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.

Today, over 3,000 teens, ranging from 12 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.

Learn more about the 2022 JCC Maccabi Games® that will be taking place in San Diego, CA or see who has hosted the Games in previous years.

In 2022 JCC Association is proud to add JCC Maccabi Access, a JCC Maccabi Games experience for athletes with intellectual and developmental 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 July 31st – August 3rd in conjunction with the 2022 JCC Maccabi Games that will take place in San Diego from July 31st – August 5th.

Our Mission

Through the JCC Movement, JCC Maccabi® advances and enriches Jewish life by building inclusive community of belonging around sport that fosters Jewish identity, peoplehood and connection to Israel by:

Bringing together Jewish teens for athletic, cultural and social experiences, rooted in pluralistic Jewish values that culminate in a pinnacle Olympic style global event. 

Enabling the creation of local JCC communities of connection that engage and enrich Jewish teens, families, alumni and lay leaders.

Galvanizing host communities around a collaborative, pluralistic, intergenerational Jewish experience that builds and strengthens engagement, leadership and Jewish life. 

Inspiring lifelong Jewish journeys and expanded Jewish connection by providing a bridge to continental, global and Israel experiences within and beyond the JCC and Maccabi Movements. 

Our Sponsors