Maccabiah Games: Your Guide to Celebrating the 'Jewish Olympics' in Israel

Maccabiah Games activities: A star-studded opening ceremony, a night run and parties, parties and more parties

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The Maccabiah opening ceremony takes place on Thursday at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem.
The Maccabiah opening ceremony takes place on Thursday at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem. Credit: Maccabiah World Union Archive

With 10,000 athletes ready to compete from 80 different countries around the world, Israel kicks off the 20th Maccabiah Games on Tuesday. Home to the largest delegation of the Maccabiah, Israel brings 2,500 athletes to the games this year, followed by the USA delegation, which is expected to bring 1,100 athletes to our shores. July 4-18. Full details of events at:

Opening Ceremony

The event in celebration of the Maccabiah will feature some of Israel’s biggest stars in a variety of music and entertaining performances, including singers Avraham Tal, Lior Narkis, Ester Rada, Marina Maximillian and Victoria Hanna. The event will also host the traditional delegation march (to be broadcast live on Channel 2 at 21.00) in the presence of President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other dignitaries.

July 6 at Teddy Stadium, Jerusalem.

Beach Party

For the first time, the Maccabiah has created an “Olympic Village” for young athletes. Dubbed the “Hub,” players are invited to pay a visit where they can receive medical services, relax, dine, socialize, and more. Amenities include a game room, communication center and shuttle running directly to the beach in Haifa.

A beach party will be held on July 7 from 11.00-16.00. 1 Tzvia and Yitzhak Rd., Haifa.

Maccabiah Torch Relay

Follow the torch! Last Hanukkah, the 20th Maccabiah torch relay was launched at a special lighting ceremony with Olympic bronze medal winner for Judo, Ori Sasson, carrying the torch from Jerusalem to present it to President Reuven Rivlin.

Since starting its journey around the world, the torch will return to Israel on Thursday and arrive in a motorcycle from Tel Aviv Port to Jerusalem.

Street Party Jerusalem

The city is throwing a street party on Ben Yehuda and offering some of the best shawarma and rugelach in the country, as well as live bands and musicians in an array of entertaining performances.

July 7 at 12.00.

Kabbalat Shabbat in Jerusalem

A special Shabbat dinner will be held at the First Station, with the Maccabiah committee. Everyone is welcome!

July 7 at sundown, The First Station, 4 David Remez St., Jerusalem

Kabbalat Shabbat in Tel Aviv

Join in the second Maccabiah Shabbat event, this time in Tel Aviv.

July 14 at sundown, at the Tel Aviv Port.

Maccabiah’s Night Run

With three routes, 5 km, 10 km or 21 km, the run starts at the First Station and continues through Jerusalem’s city streets.

July 10 at 19.30, The First Station, 4 David Remez St., Jerusalem

Glow Party

Junior Maccabiah athletes are invited to a glow party, where body paint and body tattoos will be provided, and featuring performances by renowned Israeli DJ Skazie and the dance troupe Mayumana.

July 12 at 19.00. Sammy Ofer Football Stadium, Haifa

Urban Street Party

The ancient streets of Jaffa will host open galleries, local artists’ exhibitions and a speed dating event.

July 13 from 18.00-23.00. Meet in the Old City of Jaffa.

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