countries in five continents. Eighty-five percent of our 500,000 members are under 35 years old, 100% pro-Israel, and proudly building their proud Jewish identity.

MWU is one of the largest Jewish organizations in the world and the oldest continuously active formation in Zionism. Founded in 1895, MWU uses its signature sports activity to attract Jews of all ages to more closely and personally identify and get involved with their communities and Israel. The Maccabi Movement is a leading component in informal Jewish and Zionist education and a leading agent worldwide in spreading popular Israeli culture.

Many Maccabi Clubs serve as community centers, providing a wide diversity of educational, cultural, social, and sports activities. Most famously, MWU is the organizer of the Maccabiah—“the Jewish Olympics” in Israel every four years!

Our Mission: Sound Jewish Minds in Healthy Jewish Bodies. We promote Jewish peoplehood, unity and solidarity to achieve a bright Jewish future through lifelong voluntary community involvement and the centrality of the state of Israel in Jewish life.

The modern Maccabi Movement is organized under the MWU Constitution, the umbrella under which Maccabi's Confederations and Territorial Organizations (T.O.'s) worldwide gather. There are six confederations: 

  • Maccabi Australia - Asia
  • Maccabi Europe
  • Maccabi Israel
  • Maccabi Latin America/ Confederación Latinoamericana Macabi (CLAM)
  • Maccabi North America
  • Maccabi South Africa

Alongside the Maccabiah in Israel, confederations commission Regional Maccabi Games every four years, including the Pan American Maccabi Games events, and seminars. The Maccabiah and the Regional Games are the world’s largest Jewish events.

Since 1956 MWU’s world headquarters have been located at Kfar Maccabiah in Israel. The movement is almost entirely led and organized by volunteers and many Maccabi leaders hold prominent roles Jewish communal leaders, in such bodies as the World Jewish Congress, the World Zionist Organization, the Jewish Agency for Israel, JCC Global, Keren Ha'Yesod, and the Jewish National Fund, among others.