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Philadelphia, PA, June 5, 2017 – Jeff Bukantz, General Chairman, 20th Maccabiah USA Organizing Committee, announces the appointment of Team USA to compete at the Games in Israel, July 4-18. The Team, over 1,100 strong, will be the largest delegation EVER to travel from North America to compete in an International sporting event. There will be an additional group of over 300 friends and family from the Maccabiah Supporters Mission that will travel with Maccabi USA to cheer on the Team.

“In just over three weeks, over 1,110 members of Team USA will arrive in Israel for the experience of a lifetime at the World Maccabiah Games” said Bukantz. “The Maccabiah is the world’s third largest sporting competition, and there will be over 10,000 athletes from 80 countries participating. I have been humbled to serve as General Chair and head of Delegation for Team USA for the second time. An Organizing Committee of 125 dedicated volunteers has worked diligently for the last 18 months to make the athletes’ dreams come true. This talented group of Jewish athletes will get to experience the culture and beauty of Israel during our ISRAEL CONNECT program and then begin the Games with the emotional march into the Opening Ceremony at Teddy Stadium in historic Jerusalem. And then, the Games begin. GO TEAM USA!”

As of today, there are 1,126 Jewish American athletes and coaches that will comprise Team USA. They come from 42 states, Australia, Barcelona, Canada, the District of Columbia, Japan, and Sweden. The States are: Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming. The largest number of athletes comes from California [241] and New York [222].

Team USA includes athletes and alumni of many of the top colleges and universities in the country, including all Ivy League schools, Georgetown, MIT, Stanford, and Northwestern. Team USA is comprised of 71 Open, Juniors, Youth, Masters, and Grand-Masters divisional teams participating in 34 different sports. Olympian Eli Dershwitz will participate as a member of the Open Fencing Team, and Olympian Anthony Ervin will participate as a member of the Open Swim Team. Other Olympian athletes include Zach Test of the USA Rugby 7’s Team, Head Coach of Open Men’s Rugby 7’s.

The sports that Team USA will compete in are: Archery, Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Chess, Cycling, Equestrian, Fencing, Field Hockey, Futsal, Golf, Gymnastics, Half Marathon, Ice Hockey, Judo, Karate, Lacrosse, Rhythmic Gymnastics, Rowing, Rugby, Soccer, Softball, Squash, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Track & Field, Triathlon, Volleyball, Water Polo, and Wrestling. This will be the first time Lacrosse and Juniors Boys’ Water Polo competitions will take place at the Maccabiah Games. Basketball, compromised of eight divisions, has the largest number of teams, with Open Men’s and Women’s; Juniors Boys’ and Girls’; Youth Men’s; Paralympic; Masters Men’s 35+ and 45+ teams competing.

The Maccabiah Games are about more than sports competitions. They are an opportunity for Jewish athletes from around the world to convene in Israel for an elite athletic competition and to explore their common culture and heritage in the historic Jewish Homeland. The Juniors, Open, and Youth divisions of Team USA arrive in Israel once week in advance of the Games to participate in the ISRAEL CONNECT (IC) cultural and educational program that is unique to Maccabi USA. The IC program provides these athletes with the opportunity to tour the historic and religious sites of Israel as members of Team USA so they can bond with each other, their culture and Heritage and experience the magic and beauty of Israel.

The Maccabiah Games are the third largest international sporting event in the world, after the Summer Olympics and Pan American Games. There will be over 10,000 participants from 80 countries at the 20th World Maccabiah Games.

If you would like more information about the Games or to schedule an interview, please contact Dakota Marine at 215.561.6900 x4156 or

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 all over the world 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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