About JCC Maccabi

About the JCC Maccabi Experience


The JCC Maccabi Games®—five days that can change the lives of Jewish teens (13 to 16 years old)—have been doing just that for more than 30 years. During the JCC Maccabi Games®, teens from communities around the globe are immersed in a sports and recreation program imbued with Jewish values and experiences. The goal of the JCC Maccabi Games® is to contribute to the maintenance and enrichment of Jewish identity in youth and to the development of democratic values and leadership through healthy competition and sportsmanship. The JCC Maccabi Games® is the largest annual gathering of Jewish teens in the world and has now influenced over 130,000 Jewish youth in North America and around the world.

Maccabi Sports Options: Basketball, Soccer, Flag Football, Baseball, Swimming, Tennis, Track & Field, Volleyball, Bowling, Dance, Golf, Ice Hockey

The JCC Maccabi Games® are an Olympic-style sporting competition held each summer in North America and is the second largest organized sports program for Jewish teenagers in the world. 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. Now, this two week competition takes place every four years and has featured many world class Jewish athletes including: Mark Spitz (swimming), Mitch Gaylord (gymnastics), Ernie Grunfeld and Danny Schayes (basketball), Brad Gilbert and Dick Savitt (tennis).

The first North American JCC Maccabi Games were held in 1982 with 300 athletes. Due to overwhelming interest, Regional Games were added in 1985 to augment the even-year Continental Games. 1997 marked the first time that the Games were held simultaneously in six American cities with 4,400 participating athletes. Since their inception in 1982, the Games have grown from a small pilot project in one host community to an Olympic-style sporting competition held each summer in multiple sites throughout North America. The JCC Maccabi Games are the largest organized sports program for Jewish teenagers in the world.

Today, over 6,000 teens, ranging from 13 to 16 years of age, participate in the JCC Maccabi Games® each summer. The Games are co-sponsored by the Jewish Community Center Association of North America, Maccabi World Union, Maccabi Canada, and Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel.

In 2020 JCC Association is proud to add JCC Maccabi Access, a JCC Maccabi Games experience for athletes with disabilities, to our signature JCC Maccabi program family. This pilot initiative will be a collaboration between JCC Association of North America, Special Olympics of Southern California and the host, The Lawrence Family JCC on the Jacobs Family Campus (LFJCC), San Diego. The pilot program will be a three-day experience held from August 2-4th in conjunction with the 2020 the JCC Maccabi Games and Artsfest that will take place in San Diego from August 2-7th.

Jewish teens (ages 13-17) from the selected JCCs across the continent will participate in an exciting JCC Maccabi experience made up of both unified and specialized activities that will include:

  • Athletic competition
  • Hangtime
  • JCC Cares community service
  • Exploration of the 6 JCC Maccabi Midot (values)
  • Israel engagement
  • Social Activities
  • Closing Ceremony

8 JCCs have been invited to participate in the pilot JCC Maccabi Access Cohort:
Bender JCC of Greater Washington (Rockville, MD)
Dave and Mary Alper JCC (Miami, FL)
David Posnack JCC (Davie, FL)
JCC Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Lawrence Family JCC on the Jacobs Family Campus (San Diego, CA)
Pozez JCC of Northern Virginia (Fairfax, VA)
Sandra & Leon Levine JCC (Charlotte, NC)
Tucson JCC (Tucson, AZ)