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35th Annual JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest to Host Close to 3,000 Jewish Teens

For Immediate Release
July 28, 2017

Media Contact:
Samantha Kupferman, West End Strategy Team
[email protected]; 212.498.9300; Cell: 202.215.9260

35th Annual JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest to Host Close to 3,000 Jewish Teens for
World’s Largest Jewish Youth Sports Competition

Teens to compete at summer games hosted in Birmingham, NY capital region and Miami

NEW YORK – The 35th annual JCC Maccabi Games®, a weeklong Olympic-style sports competition which will give close to 3,000 teens the chance to gather with fellow Jewish youth this summer, kicks off Sunday, July 30, in Birmingham (hosted by the Levite Jewish Community Center). The first week of games, wrapping up August 4, will be followed by two subsequent weeklong events August 6-11, in the New York Capital Region (hosted by the Sidney Albert Albany Jewish Community Center and the Robert and Dorothy Ludwig JCC of Schenectady), and in Miami, hosted by the Alper JCC.

JCC Maccabi is more than an athletic competition, promoting community involvement, teamwork, and Jewish engagement, and bringing together teen participants, community volunteers, coaches and host families.

JCC Maccabi ArtsFest® was added in 2006 to provide teens an intense immersion in their art. This year’s ArtsFest® will be celebrated concurrently with the JCC Maccabi Games in Miami, and will feature workshops with professional Artists in Residence that incorporate community service, social activities, and themes of Jewish heritage, community, and Israel. ArtsFest® culminates with a final showcase on the last day of the program, alongside the gold medal matches of the Games.

Together known as JCC Maccabi, JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest engage the entire Jewish community in a celebration of Jewish peoplehood with a love of Israel at its core. Each program gives Jewish teens the chance to give something back to host communities through JCC Cares, a day dedicated to acts of tikkun olam, or repairing the world. In addition to taking home gold, silver and bronze medals in their sports competitions, participants can earn Midot Medals for outstanding acts of chesed, or kindness, and in enhancing the spirit of the event.

“JCC Maccabi began as a way to engage Jewish teens through athletics and connect them to their heritage and more importantly, to one another,” said Randy Ellen Lutterman, vice president of arts and culture and JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest at JCC Association of North America. “As the JCC Movement celebrates our centennial this year, JCC Maccabi is inspiring Jewish teens in new and innovative ways by offering them an exciting way to meet, compete and create in multiple host communities.”

These weeklong experiences provide teens—many, for the first time—to feel part of k’lal Israel, the greater Jewish people. East host community kicks off the week with an opening ceremony where JCC teen delegations march amidst great fanfare. The following day, competitions and creative workshops begin.

The Maccabi Movement began in 1895 when the first all-Jewish sports club was formed in Constantinople. The first world Maccabiah Games were held in Israel in 1932. The first North American JCC Maccabi Games® were held in 1982 with 300 athletes. The weeklong Olympic-style competition is the largest athletic tournament for Jewish teens ages 13-17 in North America.


Photos from each event will be available over the course of the week, as will interview opportunities. Media interested in covering JCC Maccabi should contact Samantha Kupferman at: [email protected] or (212) 498-9300.



JCC Association of North America strengthens and leads JCCs, YM-YWHAs and camps throughout North America. As the convening organization, JCC Association partners with JCCs to bring together the collective power and knowledge of the JCC Movement. JCC Association offers services and resources to increase the effectiveness of JCCs as they provide community engagement and educational, cultural, social, recreational, and Jewish identity building programs to enhance Jewish life throughout North America. By supporting the 25,000 Jewish communal professionals who connect with two million JCC participants each year—JCC Association encourages engaged lives of purpose and meaning.

Learn more:, on Facebook, and on Twitter at @JCCAssociation

JCC Maccabi Games® can be found at:, on Facebook, and Instagram at @JCCMaccabiGames

JCC Maccabi ArtsFest® can be found at:, on Facebook, and Instagram at @JCCMaccabiArtsFest.

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