Ori Sasson, Anthony Irwin, Yarden Jerbi, Moran Samuel, Neta Rivkin, Omri Casspi, and Fabien Gilot will participate in lighting the Maccabiah torch at the opening ceremonies of the 20th Maccabiah.
Four Olympic gold medalists will be in attendance at the Maccabiah:
Anthony Irwin, Jason Lezak, Lenny Kreizelberg, and Fabien Gilot
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Chairman of the Maccabi World Movement Yair Hamburger, Chairman of the Maccabiah Amir Peled, together with Director General of the Ministry of Culture and Sport Yossi Sharabi, are hosting this year's Maccabiah. The 20th Maccabiah, to be held this year marking the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, will be the largest in the history of the Games with a record number of athletes from 80 countries around the world.
Mayor Nir Barkat: "The Maccabiah has returned to its natural home – Jerusalem, the capital of Israel and the country's capital of sport. As we celebrate 50 years of a reunited Jerusalem, the 20th Maccabiah Games and tens of thousands of athletes and guests who will arrive for the Games are a true testament to the strength of our capital. We will continue to develop and promote the city of Jerusalem in all areas so that in the decades to come, we can continue to host the Maccabiah Games in the reunited capital of Israel. "
Director General of the Ministry of Culture and Sport Yossi Sharabi: "The Ministry of Culture and Sport, headed by Minister Miri Regev, is proud and happy to be at the forefront of government activity that supports, funds and accompanies the Maccabiah – the most significant social sports enterprise in the State of Israel. The Ministry of Culture and Sport is fully mobilized to ensure the success of the Maccabiah: We have set unprecedented budgets for infrastructure and thus also contributed to the city of Jerusalem, our eternal capital, and its residents.
The impressive and groundbreaking budget was rooted in the deep belief in the importance of the Maccabiah. The Maccabiah strengthens the connection, solidarity, and understanding between Jewish communities around the world, and it impressively expresses the truth that sport is a social tool and a bridge between people.
There is nothing like a visit to the State of Israel to help understand the importance of Jewish existence here and gain familiarity with life in the State of Israel. One visit by thousands of Jewish athletes from around the world strengthens connections to the state and to the Jewish world more than a thousand speeches and dozens of pictures ever could. This is the tremendous importance of the Maccabiah and its contribution to the great vision behind the Zionist enterprise. "
Chairman of the Maccabiah, Amir Peled: "The Maccabiah is the most exciting event of the year. The Maccabiah combines all the values in which I believe – Zionism, Judaism, brotherhood, bringing people together and sports. "
The 20th Maccabiah, marking the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, is the third largest sporting event in the world! The central motto of the Maccabiah is: "80 countries, one heart."
Approximately 10,000 athletes from 80 countries throughout the world, inlcuding some 2,500 Israeli athletes will participate in Maccabiah events and compete in 40 different sports in 4 categories – Youth, Open, Master and Paralympics.
Additionally, there will be integrated sports events with the general public, such as the Maccabi-Man and an open-water swimming competition, in which thousands of other athletes will participate.
Approximately 20,000 guests from abroad who are expected to arrive in Israel on the occasion of the Maccabiah will bring NIS 350 million into the tourism fund for the two weeks of the Games.
The Maccabiah results in:
- 150,000 guests in more than 30 hotels and guest-houses throughout the country
- The equivalent of 15,000 days of trips to various sites, restaurants and activities throughout the country
- 4,700 bus rides
- About one million bottles of water
The Maccabiah in Jerusalem
The city of Jerusalem was chosen as the main city to host the 20th Maccabiah events and will open in a spectacular opening ceremony on 6/7/2017 at Teddy Stadium. There will be a variety of events and competitions in the city of Jerusalem throughout the games.
About 3,000 athletes will participate in 14 sport facilities across the city. Sports halls have been upgraded and renewed. For the first time, Jerusalem will host hockey games in the new Pais Arena hockey rink. Hockey competitions will take place starting on July 5 and the spectacular final will take place on July 15.
