For the first time in the 33 year history of the JCC Maccabi Games, the week-long gathering of Jewish teen athletes will be held in Broward County.
The David Posnack Jewish Community Center has been chosen as the host site for the 2015 Games, said Nancy Stearn, public relations director for the Posnack JCC.
The 2015 JCC Maccabi Games will take place from Aug. 9 to 14 and will bring 1,200 athletes, 300 coaches and 500 out of town spectators to Broward, in addition to the approximately 5,000 local spectators who are expected to attend. A parallel non-competitive arts performance program called JCC Maccabi ArtsFest that highlights the artistic accomplishments of Jewish teens will run concurrently with the Games.
“We’re going to utilize venues throughout Broward County for the various sporting events,” Stearn said, adding that there will be competitions in baseball, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, softball, swimming, table tennis, tennis, dance, bowling, volleyball and golf.
But it’s not just about the sports, Stearn said. The young athletes will also take part in social events such as barbecues, dance parties and visits to local attractions. As well, they will all take part in a JCC Cares program, during which they will spend the day working at local charities.
The JCC Maccabi Games is an Olympic-style sporting competition held each summer in North America and is the largest organized sports program for Jewish teenagers in the world. Each year, the Games are witness to the athletic accomplishments of some 5,000 Jewish youngsters ages 13 to 16 from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, South America, Great Britain and Israel. They compete and get to know each other and also take part in a community service day, Stearn said.
And while the focus is on the honor bestowed upon the Posnack JCC, it’s also important to note that the events hosted by the Posnack JCC occur during a typically slow month for tourism. The Games are expected to have a $1.8 million direct economic effect, and that doesn’t take into account the multiplier effect as that money ripples through the local economy.
“The Games will require 1,500 hotel rooms, and those attending will patronize area restaurants, shopping and tourist attractions,” Stearn said.
The Games also occur during the 100th anniversary of Broward County.
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, and 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 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, among them swimmer Mark Spitz, gymnast Mitch Gaylord, baseball players Ernie Grunfeld and Danny Schayes, basketball player Brad Gilbert and tennis player Dick Savitt.
Honorary Chairperson for the 2015 JCC Maccabi Games to be hosted by the Posnack JCC is Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), along with Richard and Lesley Stone.
Continental Sponsor for the 2015 JCC Maccabi Games is Coca Cola. Other sponsors include The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, Memorial Healthcare Systems Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and the Jewish Federation of Broward County.
The David Posnack Jewish Community Center, The “J,” is located at 5850 South Pine Island Rd. in Davie at the northeast corner of Stirling Road and Pine Island Road.
For more information, call 954-434-0499.
2015 -- To find out more about sponsoring, becoming a host family for visiting athletes, volunteering for or participating in the 2015 JCC Maccabi Games that will be hosted by the David Posnack Jewish Community Center, contact Barry Schumer 954-434-0499 Ext 348. or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit FortLauderdaleMaccabi.com.
2014 – For more information about trying out for the 2014 JCC Maccabi Games this summer, call 954-434-0499 Ext. 355 or email email@example.com. Learn more about participating in the 2014 Games, visit JCCSports.com.