Palm Beach County will be home to the JCC Maccabi Games, the largest organized sports program for Jewish teenagers in the world. Over 6,000 teens, ranging from 13 to 16 years of age, participate in the JCC Maccabi Games each summer, which is spread over multiple host communities. In 2014, the three host communities are Detroit, Michigan; Cherry Park, New Jersey; and Palm Beach County, FL. The Adolph & Rose Levis Jewish Community Center will be Palm Beach County’s host for the 2014 JCC Maccabi Games, scheduled to take place on August 10-15, 2014 at various locations in Boca Raton and Delray Beach.
The JCC Maccabi Games brings delegations from across North America and Israel together to participate in an Olympic-style athletics competition as well as cultural and social activities. Although the JCC Maccabi Games are centered on an Olympic-style athletics competition, it serves a larger purpose by promoting community involvement, teamwork, and pride in one’s Jewish identity.
More than 1,000 total athletes, 250 coaches, and 2,000 visiting family members are expected to travel to Palm Beach County to participate in this grand event. These athletes will come from 35 “delegations” around the United States, as well as up to 4 international delegations. The JCC Maccabi Games will consist of 9 total sports events (5 team sports and 4 individual sports). The diversified collection of team sports includes baseball, basketball, flag football, soccer, and volleyball. The outstanding slate of individual sports includes bowling, golf, swimming, and tennis.
Sports facilities located primarily in Boca Raton and Delray Beach will be utilized. Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton High School, St. Andrew’s High School, Hillel Day School, South County Regional Park, Pinewoods Park, Sugar Sands Park, the Spanish River Athletic Complex, the Adolph & Rose Levis Community Center, Gleneagles Country Club, and Palm Beach StrikeZone are coming together to accommodate the JCC Maccabi Games and the 9 total sporting events.
One of the greatest benefits a host community for the JCC Maccabi Games receives comes in the form of the JCC Cares Community Service program. On August 13, the participating athletes will enhance their expierence at the Maccabi Games taking part in a community service project, with the efforts of more than 1,000 volunteers leaving a lasting positive mark on Palm Beach County. A project will be identified that transforms Palm Beach County in a positive manner.
In addition to the enormous community benefits, the JCC Maccabi Games will produce significant economic benefits for Palm Beach County providing a surge of dollars to hotels, restaurants, retail outlets, attractions, and the local business community during the soft season in August. The event is expected to generate over 3,000 hotel room nights and more than $1 million in direct visitor spending.
The inaugural JCC Maccabi Games occurred in 1982 with Palm Beach County last serving as the home for this event in 2000. The JCC Maccabi Games have grown with immense popularity over the years. Over 100,000 teens have benefited from the Games since its inception. The energy and excitement makes it a unique and unforgettable experience for every participant, ranging from athletes to volunteers. Hosting this special event further elevates Palm Beach County’s stature as a premier sports destination.