Athletes, coaches, parents to head here to participate in annual Jewish Junior Olympics
ALBANY – The Capital Region has been chosen as one of the sites for the 2017 Jewish Community Center (JCC) Maccabi Games, an Olympic-style sporting competition held each summer in North America. The games are the second largest organized sports program for Jewish teens in the world. The Capital Region games will be held Aug. 6-11, 2017.
Next summer, the games will be held in three United States locations: Miami, Fla., Birmingham, Ala., and this region. Seven hundred to 750 athletes from around the world, along with their coaches, delegation chairpersons, parents and other spectators will come to The Capital Region games.
Bringing the 2017 JCC Maccabi Games to the community was a joint effort of the staff and volunteer leadership of the Sidney Albert Albany JCC and the Robert and Dorothy Ludwig JCC of Schenectady.
The events here will rely on volunteer support from throughout the area. Jewish families from throughout the region will host athletes, and hundreds of other volunteers will be needed to help bring the games together. Those wishing to sign up to be a volunteer can do so at the Games’ website: www.CapitalRegionJCCMaccabi. org.
Athletes will compete in the following sports next summer: table tennis, ice hockey, basketball, swimming, soccer, dance, tennis, golf and baseball. Venues for the games are being finalized now but they will be scattered throughout the region.
The Capital Region will likely host delegations from around the U.S. and Canada as well as Israel and other foreign countries.
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“I am glad to see the Capital Region as a host of the 2017 Maccabi Games. Such a unique event highlights the rich and diverse heritage that supports our communities throughout the region, and I look forward to seeing the games begin next year. I thank the teams at the Sidney Albert Albany Jewish Community Center and the Robert and Dorothy Ludwig JCC of Schenectady for their work and participation in this tremendous event,” said Congressman Paul Tonko.
“I applaud both the Albany and Schenectady JCCs for their efforts to help secure the greater Capital Region as one of three sites for the 2017 Maccabi Games. This Olympic-style sporting competition has a long and storied tradition that goes back many years. The Maccabi Games teaches Jewish youth about mutual respect and sportsmanship and I encourage everyone to come out and enjoy the competitions,” said New York State Senator Neil Breslin.
“I am so thrilled that the Capital Region will be hosting the JCC Maccabi Games.
The Games foster the long history of Jewish involvement in sports. For centuries through the present day, Jews have been remarkably successful athletes across a wide range of sports for a wide variety of countries that is far in excess of what would be expected from their worldwide population,” said New York Assemblyman Phil Steck.
“It is an honor that the Capital Region has been chosen for the 2017 Maccabi Games. We look forward to welcoming students, coaches, and their families who have traveled from around the world to participate in this prestigious sporting competition,” said New York Assemblywoman Pat Fahy.
The 2017 Capital Region JCC Maccabi Games co-chairpersons are Lauren Finkle, Joanna Goldberg, Debbie Gordon, Lauren Iselin and Michelle Ostrelich. U.S. Congressman Paul Tonko is the honorary chairman of the Games.
“The selection of the Capital Region as a site for the 2017 Maccabi Games shows that we can host world class athletic events and provide the support services and facilities for athletes and their families,” said Albany County Executive Daniel P. Mc- Coy. “I congratulate the Albany JCC for their successful bid for the games and look forward to welcoming competitors to the region next summer.”
“It is exciting to host the 2017 Maccabi Games in our community and I welcome the worldwide players and other visitors. It is wonderful to see the outpouring of community support, from the volunteers, to the families that have opened up their homes to host the athletes,” said Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy.
“Bringing the JCC Maccabi Games to the Capital Region is good news for the vibrant Jewish communities in both Albany and Schenectady,” said Albany Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan. “It is also good news for the entire region, as the Games will serve as a proud showcase bringing international visitors to a growing region that continues to attract increasing attention from people near and far.”