JCC Maccabi Games FAQ
What are the JCC Maccabi Games?
The JCC Maccabi Games are an international athletic competition for Jewish teenagers, run much like the Olympics. Athletes can compete against Jewish teens from all over the United States, as well as delegations from Israel, Great Britain, Mexico, Canada and more. The Games are played with a focus on “rachmanus” or sportsmanship with the intent to foster long-lasting friendships, memories and connection to Judaism and Israel. This unique event is not only about being a part of the Jewish people; it comes with a mission – to make the world a better place and to make ourselves better people. We express these values or midot to help us remember the greater mission of the Games and Judaism. We emphasize Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), Kavod (respect), Rina (joy), Ga’ava (pride), Lev Tov (big hearted) and Amiut Yehudit (Jewish peoplehood). The Games also promote community involvement and teamwork. The Games are one of the largest Jewish teen events in the world. Each summer over 3,000 Jewish teens participate. Over 100,000 teens have benefited from the JCC Maccabi Games since 1982. At this Jewish Olympic-style event, each athlete participates in one of fifteen sports, social events and an opportunity to give back to the community during this week-long experience, creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Who is eligible to participate in the JCC Maccabi Games with Team San Francisco at Fort Lauderdale?
Jewish teens age 12 – 16 as of July 31, 2023 are invited to try out.
All athletes must have current medical insurance and be up to date on all age-appropriate vaccines including Covid-19 vaccinations and boosters as per CDC guidelines.
Do I need to be Jewish to participate in the JCC Maccabi Games?
Yes, all JCC Maccabi Games athletes must have at least one Jewish parent, be raised Jewish or be a Jew by choice and be raised Jewish.
Both the athlete and their parent(s) must sign the eligibility requirements declaration as part of the athlete online registration.
What is the cost for the JCC Maccabi Games?
The all-inclusive fee is $2300 per athlete. Registration includes completed/submitted registration, personal contact information, a non-refundable $550 deposit paid upon registration (following team selection), and agreement to the non-refundable remainder of the payment to the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco.
Additional registration steps are required at later dates including medical forms etc. Please see interest form or contact our Delegation Head, Bryan Wells, for more information firstname.lastname@example.org or 415.292.1243.
The JCC Maccabi Games is an all-inclusive experience. Program fees include Games registration fees, transportation to and from the host community and during the Games, uniform, Team San Francisco gear, adult supervision and coaches, practices, meals, social events/team activities, and all other accommodations throughout the program.
Are there scholarships available?
Yes, scholarships are available for families in need of financial assistance. To apply please please visit our Financial Assistance web page and select Youth Programs.
There is also a national scholarship available through JCC Maccabi. Learn more about the Richard Cohen Memorial JCC Maccabi scholarship.
What is the refund policy?
Once an athlete is registered and payment is processed, the initial deposit of $825 is non-refundable or transferable. Refunds of remaining fees will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, considering withdrawal reasons and the JCCSF’s ability to replace an athlete in a timely manner.
What sports will Team San Francisco be competing in?
Due to the number of spots allotted to our delegation, Team San Francisco can only bring athletes in these listed sports:
- 16U Boys Basketball
- 16U Girls Volleyball
- 14U and 16U Boys & Girls Swimming
- 14U and 16U Boys & Girls Tennis
How will athletes be selected to be a part of Team San Francisco?
A variety of factors are considered in choosing our team, including:
- Skill and aptitude for the sport and the expected competitive level of the tournament
- Geographic – do you live and/or attend school in San Francisco
- Existing relationship with the JCCSF
- Commitment – ability to attend practices and the full week of the games
- Attitude – team focused approach
- Age – is this the last year of eligibility to participate in the JCC Maccabi Games
Can athletes play in more than one sport?
No, athletes are only permitted to participate in one sport.
Will there be tryouts?
Yes, tryouts will occur for both Boys Basketball and Girls Volleyball in early February 2023 (see dates above). Depending on interest there may be multiple tryouts for team sports as well as individual sports.
Will there be practices?
Yes, once the delegation is formed each sports coach will determine their own practice schedule. Dates TBD.
How will my teen get to and from Fort Lauderdale?
Athletes must travel with the delegation. Parents will be responsible for bringing athletes to San Francisco Airport where delegation staff will check-in teens and accompany the group to the games in Fort Lauderdale. At the designated day/time (TBD), the delegation will travel to the host community together.
Where will my teen stay in Fort Lauderdale?
In Fort Lauderdale, the week of the JCC Maccabi Games (Sunday August 6 – Friday August 11) all teens will stay with a host family. Host families are Jewish homes that are part of their greater JCC communities. Host families are background checked, screened, and required to attend a mandatory orientation. Vaccines will be required for all members of a host family who will be age eligible to receive it.
Teens can request specific homes that meet their needs such as dietary restrictions and pet allergies. Teens can also request a specific roommate. Participants may not arrange their own housing or stay in hotels. The home hospitality experience is an important part of the Games experience. We are very gracious to these host families as they serve as interim parents for the week transporting the teens to and from JCC Maccabi, provide breakfast, laundry, and give your teen an unforgettable home hospitality experience.
Are there adult chaperones at the JCC Maccabi Games?
Of course! There is a mandatory ratio of 1:8 adults to teens. Our Delegation Head is a full-time JCCSF staff member and will bring multiple coaches to the games.
What is security like at the JCC Maccabi Games?
Security is taken very seriously at the JCC Maccabi Games. Background checks are utilized for all adults involved and all participants, spectators, coaches, host families, volunteers, etc. are required to wear a credential to access any JCC Maccabi facility. The host community also works closely with local, state, and federal law enforcement to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.
Our family keeps kosher. Will my teen’s needs be met at the JCC Maccabi Games?
Yes, all food served at the JCC Maccabi Games is kosher and all activities will conclude prior to Shabbat. Delegations will return home on Friday with plenty of time before Shabbat.
What happens if there is a medical emergency?
In the case of a medical emergency, the Delegation Head will act as the participant’s guardian and will communicate with the parents to get any treatment necessary. Information such as the parent/guardian’s birth date and social security number is sometimes necessary to utilize insurance.
Can parents be spectators at the JCC Maccabi Games?
Yes! Parents, family members and friends are welcome to attend the Games as spectators. A spectator pass gives access to the opening ceremony and sport events. No one will be admitted to a Games site who is not wearing an approved credential. To register as a spectator, you will use the same website as when registering your teen. These will be available as the games draw closer.
While we encourage families to consider attending to support their teens, the athletes have programs and activities going on for the entirety of their time at the Games and thus only see visitors courtside at sporting events. At no point during the week can spectators or parents remove the teens from the program or take them off-site for any reason.
How can I be sure to get more information about Team San Francisco at the JCC Maccabi Games 2023?
Please complete our Team San Francisco Interest & Tryout Form. This will add you and your athlete to our mailing list about all things JCC Maccabi Games, including information about upcoming meetings, tryouts, applications and up-to-date JCC Maccabi Games information.
Please note: Submission of an interest form does not guarantee placement/registration into Team San Francisco. Please contact your Delegation Head, Bryan Wells, for more information email@example.com or 415.292.1243