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Fee Assistance is Available for the Maccabi Games

JCC Chicago is proud to provide two financial solutions for families in need. You can apply for one or both solutions to make the Summer 2023 Maccabi Games financially accessible.

JCC Chicago Need-Based Aid

Application must be completed no later than February 1, 2023, to be considered. Financial aid will be awarded by March 1, 2023.


Richard Cohen z”l – JCC Maccabi Memorial Scholarship Fund

Established in 2020 to provide Jewish youth, who would otherwise not be able to participate, the opportunity to experience the JCC Maccabi Games. Rich had a passion for basketball and in the late 90s and early 2000s, as both a player and a coach with the Westchester delegation, the JCC Maccabi Games allowed him to do what he loved, while creating lifelong bonds and memories. Rich lost his battle to colon cancer in 2020 but wanted to ensure that other passionate teenagers were provided the necessary means to play in the JCC Maccabi Games.


Summer 2023 Maccabi Games Itineraries

• Travel to host city
• JCC Maccabi orientation
• Team photo
• Host family time

Monday through Thursday Daytime

• Athletic competition
• JCC Cares community service project
• Hang Time

Monday through Thursday Evening

• Opening Ceremonies (Mon)
• Evening activities (Tues)
• Host family night (Wed)
• Closing Party (Thurs)


• Return to Chicago

July 5-13

Day 1

• Travel Day

Day 2

• Arrivals in Israel
• Check-in to JCC Maccabi ‘Olympic village’ accommodations
• Orientation and welcome event

Day 3

• Sports Practices and Trainings
• JCC Maccabi Kabbalat Shabbat

Day 4

• JCC Maccabi Shabbat Experience

Day 5

• Sports Competition or practices
• Opening Ceremony

Day 6-9

• Sports Competition continued
• Hang Time: opportunities to participate in a variety of free-time activities with fellow JCC Maccabi teens and to meet with influential Israeli speakers, coaches, and professional athletes.
• Mifgash (encounter) experience with Israeli peers
• JCC Cares community service projects
• Large social and cultural events
• Closing Party


July 14-25

Northern Israel

From Rappelling or rafting and sport activities to the Aqua Kef inflatable water park every teen will get a taste of adventure before exploring Israel’s Northern borders. Look out into Lebanon from the summit of Mt. Bental, a dormant volcano, or hear the heroic tale of superspy Eli Cohen while taking in the view of Syria during a hike of the Golan Heights.

Continue to experience the beauty of the Galilee with a Lake Kinneret dinner cruise, visit a kibbutz, and tour and enjoy free time to explore the ancient and mystical town of Tzfat.

Tel Aviv

Explore Israel through the lens of sport. Visit Kfar Maccabiah, home of the Global Maccabi Movement, to enjoy a fun day of sport activities and interactions with leading figures in the Israeli sport world and visit the newly minted International Jewish Sport Museum. Be inspired by visits to leading social impact organizations including Israel Sport Center for the Disabled or Peres Center for Peace.

Walk in the footsteps of the nation’s pioneers as groups visit Independence Hall, the very site that in 1948 Israel’s first Prime Minster, David Ben Gurion declared the State’s independence. Take in the history of Machon Ayalon, a secret underground ammunition facility, before soaking up the beauty and history of the city of Jaffa with a stroll through the ancient port and the colorful flee market.

Get active with a Krav Maga workshop or surfing lesson in the Mediterranean and enjoy free time to relax and refresh at Tel Aviv’s world-famous beach, peruse Nahalat Binyamin artisan market or barter for souvenirs at Shuk Ha’Carmel.

Experience the party as ALL JCC Maccabi groups reunite and join thousands of other North American Jewish teens for a night of food, entertainment, and fun at the RootOne Big Tent event.

Southern Israel

A once in a lifetime experience as all 1,000 JCC Maccabi athletes reunite in the desert for an overnight Bedouin tent experience and dinner feast. An action filled adventure awaits with opportunities to camel ride, float in the Dead Sea, hike and swim under the waterfalls of Ein Gedi and experience the magic of scaling the Herodian desert fortress of Masada for sunrise.