For the first time, the city will host athletics competitions in Jerusalem at the Givat Ram Athletic Stadium, which has been upgraded and now hosts national and international competitions. The Kraft Family Sports Campus, which includes two soccer fields and a regulation size football field, will host games. Soccer games will also be held in Bayit VaGan and other lots that were established and upgraded in the capital. Volleyball competitions will be held in a variety of facilities and gymnasiums in Jerusalem.
The closing ceremony of the Maccabiah will take place on July 17 in Latrun as a prelude to Israel's 70th anniversary celebrations.
Dozens of elite athletes will arrive at the Maccabiah, including four Olympic gold medalists:
Anthony Ervin: American Jewish swimmer, Olympic champion in Sydney 2000, Rio de Janeiro 2016, and world champion in 50m freestyle and 100m freestyle at Fukuoka 2001. At the age of 35, Erwin became the oldest swimmer to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games in swimming.
Jason Lezak: American Jewish swimmer, Olympic champion, world champion and a 100m freestyle champion. At the Beijing Olympics in 2008 he won three medals, two of which were gold. He was a member of the world record holding U.S. 4x100M Freestyle relay team with fellow Maccabiah athlete, Garrett Weber-Gale, Michael Phelps, and Cullen Jones. Lezak is also a Maccabiah champion in the 100M Freestyle and he lit the torch for the 18th Maccabiah Games.
Lenny Kreizelberg: American Jewish swimmer, Olympic champion with four gold medals: world champion and world record in 100m backstroke.
Kreizelberg is a Maccabiah champion for 100m backstroke.
Fabien Gilot: a French-Jewish swimmer, Olympic champion. Gilo won a silver medal in 4x100M Freestyle relay at the 2008 Olympics, and a gold medal in a 4x100M Freestyle relay at the 2012 London Olympics. Gilot will not compete in the Maccabiah swimming competitions, but will arrive in Israel for the opening ceremony.
Maccabiah around Israel
In the 20th Maccabiah, there will be competitions across 40 sports including 2 new sports: lacrosse and bridge. The competitions will take place in all areas of the country, in more than 120 facilities in 68 complexes.
The biggest competition will be soccer with 1,401 athletes from 20 countries. Swimming is the next largest sport, with 712 competitors from 34 countries. Tennis competitions will features 537 players from 35 countries; basketball competitions will have 466 basketball players from 13 countries.
One of the most exciting events in Maccabiah is the Maccabi-Man competition, which includes four elements: running a half-marathon, cycling, and swimming in open water (triathalon). 140 athletes from 19 countries will participate.
Paralympic events: basketball, table tennis and swimming
Haifa Youth Village: In honor of the Maccabiah, the sports youth village (HUB) was established between the Sportan and the Congress Garden in the southern outskirts of Haifa. During the Maccabiah Games, some 2,000 youth from around the world will attend. This is equivalent to about 30,000 overnight hotel stays and about 50,000 meals.
During the days of the Maccabiah, youth activities and events will be held at the youth village for Maccabiah athletes and youth from the north of the country.
The Maccabiah and the IDF: Over the years, the IDF and the Maccabiah have developed close cooperation. The IDF will host the Maccabiah athletes at its bases; introduce Maccabiah athletes to IDF soldiers, including many Lone Soldiers.
Maccabiah Public Events
July 7, 2017 - First Kabbalat Shabbat: The Hatachana Compound (Old Train Station) in Jerusalem
A special Kabbalat Shabbat will take place at the Old Train Station of Jerusalem and will be the first of two Shabbat meals that the Maccabiah will host.
July 7, 2017 - Street party in Jerusalem
The Jerusalem Municipality is hosting a party on the most lively and fun street in the city! Everyone is invited to join us on Ben Yehuda Street, to dance, meet friends, relax and eat the best shawarma and rugellach that the State of Israel has to offer. Live performances will delight you and make everyone jump.
July 9, 2017 - HUB event
The HUB hosts an Israeli-style event, with the best of Israeli food, music and entertainment. Come and spend time in the Olympic village, the Maccabiah version, the HUB.
Address: Zvia and Yitzhak 1 Street, near Sportan Country Club, between 18:00 and 21:00.
