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JCC Maccabi®, the Largest Jewish Teen Sports Event in North America, Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary in San Diego

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Adam Peck, West End Strategy Team
apeck@westendstrategy.com; 202-531-6408

JCC Maccabi®, the Largest Jewish Teen Sports Event in North America, Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary in San Diego
The Games Return From a Two-Year Hiatus, Welcoming 1,500 North American Teens

NEW YORK — After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the JCC Maccabi Games® — the largest organized Jewish teen sports event in North America — returns this month. This year’s Games will be hosted for the second time in their history by the Lawrence Family JCC on the Jacobs Family Campus in San Diego, California from July 31 to August 5, 2022.

[For information on how to request media credentials for any of the events or ceremonies, please contact Adam Peck at apeck@westendstrategy.com]

The 2022 JCC Maccabi Games also mark the 40th anniversary of the Games, a remarkable milestone for JCC Maccabi. Throughout the last four decades, the JCC Maccabi Games, a signature program of JCC Association of North America, have engaged more than 500,000 Jewish teens—positively influencing not only athletes’ lives, but also those of host families, volunteers, and dozens of host communities that make the Games possible each year. Approximately 1,500 Jewish teens from more than 20 states and four Canadian territories are expected to participate in the 2022 Games, representing over 57 delegations from 67 JCCs across the continent.

The 40th anniversary Games will also mark the launch of JCC Maccabi Access, a pilot initiative that will provide Jewish teens who have cognitive and developmental disabilities with a meaningful and integrated JCC Maccabi experience. This initiative will be the first of many opportunities to expand the JCC Maccabi experience in the coming years. These efforts will bring together more Jewish teens and communities from across North America for sporting experiences that—combined with Jewish cultural, social, advocacy, and leadership elements—will create deep, rich, and transformative experiences, inspiring and augmenting the Jewish journey of every person touched by JCC Maccabi.

2022 also marks 50 years since the tragic loss of the Munich 11, the Israeli athletes and coaches murdered by terrorists at the Olympic Games in 1972. Following decades of tireless advocacy on behalf of the athletes’ and coaches’ families by Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano—whose husbands were among those murdered—the first-ever moment of silence for the Israelis was observed at the most recent Olympic Games in Tokyo. Steadfast support for the moment of silence also came from the JCC Movement, and as always, the Munich 11 will be honored and remembered during the JCC Maccabi Games’ opening ceremonies.

Begun in 1982, the JCC Maccabi Games are an Olympic-style sporting competition where athletes from ages 12 to 16 can showcase their talents while practicing Jewish values. The San Diego Games will include these team sports: baseball, basketball, 3×3 basketball, flag football, ice hockey, soccer, and volleyball. Individual sports competitions will include golf, swimming, and tennis. The Games have featured notable alumni and world-class athletes, including Olympic gold medalists Mark Spitz and Mitch Gaylord, NBA stars Ernie Grunfeld and Danny Schayes, and tennis legends Brad Gilbert and Dick Savitt.

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About JCC Association of North America

JCC Association of North America leads the JCC Movement, which includes more than 170 Jewish Community Centers and Jewish Community Camps (JCCs) and is the most expansive platform for Jewish life in the U.S. and Canada. With approximately 12,000 full-time, 24,000 part-time, and 17,000 seasonal professionals, the movement also is the largest employer on North America’s Jewish communal landscape. For more than a century, JCC Association has valued and nurtured the growth of these professionals, along with the movement’s 3,000+ lay leaders, providing them all with a breadth and depth of offerings to help them meet the evolving needs of the 1.5 million weekly in-person and online visitors they serve, including individuals, families, communal groups, and others. By virtue of its size and scope and guided and supported by JCC Association, the JCC Movement dynamically influences efforts to create Jewish community, vibrant Jewish life, and intentional and measurable Jewish outcomes—in local communities and across the continent. Learn more at JCCA.org or on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Please note that JCC Association of North America should not be referred to as JCCA or the JCC Association but initially as JCC Association of North America and as JCC Association in subsequent references.

About JCC Maccabi®

JCC Maccabi® a signature program of JCC Association of North America, is one of the continent’s preeminent Jewish youth-serving and community-building platforms and is crucial in inspiring Jewish identity building, strengthening communal connections, and serving as a key leadership development pipeline. For 40 years, every summer since 1982, the JCC Movement has engaged more than 3,000 Jewish teens and an additional 11,000+ family members, spectators, and volunteers through the Olympic-style magic of JCC Maccabi, one of the greatest Jewish peoplehood projects of our time. For the majority of JCC Maccabi athletes, 63% of whom report being otherwise unaffiliated with any other Jewish youth organization, JCC Maccabi remains their primary connection to the Jewish community, global Jewish life, and Israel—creating a remarkable and unmatched opportunity to engage them, support their efforts to build their Jewish identity, and have a significant and lasting impact on their lives.

Learn more about JCC Maccabi, our midot (values), and see what’s coming next summer.

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