Archives for March 2015

What do JCC Maccabi and the Passover Seder have in common?


The Passover Seder shares the story of the Exodus in an engaging way by creating a space for getting together, storytelling, and sharing symbolic foods. One of the highlights of celebrating Passover can be inviting those without an invitation to join in celebration with your family. It gives each one of us, even the youngest at the table, a meaningful role in their Jewish experience.

JCC Maccabi does the same thing.

It provides a space to celebrate being Jewish, explore Jewish values, and share Jewish memories together. Our recent JCC Maccabi Jewish Impact Survey confirms what our teens tell us each year: The most impactful part of the JCC Maccabi experience is the power to bring together Jewish teens, some just like them and others very different, from across North America and around the world. This changes the way these participants think about themselves and their place in the global Jewish Community.

Happy Passover from your extended JCC Maccabi family!

JCC Maccabi Has Always Remembered

munich 11

The 1972 Israeli Olympic delegation, including the Munich 11.


Every JCC Maccabi teen has heard of the Munich Massacre, the brutal slaying of 11 Israeli athletes participating in the 1972 Munich Olympics. For over three decades, each JCC Maccabi Opening Ceremony has commemorated this tragic event by recounting the horrific events and connecting it to the JCC Maccabi values of Amiut Yehudit, Jewish peoplehood and Zionism, a love for the State of Israel.

For many years, the JCC Maccabi community has called on the International Olympic Committee to formally commemorate this tragedy. At the 2012 London Olympics, the IOC did not yield to international pressure to remember the slain Olympians with a moment of silence.

Recently, the IOC reversed course with a gift to the city of Munich to help build a memorial between Munich’s Olympic Village and Olympic Stadium. The monument will share the biographies of each athlete. There will also be a moment of silence during the closing ceremonies of the 2016 games in Rio.

JCC Association would like to thank every member of the JCC Maccabi family who has fought to ensure that the horror of the Munich Olympics is not forgotten. JCC Maccabi is proud to have been a leader in sharing this story with hundreds of thousands of athletes, artists, coaches, delegation heads, chaperones, Artists in Residence, and families.

Ft. Lauderdale: It takes teamwork to make a dream work

maccabiftlauderdaleFort Lauderdale is hosting both the JCC Maccabi Games and JCC Maccabi ArtsFest for the first time. Outstanding leadership is guiding the planning!

“Once you become involved with JCC Maccabi, you experience for yourself what a meaningful difference it makes in the lives of our youth, host families, volunteers and everyone else who participates in any way,” said Lori Green, who has been a JCC Maccabi volunteer for eight years—first as a parent, then as a board member and delegation head and now as the co-chair in her community. Bringing JCC Maccabi to Broward has been Lori’s dream, and she has been instrumental in making it come true.

Miriam M

Look out for these exciting highlights:

  • Opening Ceremonies will take place at BB & T Center, the home of the Florida Panthers
  • Final ArtsFest showcase and Closing Party at Nova Southeastern University, a beautiful sprawling campus that will make anyone want to go to school in the south
  • Time to Make the Donuts: A kosher Dunkin’ Donuts is sponsoring dessert for all of the teens, coaches, host families and providing 7000 donuts!

Some fun facts about Ft. Lauderdale’s alumni:

  • Miriam Mercado, was a soccer athlete in 2004 and 2005, a coach from 2011- 2013, became DH in 2014 and now is the Assistant JCC Maccabi Games Director. How’s that for JCC Maccabi Legacy!
  • From Athlete to Coach: Austin Hanan, 2013 – 2014 alum, is now a MAC (Maccabi Assistant Coach) and four year participant from 2009-2012, Lee Rosenberg, is now an Assistant Coach
  • Ft. Lauderdale has three alumni going to the European Maccabi Games in Berlin this summer representing the junior basketball team: Harrison Arnberg, 15, Michael Egozi, 14, and Zachariah Brown, 17

Milwaukee: Get in the Game

maccabimilwaukeeMilwaukee last hosted the Games eighteen years ago, and this time around, their goal is to build an experience that transcends the Games — one that strengthens their entire Jewish community, empowers the next generation of leaders, and celebrates Jewish values and traditions. The opportunity to create a lasting impact has never been greater with the Milwaukee JCC partnering to Build a Healthier Milwaukee with the help of their community partners. They hope to continue these relationships well beyond the week of the Games. Their JCC Cares projects will be the beginning of many new collaborations that will leave a legacy in the Milwaukee community.

Look out for these exciting highlights:

  • Opening Ceremonies at the Bradley Center, home of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals
  • Surprise musical guest!
  • Most athletics venues have multiple sports, and no venue is further than 12 minutes away from the hub, so it will be easy to watch friends and family competing in any sport!

Aaron Midot Medal

Some fun facts about Milwaukee’s alumni:

  • They Wear it Proudly: Local Delegation Head, Aaron Miller, won one of the very first Midot medals in Austin, Texas in 2013 and Dann Jacobson, Team Milwaukee volleyball coach, was the first coach to be awarded a Midot medal by athletes from another delegation!
  • Past Games Director (when Milwaukee hosted in 1997), Howard Wagan, will be making a return as an operations chair. His commitment to the local JCC spans 40 years!

Dallas: Game on Ya’ll

PrintDallas last hosted JCC Maccabi in 2005, and ten years later, they will top their previous experience. You will really feel the southern hospitality that everyone has come to expect of the Dallas JCC.

Look out for these exciting highlights:

  • Opening Ceremonies at the Moody Coliseum, home of the SMU Mustangs!
  • Top notch venues will be utilized, including many private schools across the Dallas area
  • Exciting evening activities that include Top Golf and Hurricane Harbor


Some fun facts about Dallas’ alumni:

  • The past JCC Maccabi Games Assistant Director and local delegation head, Kerri Aikin, is the 2015 Games Director. She’s got the experience to make JCC Maccabi in Dallas great.
  • The largest delegation Dallas has brought in the past was 305, but in 2015, their goal is to be even bigger, louder, and prouder!
  • Seven of Dallas’ 2015 coaches have participated in JCC Maccabi as athletes. Welcome back Chad Albert, Brandon Strull, Eric Wald, Ian Ribald, Dmitriy Chernikov, Bryan Cyton, and Sam Chortek!