Planning An Israel Experience of A Lifetime!

We have recently returned from the Maccabi World Union Plenary meetings, at Kfar Hamaccabiah in Ramat Gan.This year’s annual meeting was extremely significant with representatives from over 30 delegations.The meetings took on a “down to business” yet exhilarating approach to the planning for the upcoming Games.We got an in-depth glimpse at what the 19th Maccabiah is going to look like.

Last year’s plenum’s celebrated 80 years of Maccabiahs, and was attended by guest speakers such as Ron Huldai the Mayor of Jerusalem and David Blat, Maccabi Tel Aviv’s legendary coach.This year’s meetings were entitled “Connecting to the Maccabiah and Benny Ganz, IDF Chief of Staff, addressed the attendees and expressed his excitement and support for the movement and the Games.

During the meetings Maccabi World Union presented their plans for what will be the biggest, most exciting and best Maccabiah Games ever.With close to 9,000 athletes expected to attend from over 70 countries, this July will deliver a life changing experience to our delegation from a social, educational, athletic and cultural perspective.Accommodations, transportation, meals, education, training and competitions were some of the topics presented and discussed by the delegation reps.

Though the plans are in their advances stages, and a large amount of information was shared with us last week, many issues still need to be resolved and determined.

Here is some of the information we would like to share with you.

JUNIOR DELEGATES:After sharing the Dan Jerusalem with the Australian delegation during the Israel Experience, our Junior delegation will spend the duration of the Games at Givat Olga with juniors from Great Britain.Hourly shuttle buses will transport Junior athletes from their Junior villages to the Wingate Institute, which will become the Junior Hub for the Games.Close to 2,000 Junior athletes from around the world will be gathering at the Wingate Institute daily and will either stay at the Wingate Institute where they will enjoy age appropriate educational and social activities, or they may board a bus to go on tours, volunteer in the community, cheer at competitions and of course, compete for themselves.

MASTERS:A rich program was also created for Masters athletes who will stay at designated hotels in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.The goal of the Masters program is to allow athletes who are at least 35 years old to meet and network with other Masters age athletes from other countries.Tours, presentations and social gatherings are scheduled around the competition schedule and will provide an opportunity to learn, see and discuss fascinating people, places and topics.

OPEN ATHLETES:Open athletes will be accommodated by sport, across the country and will also enjoy social and educational programs in their off time.A tentative competition schedule and an estimated accommodations layout will be shared at the beginning of April.

With over 600 delegation members representing Canada in Baseball, Basketball, Cricket, Cycling, Fencing, Golf, Gymnastics, Hockey, Judo, Rugby, Soccer, Softball, Squash, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tae Kwon Do, Tennis, Tenpin Bowling, Track & Field, Triathlon, Volleyball and Wrestling, teamed with a solid plan and leadership from Maccabi World Union we know, the 19th Maccabiah will be an unforgettable experience for Canada.

I want to thank Tommy Bacher, Alex Brainis, Bill Izso, Steven Warsh, Roy Salomon, Ashley Kochman and Allen Gerskup for proudly representing Canada at this year’s meetings.I would also like to commend the entire leadership including board members, committee heads, volunteers and staff for your hard work and dedication and for making sure Jewish athletes from across Canada will get an Israel Experience of a lifetime!