JCC Cares in Fort Lauderdale


JCC Maccabi in Ft. Lauderdale will be:

  • Sorting food to be distributed to the young people in our community who are food insecure. Some facts that participants will learn include:
    • One in four children (287,650) in South Florida go to bed hungry.
    • One in seven older adults (150,000) face the choice between paying rent, utilities, buying medication or putting food on the table.

Please visit Feeding South Florida for more information.

  • Integrating with the special needs population of the Exceptional Theater Project, for creative and fun activities.
  • Bowling with the participants of the Lucanus Developmental Center and the Sunrise Community, Inc.
  • Traveling to three different Boys and Girls Clubs locations across Broward County in the Pembroke Pines and Hollywood area. Teens will join the kids for some summer camp fun.

JCC Maccabi Athletes and Artists: Where are they now?

A spotlight on our amazing JCC Maccabi alumni!

Jordan-Maccabiah-Games-Jewish-Week-ArticleOur first featured JCC Maccabi alum is our very own JCC Maccabi host community liaison, Jordan Zarin.

Jordan attended the JCC Maccabi Games in 2000 (Staten Island, NY) and 2002 (Springfield, MA) as well as the Maccabiah in Israel in 2001 as a junior athlete. She was proud to represent her community, her sport and the Jewish people. Her experience as a participant led her to her job at JCC Association, where she is now the host community liaison for the JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest. So far, Jordan has attended nine sets of JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest, and has helped 15 communities through the process of hosting. Jordan also served as a delegation head for 50 U.S. teens from the “continental” delegation at the JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest in Israel in 2011.

Jordan is so passionate about her job and the experience with the Maccabi movement, that when she lived in New York she sat on the board of Maccabi Young Leadership of New York. This organization plans and executes fundraising events to raise money to send less fortunate European Jews to the Maccabiah in Israel. During her years on the board, it was able to raise more than $50,000 and to send 10 individuals to the Maccabiah in 2013. Jordan attended the Maccabiah Games with other members of the board, in order to meet the individuals and see their accomplishments and participation, both on and off the field in Israel.

Because of all of her achievements, Jordan will be inducted into the Greater Washington Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in November 2015.

Jordan is a proud JCC Maccabi athlete!

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!

Spotlight on Invitations to JCC Maccabi 2015

The summer of 2015 promises to be a spectacular Jewish experience for 80 JCC Maccabi delegations. The teens will participate in a program that will contribute to their development and enrich their Jewish identities.

13 cities are sending delegations to more than one host which includes Israel, Los Angeles -Westside and Mexico, who are sending athletes and artists to all three host communities.

Where are they going?
This summer, the JCC Maccabi Games will be held from August 2-7 in:

Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Harry and Rose Samson Family JCC
“Get in the Games” – The teens will leave with the JCC Maccabi spirit burning within them.

Dallas, Texas: Aaron Family JCC
“Game on Ya’ll” – Dallas promises to offer southern hospitality with a Jewish twist.

The JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest will be held from August 9-14 in:

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida: David Posnack JCC
“It takes teamwork to make a dream work” – Ft. Lauderdale will combine the athletics and cultural arts to create a meaningful experience for all.

Which international delegations will be participating?
Great Britain

Read more about this year’s international delegations.

Print maccabiftlauderdale maccabimilwaukee
Dallas-29 Delegations Ft. Lauderdale-42 Delegations Milwaukee-27 Delegations
92nd Street Y Australia Akron/Youngstown
Atlanta Bensonhurst Atlanta
Australia Calgary Austin
Baltimore Central Jersey Boca Raton
Birmingham Chicago Boulder
Boston Cincinnati Bridgewater
Cleveland Detroit Chicago
Columbus East Bay/Berkeley Denver
Dallas East Hills/Sid Jacobson Detroit
Dayton Edmonton East Hills/Sid Jacobson
Greater Washington Fort Lauderdale Greater Washington
Houston Great Britain Israel
Israel Greater Palm Beach Las Vegas
Kansas City Harrisburg Los Angeles – Westside JCC
Los Angeles – Westside JCC Hartford Louisville
Mexico Houston Mexico
New Orleans Israel Miami
North Valley JCC JCC on the Palisades Mid-Westchester JCC
Omaha Kings Bay JCC Milwaukee
Orlando Long Beach Nashville
Palo Alto Los Angeles – Westside JCC Philadelphia
Panama Mexico San Diego
Peninsula Miami Beach San Jose
San Antonio Mid-Westchester JCC Springfield
San Francisco Moise Safra St. Louis
Scottsdale (Phoneix) North Miami Beach Vancouver
Southern NJ (Katz JCC) Northern Virigina
Venezuela Orange County
Rhode Island JCC/Alliance
Samuel Field Y
Southern NJ (Katz JCC)
Virginia Beach

International Delegations 2015


Welcome Australia back to the JCC Maccabi Games!

The Australian delegation will be joining us for the first time since 2007. In 2007, they brought with them a boys basketball team to Houston and Orange County. This summer, we are happy to report, that they will be representing with 35 athletes in boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer as well as boys and girls swimming. The competitions in Dallas and Ft. Lauderdale will not be the same now that the chants of “Ausie, Ausie, Ausie, Oi, Oi, Oi” will be filling the stands. Be on the lookout for their green and yellow uniforms and those intense accents.

Mexico to Bring First ArtsFest Delegation

Arriba, Arriba Mexico! For the first time in their rich JCC Maccabi history, Mexico is planning on bringing artists in the Rock Band, Dance and Visual Arts specialties. They are very excited to be a part of ArtsFest and add to their already strong delegations attending all three host communities.

Canadian Delegations Remain Strong

Oh Canada! After many years of bringing over 100 athletes per summer, Toronto, is also planning on bringing artists for the first time, and is committed to expanding their JCC Maccabi year-round outreach across sports and arts specialties. Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver also will continue their efforts to add to hopefully what will be the largest Canadian representation in the history of JCC Maccabi.

The British are Coming

This will be Great Britain’s 25th anniversary of attending the JCC Maccabi Games. They will bring with them 65 athletes and 11 adults in six different sports including soccer, swimming, tennis, table tennis, dance and lacrosse. Since this year is also the European Maccabi Games they will be sending over 100 teens to that event that will hopefully be able to join us next summer.

When speaking about the JCC Maccabi experience a member of the management team from Great Britain said: ““The unique element of the JCC Maccabi Games is the kindness the hosts show in welcoming our athletes into their homes and ensure they have as much fun as possible during the trip. I know our Delegation will have an incredible time and do British Jewry proud.”

Midot Moments: Robby’s Shot at Glory

robbyRobby Reetz, age 14, a basketball player from Chicago, came to the 2014 JCC Maccabi Games in Boca Raton, FL after finishing his final rounds of chemo just a few months earlier. While he was still recovering, he wasn’t going to miss his chance to come to JCC Maccabi with his teammates.

Robby spent a lot of time cheering his team on and acting as a motivational mascot since he physically could only play for short periods of time. The team, as it turned out, was very successful during competitions and made it to the semifinals round where they found themselves in a tie game with possession of the ball and only seconds on the clock. With the game on the line, Robby hit the court. Someone passed him the ball, and he landed the game-winning shot, propelling his team to the gold medal game, which they went on to win.

After the game, Robby’s coaches, and Mike Gordon from the JCC Maccabi staff, got together with the team and awarded him a midot medal for lev tov (big hearted), rina (joy), ga’ava (pride). Robby, his coaches, and teammates were all moved and so excited for him. And the midot medal meant as much to him as the team gold.