Maccabi World Union
Maccabi World Union (Registered Amutah 580037158) is the largest and longest running Jewish sports organization spanning over five continents, more than 60 countries, 450 clubs, and 400,000 members. MWU is a Zionist organization that utilizes sports as a means to bring Jewish people of all ages closer to Judaism and Israel in addition to various informal educational activities in a manner that surpasses politics and sectarianism. Many Maccabi clubs serve as community centers and youth movements providing a diversity of educational, cultural, social and sports activities under one roof. In addition, Maccabi has its unique international signature activity in Jewish sports, the Maccabiah Games in Israel which take place every 4 years.
Maccabi World Union is comprised of six (6) confederations:
- Maccabi Australia (APA)
- European Maccabi Confederation -EMC
- Maccabi Israel
- Maccabi Latin America-CLAM
- Maccabi North America
- Maccabi South Africa (SA)
Throughout the course of the year, confederations will conduct regional and inter-regional games, providing opportunities for bonding, sharing and meeting other Jewish communities throughout the world. The highlight program still remains the Maccabiah games, which brings Jews from all four corners of the world together in Israel every four years.
Maccabi World Union´s administrative offices are located at Kfar Maccabiah in Ramat Gan, Israel. Nearly 70-80 percent of Maccabi is volunteer run. Ninety-two Executive members elected by the confederations run the global organization. The Maccabi worldwide family encompasses thousands of volunteers and friends, making it one of the largest global Jewish organizations with the message of unity and continuity.
The principal mission of the Maccabiah is to facilitate a worldwide gathering of young Jewish athletes in Israel, staging the highest possible levels of sports competitions, and strengthening their connection to the State of Israel and the Jewish people. Within the Maccabiah there are four separate competitions that take place; Open, Junior, Masters, and Paralympics. Junior games are open to any qualifying athlete aged 15-18. Masters are divided into a number of different age categories mostly to accommodate older competitors and the Open division is generally unlimited in age, subject to the governing international rules in each sport, and is intended for the best athletes from each delegation. In order to participate in the Maccabiah, athletes must represent a delegation. Delegations are formed by each of the Territorial Organizations that participate, i.e. France, Brazil, Germany, United States, Canada, Hungary, Australia, etc.
There are many Olympic gold medalists, world champions, and world record holders who have competed in the Maccabiah. They include, Mark Spitz, Lenny Krayzelburg, Jason Lezak, and Marilyn Ramenofsky (swimming); Mitch Gaylord, Abie Grossfeld, Ágnes Keleti, Valery Belenky and Kerri Strug (gymnastics); Ernie Grunfeld, Danny Schayes, (coaches); Larry Brown, Jordan Freed, Nat Holman and Dolph Schayes (basketball); Carina Benninga (field hockey); Lillian Copeland, Gerry Ashworth, and Gary Gubner (track and field); Angela Buxton, Brad Gilbert, Julie Heldman, Allen Fox, Nicolás Massú, and Dick Savitt (tennis); Dave Blackburn (softball); Angelica Rozeanu (table tennis); Sergei Charikov, Vadim Gutzeit and Mariya Mazina (fencing); Isaac Berger and Frank Spellman (weightlifting); and Fred Oberlander and Henry Wittenberg (wrestling); Madison Gordon-Lavaee (volleyball); Bruce Fleisher (golf); and Adam Bacher (cricket); Boris Gelfand and Judith Polgar (chess); Elizabeth Foody (interpretive dance); Aaron R. Schwid (bowling); Irwin Cotler (table tennis); Jonathan Bornstein (football), and Steve March Tormé (fast-pitch softball). Shawn Lipman who played in 1991 Rugby World Cup also competed several times in the Maccabiah.
We offer opportunities to tour the land of Israel and integrate all Maccabiah participants with the Israeli society and localities in the country; initiating and creating an unforgettable experience comprised of competitive sports, cultural events and lifetime memorable experiences. In addition to being competitive, the sports competitions are also dedicated to the values of fair play, mutual respect, victory of body, intellect, and the pursuit of excellence. These spectacular sports and cultural extravaganzas uniting close to ten thousand Jewish athletes from all over the world in Israel every four years have a tremendous Zionist history, stretching back to the vivid imagination of a Jewish youngster in 1912 who made his dream come true.
Maccabiah 2017 will celebrate the 50 years of Jerusalem since its reunification, in its Opening Ceremony at Jerusalem Teddy Stadium and many other events.