July 10, 2017 - The Maccabiah Night Race in Jerusalem
All the Maccabiah competitors are invited to participate in a night race, and choose between 3 heats: 5/10/22 Km.
The run will take place throughout Jerusalem and end with a big party at the station compound. Begins at 19:30.
July 12, 2017 – Light Party in Haifa
Get ready for an evening filled with lights and dancing! All Maccabiah youth athletes are invited to the sports area for a festive party. The Mayumana band and DJ Skazi will make you get up and dance, and the event will feature food, drink and body painting artists who can draw colorful (but temporary) tattoos.
The party will take place at the Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa at 19:00.
July 12, 2017 - The Maccabiah Honorary Award Ceremony
The Yakir Maccabi event marks a significant contribution by people who have worked on behalf of the Maccabi movement and the Jewish people in the Diaspora and in Israel. Without these important people, we would not be able to celebrate the 20th Maccabiah today. This year, the event will take place at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and the various elements of the event will be in an artistic spirit. This will be an opportunity to hear the story of the activities of Maccabiah's organizers this year, to be impressed by the breadth and variety of those who made it all possible. The event will take begin at 19:30.
July 13, 2017 - Urban Street Party
The Maccabiah, in cooperation with Time Out Tel-Aviv has organized an unforgettable street party. The ancient streets of Jaffa will be revived and feature open galleries, local artists' exhibitions and speed-dating events. Come to our street party and celebrate with the people of Tel Aviv!
The party will take place in the Old City of Jaffa, from 18:00 to 23:00.
July 13, 2017 - Bar / Bat Mitzvah ceremony at the Western Wall
If you ever dreamed of celebrating your Bar / Bat Mitzvah at the Western Wall, this is the perfect opportunity! This is a relatively new tradition in Maccabiah, which allows you to explore your Jewish roots in the ancient and modern capital of the Jewish People, Jerusalem. The Maccabiah organizes two Bar and Bat mitzvah events: the first will take place on July 13; the second will be held on July 17.
Everyone is invited to come and celebrate!
In honor of the event, a special ceremony will take place at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.
July 14, 2017 - Youth Day in Tel Aviv
The young Maccabiah athletes are invited to experience a whole day full of Tel Aviv experiences just like real Tel Avivians. Among the activities: relaxing on the beach, visiting the market, and tasting the best food Tel Aviv has to offer.
July 14, 2017 - Second Kabbalat Shabbat at the Tel Aviv Port
For the second Kabbalat Shabbat, athletes, families and friends will come together at the beautiful Tel Aviv Port to celebrate Shabbat.
July 15, 2017 - Ice Hockey Final!
In honor of the 20th Maccabiah and for the first time in the history of the city, the Jerusalem Municipality has established a professional ice hockey hall, one of its kind in Israel, which will enable competitions in this sector in the capital.
Come watch the top hockey teams, the battle for gold! The Master's game will take place on July 14, and the opening game will be played on July 15. All games will be held at the Pais Arena Stadium.
July 16, 2017 - Final in all team sports
July 17, 2017 - Second Bar / Bat Mitzvah ceremony at the Western Wall
Your great dream was to hold your Bar / Bat Mitzvah ceremony at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, and missed the first opportunity? How great to have a second chance!
The Maccabiah holds a second Bar / Bat Mitzvah ceremony at the Western Wall of Jerusalem. This is a relatively new tradition in Maccabiah, which allows you to explore your Jewish roots in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Everyone is invited to come and celebrate!
July 17, 2017 - The Maccabiah closing ceremony
Write in the diaries: July 17 - Closing ceremony of the Maccabiah 20. On the occasion of the event there will be a huge show, full of rhythm and energy that will stay in the memories of the ten thousand athletes for a long time afterward.
The show will be an incredible celebration filled with heart and values, under the heading
Higher. Better. Together.
How can one aspire to the highest level, achieve the best, while bringing together the values of the Jewish people, Zionism, and the Maccabiah? This is the spirit that will be expressed in competition, in the intense moments of the games and in the hard work of the athletes. Most importantly, the goal will be to connect 80 countries to one heart.
The ceremony will take place in Latrun at 19:00.
Connect with us:
Maccabiah website: http://www.maccabiah.com