From August 6-15, Florida Atlantic University helped host more than 2,000 athletes, coaches, volunteers and attending family members for the 2014 JCC Maccabi Games®, the second largest organized sports program for Jewish teenagers in the world.
More than 300 participates came to FAU’s Boca Raton campus each day of the competition to participate in Boys & Girls Swimming and Girls Volleyball and other competitions such as Baseball, Basketball, Flag Football, Bowling and Soccer were hosted at various locations around Palm Beach County.
“Having FAU serve as our hub for the Games was amazing,” Maccabi games director, Nancy Carroll said. “FAU provided the perfect arena for athletic competition, hang time, food, transportation and closing party. The athletes had an incredible time. It was a great partnership.”
In all, more than 5,000 teens, ranging from 13 to 16 years of age, participate in the JCC Maccabi Games® each summer, which is spread over multiple host communities. In 2014, the three host communities are Detroit, Michigan; Cherry Hill, New Jersey; Boca Raton, Florida.
“We were honored to host such an amazing event,” FAU President John Kelly said. “It was wonderful to see so many excited young people, their families and event volunteers come enjoy the competitions at our Boca Raton campus.”
The JCC Maccabi Games® brings delegations from across North America and Israel together to participate in an Olympic-style athletics competition as well as cultural and social activities. Although the JCC Maccabi Games® are centered on an Olympic-style athletics competition, it serves a larger purpose by promoting community involvement, teamwork and pride in one’s Jewish identity.
The Maccabi Movement began in 1895 when the first all-Jewish sports club was formed in Istanbul. 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).