One of the most important aspects of the Maccabiah is the inspirational Israel Experience program, a five day comprehensive educational tour of Israel. During this 5-day journey of discovery, held prior to the start of the Games and integrated with pre-games training, Canadian Junior athletes travel Israel’s historic and modern sites, from Masada to Yad Vashem, from the Golan Heights to the Dead Sea. Maccabi Canada’s Junior athletes share in the wonders of the Jewish homeland, fall in love with the beauty of its geography, people and heritage.
Some athletes choose to renew their bond to their Jewish roots, and become a bar or bat mitzvah for the very first time at our Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration in Massada. This program also helps foster a deep bond within the Canadian Junior delegation; and creates a genuine camaraderie whereby athletes form life-long friendships. Over the course of the Maccabiah, Canadian athletes take part in Tikkun Olam (Repair the World) projects. Athletes have the opportunity to visit hospitals and facilities to improve the lives of the disabled or of victims of terror. They visit local elementary and high schools where they run sport clinics for local Israeli kids and teens. They volunteer in local shelters and help contribute to the Israeli community.
The Israel Experience enables Maccabi Canada to create a heightened awareness of Jewish identity, strengthen Jewish bonds, encourage Jewish pride and continuity and foster solidarity with our Jewish homeland.
“…My son participated on the Junior Hockey Team and was treated to an experience of a lifetime. Starting with terrific coaches, to complete the task successfully, the experience continued in every form imaginable and touched on all points of the Maccabi mission statement. My son receied a dose of Judaism, Zionism, athletics, camaraderie, instruction, history, culture and a love for Israel…”