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Philadelphia, PA, July 30 – Ron Carner, President of Maccabi USA, announced today that the organization has received a matching grant from the Seed the Dream Foundation to help fund the ISRAEL CONNECT program at the 2017 Maccabiah Games in Israel.

ISRAEL CONNECT is Maccabi USA’s educational and cultural component that all Juniors, Youth and Open athletes participate in prior to competing in the Maccabiah Games. It is designed so that the athletes are able to immerse themselves in the history and culture of Israel and interact with its people, which fosters a lifelong connection to the State of Israel. Seed the Dream Foundation is a family foundation that seeks to advance well-being through education.

“It is our hope that this week-long experience in Israel prior to the athletic events will foster a profound understanding of Israel and deepen the Jewish journey for the members of the Maccabi USA Team,” said Talia Kaplan, Director of Grant Initiatives, Seed the Dream Foundation. “It will inspire pride in being Jewish, offer exciting engagement opportunities with Israelis, and generate long-lasting connections to Israel and its people.”

The terms of the grant stipulate that Maccabi USA must raise funds specifically for the ISRAEL CONNECT program that will be matched by Seed the Dream Foundation. With projected costs for the 2017 ISRAEL CONNECT program exceeding $1.8 million, this grant will help ensure the program is funded.

“This grant gets us off and running to build our Team for 2017,” said Carner, expressing how happy he was to receive the support of the Seed the Dream Foundation. “Knowing the commitment of the Foundation’s board members to Israel makes this gift all the more meaningful. They have seen the program in action, firsthand, and know the impact that ISRAEL CONNECT makes. We are most grateful.”

“For over 30 years Maccabi USA has conducted this unique program which provides a meaningful opportunity for Team USA to engage with Israel and its people and all they have to offer,” said Jeff Bukantz, Chairman, 2017 Maccabiah USA Organizing Committee. “This is where we make the greatest difference in the hearts and minds of our athletes.”

Bukantz and the Maccabiah USA Organizing Committee will begin building the 2017 USA Team in early 2016. For more information on how to get involved or to support ISRAEL CONNECT, please visit our website at or call us at 215-561-6900.

About the organization:

Maccabi USA (MUSA) is a federally-recognized not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization with 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, and the Pan American and European Maccabi Games, as well as a sponsor 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. Maccabi USA Builds Jewish Pride Through Sports.

Maccabi USA has been selected by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) as a Multi-Sport Organization (MSO). The nonprofit organization becomes one of 35 MSOs nationwide to be recognized by the USOC for its ability to cultivate a national interest in sport and increase opportunities for participation internationally, nationally and at the grassroots level.

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