Adam Peck, West End Strategy Team
NEW YORK — After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, JCC Maccabi Games®, a signature event of JCC Maccabi®, will return in 2022. Presented by JCC Association of North America, the Games are the largest organized Jewish teen sports event in North America. In 2022, the Lawrence Family JCC on the Jacobs Family Campus will serve as the host community, from July 31 to Aug. 5, 2022, in San Diego, California.
Next year also will mark the 40th anniversary of the Games, a remarkable milestone for JCC Maccabi. Throughout the last four decades, JCC Maccabi Games have engaged more than 100,000 Jewish teens—impacting not only athletes’ lives, but also those of host families, volunteers, and dozens of host communities that make the Games possible each year.
“We are thrilled to announce the return of the JCC Maccabi Games in 2022,” said Doron Krakow, president and CEO of JCC Association. “In addition to being a premier Jewish athletic event, the Games play a powerful part in strengthening young people’s Jewish identity and in forging ties with peers and with the wider Jewish world.”
The 40th anniversary Games will include the launch of JCC Maccabi Access, a pilot initiative for the Games in San Diego that will provide Jewish teens with cognitive and developmental disabilities a meaningful and integrated JCC Maccabi experience. This initiative will be the first of many expansions of the JCC Maccabi platform in the coming years. These efforts will bring together more Jewish teens and communities from across North America for Jewish-identity and leadership-building opportunities.
Although the pandemic limited the JCC Movement’s ability to mount the Games in 2020 or 2021, planning and preparations for its return never missed a beat and ensure that, beginning in 2022, we will significantly enhance the impact and influence of JCC Maccabi.
“Although we were deeply disappointed by the absence of last year’s Games, the timing provided a unique opportunity for us to take a deep, careful look at the program and thoughtfully plan for the future of JCC Maccabi,” said Sam Cohen, vice president of program and talent at JCC Association. “We’re excited to relaunch this signature program in 2022 and to continue to expand and enrich it in the coming years.”
Begun in 1982, the JCC Maccabi Games are an Olympic-style sporting competition during which athletes from ages 12 to 16 can showcase their talents while demonstrating a commitment to Jewish values. The San Diego Games will feature such team sports as baseball, basketball, softball, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, and volleyball. Individual sports competitions will include swimming and tennis. The one-week competition, which is held in two cities each year, has featured notable alumni who have gone on to become world-class athletes, including swimmer Mark Spitz, gymnast Mitch Gaylord, baseball players Ernie Grunfeld and Danny Schayes, and tennis pros Brad Gilbert and Dick Savitt. JCC Maccabi Games Alumni Shai Buium and Josh Bloom were selected into the 2021 NHL draft.
According to Betzy Lynch, CEO of the Lawrence Family JCC, “We are thrilled to be hosting the long-awaited JCC Maccabi Games in San Diego in 2022.” She continued, “Not only is our entire community eagerly looking forward to marking four decades of JCC Maccabi magic, we want to embrace the opportunity to rally around this gigantic display of Jewish pride and belief in our Jewish future. The expansion of the program to include JCC Maccabi Access elevates our goals in bringing a diverse group of Jewish teens and communities from across North America together for sporting experiences that—combined with Jewish cultural, social, social action, and leadership elements—will create deep, rich, and transformative experiences, inspiring and augmenting the Jewish journey of every person touched by JCC Maccabi®.”
JCC Maccabi Games will take place from July 31 to Aug. 5, 2022. For more information and to learn how to support the JCC Maccabi Games, please visit JCCMaccabiGames.org or http://jccmaccabisd.org/
About JCC Association of North America
JCC Association of North America leads and connects the JCC Movement, advancing and enriching North American Jewish life. With 1.5 million people walking through the doors of more than 170 Jewish Community Centers and Jewish Community Camps (JCCs) each week, the JCC Movement is the largest platform for Jewish engagement on the continent. JCC Association, the convening organization of this dynamic network, partners with JCCs to bring together the collective power and knowledge of the entire JCC Movement, including 12,000 full-time and 41,000 part-time and seasonal professionals. By supporting them, together we enhance and strengthen Jewish life throughout North America. Learn more at JCCA.org or on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
About the Lawrence Family JCC | JACOBS FAMILY CAMPUS
Lawrence Family JCC | JACOBS FAMILY CAMPUS provides social, cultural, educational, and recreational programs to individuals and families of all ages, religions, races, and financial, physical and mental abilities. Similarly, the LFJCC provides equal opportunity employment to individuals of all religions and backgrounds. The LFJCC welcomes San Diego’s diverse Jewish community and the community at large. The Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, JACOBS FAMILY CAMPUS is located at 4126 Executive Drive, La Jolla, California. Learn more at LFJCC.org or on Facebook and Instagram.