Jewish Olympics Is Now World's Third Largest Sporting Event | IFCJ
Skip Navigation

Jewish Olympics Is Now World’s Third Largest Sporting Event

US_delegation_at_the_Maccabiah_Games_2013 US Delegation at the Maccabiah Games, 2013. (Photo: wikipedia/Maor X)

Today opens the 20th Jewish Olympics, or Maccabiah Games, where 10,000 Jewish athletes from around the world will compete in Israel, giving them a chance to explore the Holy Land and their Jewish roots.

The Maccabiah Games were the brainchild of 15-year-old Yosef Yekutieli, who got the idea for an international Jewish sporting event after hearing about the Stockholm Olympics in 1912. Nearly two decades after the games were conceived of, 390 athletes from 18 countries participated in the first Maccabiah Games in Tel Aviv in 1932, competing in a stadium — the first of its kind in what was then Mandatory Palestine — that was completed just prior to the opening ceremony.

Seventy-five years later, a record-breaking 10,000 athletes from 85 countries are participating in 45 sporting events. Past competitors have included Olympians, including four-time Olympic gold medalist Jason Lezak, and players of major professional sports…

“Before WWII, Czechoslovakia had 70,000 Jews,” says Gavornikova [Head of the Slovak delegation]. “Nowadays, that number is closer to between 2,000 and 3,000,…Our goal is to find people of Jewish heritage and bring them back to their Jewish identity. And what better way to do this than sport?”

Tags: Inspiration

Previous Post

Next Post

Come to know the God of the Bible better through the shared insights of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein and Christian theologian Dr. Tremper Longman III

Discover Powerful Insights Today

Explore the Scriptures with daily insights from Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein and Christian theologian, Dr. Tremper Longman III. As a bonus, receive Rabbi Eckstein’s teachings about angels.

Buy Now
Landscape photo of Jerusalem with the Dome of the Rock in the foreground.

Visit Israel

Here you’ll find an array of useful information on accommodations, transportation, exchanging currency, Israel's climate and customs, and much more. So get the most out of your trip to Israel with the help of The Fellowship.

Read More

About The Fellowship (IFCJ)

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) funds humanitarian aid to the needy in Israel and in Jewish communities around the world, promotes prayer and advocacy on behalf of the Jewish state, and provides resources that help build bridges of understanding between Christians and Jews.

Read More