Today is August 15, 2018 -

Maccabi is Coming! Are You Ready?

My son Levi played basketball in the 2014 Cherry Hill Maccabi Games and my daughter Bina danced in the 2015 Games in Dallas.  It was a great experience for both of them–they made new friends, tested the waters of independence with a week away from home and, last but certainly not least, tried their hands at some healthy competition.

This summer, we will not have to travel quite as far as Dallas to enjoy the wonder that is Maccabi.  The 2017 JCC Maccabi Games will take place in our very own Capital Region, August 6-11. In fact, today marks the 100-day countdown to the opening ceremonies!

The week will feature Olympic-style sports competitions, social events for the 700+ Jewish teens attending, and social-action programs (JCC Cares©) aimed at teaching participants the meaning of tikkun olam, benefitting a local organization in need.

The 2017 Capital Region JCC Maccabi Games has a fantastic, hard-working committee comprising volunteers who have spent the past 11 months planning this event.  However, there is NO way they can do this alone.  Yep, I am going to ask for your help.  1,000 volunteers are needed to make these Games a success.  Specifically, they need people to greet visitors, staff information tables, answer phones, usher at opening ceremonies, assist the athletics department, help with hospitality/food service, and coordinate athlete volunteers for JCC Cares.

They also need the wonderful Jewish families of the Capital Region to open their doors to house the 700+ athletes who are participating in the Games, some of whom will hail from Israel, Mexico, and Canada.  I think that my wife has already offered to host 42 of the athletes, leaving only 658+ for the rest of you. 

But, this is about more than asking for your help.  You should know that the JCC Maccabi Games are designed, in part, to bring the host-city Jewish community closer, and I am happy to report that it has been happening here from the very beginning.  Our two, strong Jewish community centers in Albany and Schenectady have been working tirelessly to make this event happen, along with the core planning volunteers from all over our extended Jewish community.

Did I mention yet how much fun JCC Maccabi is?  The opening ceremonies–open to every one of you, just be sure to register first at www.CapitalRegionJCCMaccabi.org–mimic Olympic Games’ ceremonies.  Lots of excitement and cheering, parade of delegations (complete with signs held by Jr. Maccabi participants), a performance by The Maccabeats, singing of three national anthems, a poignant remembrance of the Munich Eleven–it’s all there.  Trust me; you do not want to miss this.

Thank you to my friend, Heather Rockwood, JCC Maccabi PR Committee member, for ghost-writing today’s article.  

Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York

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