August 24, Philadelphia, PA – Ron Carner, the President of Maccabi USA has appointed Jeff Bukantz of Montville, New Jersey as the General Chairman of the USA Maccabiah Organizing Committee for the 19th World Maccabiah Games which will take place in July, 2013 in Israel.

The World Maccabiah Games are among the top five largest international sporting events.  Maccabi USA President Ron Carner appointed Bukantz to this top leadership position because, “He is uniquely qualified based on his tremendous experience with the USA Olympic Team.  He loves what we do, using sports to create a connection to Jewish Heritage and Culture and support for the State of Israel.”

Bukantz has had extensive experience with international sports as an athlete, coach and organizer, both with Maccabi USA and the USA Olympic Team.  He has competed in four Maccabiah Games as a Fencer winning multiple medals including two individual gold and two team gold medals.  He was a Fencing Referee at the 1984 and 1996 Olympic Games and was Team Captain for the 2004 and 2008 United States Olympic Fencing Teams.  Bukantz has stayed involved with Maccabi USA since competing at his first Maccabiah Games in 1981. He became a member of the Board of Directors in 1994 and joined the Executive Committee of the board in 1994.  Bukantz was recently appointed Assistant Treasurer of Maccabi USA and is also the General Chair of the 13th USA European Maccabi Games Organizing Committee.

“I am thrilled to be part of an experience which changes lives, allows Jewish youth to explore their heritage in the context of a sporting event, and best of all, to feel the pride and emotion of sharing the experience with our Israeli brothers and sisters,” Bukantz commented, when asked why he accepted this position.  “Whereas the Olympics are basically a one-dimensional sporting event, the World Maccabiah Games are so much more than winning medals.  I know how important the medals are and Team USA will win our share of them, but ultimately, those medals will make their way into shoe boxes or display cases.  However, if just a few young Jewish athletes embrace their heritage, and do so on their terms, that will be the most important result for 19th USA Maccabiah Organizing Committee and Maccabi USA.”

About the organization:

Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel (MUSA) has an extensive history of enriching Jewish lives through athletic, cultural and educational programs.  The organization is the official sponsor of the United States Team to the World Maccabiah Games, the Pan American Maccabi Games and the Maccabi competitions in Europe and Australia, as well as a co-founder of the JCC Maccabi Games for teens in North America.  As the official Maccabi representative in the U.S., Maccabi USA supports Jewish athletic endeavors, enhanced by cultural and educational activities in the United States, Israel and throughout the Diaspora.

MUSA develops, promotes and supports international, national and regional athletic-based activities and facilities.  It strives to provide Jewish athletes the world over the opportunity to share their heritage and customs in competitive athletic settings.  MUSA supports programs that embody the Maccabi ideals of Jewish continuity, Zionism and excellence in sport.