“…nothing could be compared to the feeling of representing Canada as a proud Jew in my homeland. It was only once our plane flew over the infinitely blue oceans and I set eyes on one of the most beautiful countries in the world did I realize the principal mission of the Maccabiah: strengthening Jewish athletes’ connection to the State of Israel by staging the highest possible levels of athletic competition…“ David Ratner, Junior Basketball team 2017
The Maccabiah Games, a prominent international sports competition, often referred to as the “Jewish Olympics” are organized by Maccabi World Union every four years and have become the largest regularly held international event in Israel.
In July 2017 the Maccabiah hosted 10,000 athletes representing 80 countries, making it the third largest event in the world, behind only the Summer Olympics and the Asian Games. Maccabi Canada was responsible for sending a delegation of 600 proud Canadians, one of the largest delegations from any Diaspora country. Canadian athletes won 72 medals at the Games, including 15 Golds.
Maccabi Canada takes athletes who are Jewish to Israel, gives them an Israel Experience of a lifetime and brings back Jewish athletes.
The more competitive and successful Jewish athletes become, the more immersed they become in the secular world of sports, often distancing themselves from their Jewish roots. As the only national Jewish sports organization in Canada, Maccabi Canada is able to connect with Jews who are interested in sports, but often are not engaged in Jewish activities. The Maccabiah Games provide elite Jewish athletes with the framework to meet and compete against other Jewish athletes, and connect to the Land of Israel – often for the first
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