For the final four nights of this ultimate Jewish peoplehood program, all delegations will reunite in the city that is the heart and soul of the Jewish people – Jerusalem. 1,000+ teens and chaperones will stay at one hotel complex, celebrating a very special JCC Maccabi Shabbat experience including a transformative and emotional Kabbalat Shabbat at the Kotel, before continuing to experience all that Jerusalem has to offer.

Teens will explore thousands of years of Jewish history as they walk the streets of the Old City and rooftops of the Jewish Quarter and splash through Hezekiah’s underground aqueduct.

The group will pay their respects at Yad Vashem – the World Holocaust Remembrance Center and Mount Herzl National Cemetery to honor Israel’s founders, leaders, and fallen soldiers.

No trip to Israel’s capital city can be complete without experiencing the vibrancy of modern Jerusalem. Teens will have free time to shop and taste their way around Machane Yehuda market and enjoy an evening on Ben Yehuda Street.

Team JCC Chicago at the 2019 Games

Frequently Asked Questions

Where does my child stay at the Maccabi Games?

In Israel, there will be a combination of hostel and dorm accommodations.

In Ft. Lauderdale, the week of JCC Maccabi (Sunday-Friday) all teens will stay with a host family. Many past participants have said that the host families are one of their favorite parts of the experience. Host families are Jewish homes Fort Lauderdale 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. Many teens will stay in touch with host families for years to come!

How do I communicate health issues about my child?

Parents will be asked to fill out a medical information form as part of their registration process. In addition, parents should communicate any medical conditions or issues directly to their delegation heads. Any documented information will be kept confidential, and parents are encouraged to be honest on their forms so that the delegation head is prepared to deal with any situation that may arise.

Why do I need to provide a medical form filled out by my doctor within the past six months?

It is important for the Games medical staff to have the most up-to-date medical information on each athlete to ensure the athlete receives the best care in the event of an injury or emergency. JCC Maccabi only accepts the JCC Maccabi Medical Form and will not accept any school or camp forms.

What happens if my child gets injured?

Medical personnel are available at most athletic venues and the hub. If an athlete is injured, the on-site staff will evaluate the situation and determine the next course of action. If there are no medical personnel on site, which may be the case for some non-contact sports, the athlete would be taken to the hub, or in an emergency, to the local hospital or urgent care center. In the event of an injury, the athlete’s delegation head will be notified immediately. The Delegation Head will then contact the parents.

Who is authorized to give my child clearance to play after he/she is injured?

Clearance may be given only by JCC Maccabi Games medical personnel after they have examined the athlete and are confident that they are well enough to participate and would not risk further injury. Athletes, delegation heads, coaches and parents are NOT authorized to give clearance.

Are there trainers at each venue and will they do taping?

Although medical personnel will be available at most venues, they will not be available for taping. Athletes and coaches will be responsible for all taping.

How will my child get to the Games?

The Chicago delegation will travel together to and from the Maccabi Games. The Delegation Head will provide group travel information at the spring orientation meeting (date TBD).

How will the athletes be transported once at the Games?

At the Maccabi Games there will be a bus system for all athletes and coaches which takes them to ALL Maccabi venues (athletic venues, the hub, and evening activities). They will be able to use the transportation system to visit venues other than those for their sport to watch their friends and fellow delegation members compete. Most buses run every 15 minutes. Coaches will coordinate with their athletes to ensure athletes arrive to games on time.

Will visiting families (spectators) be able to use athlete transportation?

No. Spectators must provide their own transportation while at the Games.

Who has permission to transport my child during the Games?

In addition to the buses provided, only host family members and Chicago’s Delegation Head may transport your child during the games. Visiting spectators, including parents, are NOT allowed to transport participants at any time during the Maccabi Games.

Who will be supervising the athletes during the trip?

