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Historical Facts About the Maccabiah

They come from all over the World to the State of Israel. For three unforgettable weeks, Jews of all ages and backgrounds convene to share their culture, history and values. And they come to compete.Maccabi USA (MUSA), the sponsor of the USA Team to the World Maccabiah Games, evolved from a dream shared by founders Harry Henshel, Charles Orenstein, Edward Rosenblum and Harold O. Zimman. Established in 1948, mere weeks after the establishment of the Jewish Homeland, these four men embarked on a dual Mission to help Israel develop as a nation through sports and to promote fitness and athleticism among Jewish youth. Subsequent Presidents – Bob Spivak (1981-2001), Toni Wortman (2002-2009), Ron Carner (2010-2017) and Jeff Bukantz (Present ) proudly carried the organization to further growth.

History of Maccabi USA

TheyThe organization, originally named the United States Committee Sports for Israel, realized its early goals with Israel’s official recognition by the International Olympic Committee, paving the way for Israel’s participation in the 1952 Olympic Games. MUSA then began to develop projects which focused on creating a heightened sense of Jewish identity, strengthening Jewish bonds and developing strong feelings of solidarity with Israel.
To learn more about the history of Maccabi USA, click here.

Enriching Jewish Lives Around the World

Today, over 60 years after its inception, Maccabi USA remains dedicated to enriching the lives of Jews through athletic, cultural and educational programs. Hundreds of volunteers work tirelessly to promote a wide variety of Maccabi USA programs to assure that the organization remains relevant to Jews in the United States, Israel and throughout the Diaspora. Maccabi USA is the official sponsor of the USA Teams that participate in the World Maccabiah Games, the Pan American Maccabi Games, and other international Maccabi events, and is one of the partners of the JCC Maccabi Games.

A Multi-Sport Organization

Maccabi USA was designated by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) in 2013 as one of its Multi-Sport Organizations. The organization is also an adjunct member of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations and one of 55 territorial representatives of Maccabi World Union, the international governing body of the Maccabi Movement.

Click here to learn more about the Maccabi World Union.

group of male athletes on the tarmac in front of an airplane
group of men gathering at opening ceremonies
Join us at the 2025 Maccabiah in Israel (July 1-22, 2025)
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