A 1:8 ratio will be maintained at all times throughout the games and evening events.  Coaches and delegation heads are responsible for the supervision of all athletes.

Every athlete is assigned to a coach/chaperone whether they are on a team sport, individual sport, or a mixed team with a coach from another. Head coaches are all over 21 and have passed extensive background checks.

Are meals included in our registration fee?

Yes. All meals and snacks are included in the athlete’s registration fee.

Do the Ft. Lauderdale host families serve kosher food?

Kosher homes are available upon request. However, you must specify a kosher home when registering online. In some communities, there is a limited supply of strictly kosher homes, so please register for a kosher home only if the athlete eats only strictly kosher food. Various levels of kashrut may be requested via the online registration process.

Is there a variety of food served each day?

All host cities work with their food and teen committees to create an appealing and varied menu for the week. Meals are healthy and promote a well-balanced diet. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options are also available.

Are there drinks and snacks provided for the athletes during the day?

Yes. Snacks and drinks are provided for athletes and coaches at most venues throughout the day. Spectators are responsible for their own food and drinks.

Is the food at the Games kosher?

All Games are required to provide kosher meals, snacks and drinks.

Are my family and friends able to attend the games to watch my child compete?

Parents, family, and friends are welcome to attend the JCC Maccabi Games. Spectator passes are available to purchase online from the Games registration website. Passes give spectator access to the Opening Ceremonies and sporting events. No one is admitted to the Games site who is not wearing approved spectator credentials.

We encourage families to attend; however, athletes have programs and activities going on for the entirety of their time at the Games thus only see visitor’s courtside at their sporting events. At no point during the week can spectators remove the teens from the program or take them off site for any reason.

Spectator passes will be available at early bird pricing through June 15, 2023, at $18/child and $40/adult. As of June 16, 2023, passes will be available at $36/child and $60/adult.

Who is responsible and involved in providing security for the Games?

The host community works closely with a wide variety of local, state, and federal agencies to determine the security needs for the Games.

What are credentials and why are they needed?

Credentials are visible identification badges for everyone at the Games (athletes, coaches, volunteers, and spectators) to help the host’s security team determine who should be admitted into Games venues and keep venues secure.

What is the athletic competition like?

The competitive level of the participants will vary. There are teens that are elite athletes and then those that are there for the experience, the level of play is very diverse. Some of the sports will have different divisions based on skill levels. Throughout the week, players can expect to play at least four games/matches before tournament play begins on Wednesday. Gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded to the top three winners. Although it is competitive the JCC Maccabi Games emphasize the Rachmanus Rule, which is good sportsmanship and fair play. The experience is about more than just sports. It focuses on an all-around experience including friends, community service, social and educational activities.

What gear is included in the program fee?

Sport specific uniform and all delegation gear is provided for athletes as part of the program fee. Parents and other spectators will have an opportunity to purchase delegation gear in the spring.

What if our city does not have enough athletes to field a team?

In the event that a city cannot assemble an entire team for a particular sport, our athletes will create a mixed team. A mixed team is comprised of athletes from multiple delegations. This is common and happens when a delegation does not have enough athletes to field a full team. Where our delegation is unable to field a full team, athletes will be combined in a mix team with one or more other delegations’ players. Being on a mixed team can be a great experience and foster lasting friendships with Jewish teens around the world! We will not know what cities comprise any of our mixed teams until May.

How do we find out our child’s athletic schedule and the scores?

Games schedules will be made available a few days prior to competition. Host cities will make their best effort to post scores in a timely manner. Scores will be made available through the JCC Maccabi app. More information on the app will be sent out when it is available.

Why can’t athletes participate in two sports?

Athletes may participate only in one sport because of concerns for the athlete’s health, issues with scheduling, and to allow a larger number of athletes to participate in the Games.

What behavior could cause athletes to be sent home early?

This is covered in the Code of Conduct. Please review it with your athlete when registering for the JCC Maccabi Games.

Contact Us about the JCC Maccabi Games.

Please contact Julie at 847.763.3639 or email


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