Philadelphia, PA, April 9 – Maccabi USA announces a $50,000 grant from the Koret Foundation which will be used to help fund the ISRAEL CONNECT cultural and educational program at the 19th World Maccabiah Games in July. The ISRAEL CONNECT cultural and educational program is a crucial part of the Maccabiah experience.

Every Open, Juniors and Youth athlete participates in the six-day program prior to the opening of the World Maccabiah Games. During this time, the athletes travel to cultural and historic sites to experience firsthand their own connection with Israel and Judaism. The athletes also have the opportunity to participate in a unique B’nai Mitzvah ceremony, either for the first time or to reaffirm their commitment to Judaism. The ISRAEL CONNECT program has been a highlight for the majority of Maccabi USA athletes that have participated since the program began in 1989, strengthening their bonds with Israel and Judaism.

Based in San Francisco, the Koret Foundation is a private philanthropic organization that supports institutions that promote a vibrant region and contribute to civic community life. With its roots in the Jewish community, Koret seeks to build Jewish identity strengthen communities, institutions and connections with Israel. Koret focuses its support on organizations and initiatives in the areas of K-12 education, local anchor institutions and Jewish Peoplehood.

“I have worked in the Jewish Communal world for over 40 years and have always viewed the Koret Foundation as a beacon for making the world a better place,” said Jed Margolis, Executive Director, Maccabi USA. “Given their history of caring deeply about Jewish Culture and Heritage, we are touched that the Koret Foundation has once again supported our efforts. For many years they have encouraged engagement in Jewish Life as demonstrated by their support of Maccabi USA’s ISRAEL CONNECT program. They are wonderful and caring partners who truly understand the important work that Maccabi USA does – in our own unique way, Maccabi USA is building the next generation of leaders in the Jewish Community, thanks in a large part to the wonderful support of the Koret Foundation.”

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, the Pan American Maccabi Games and the Maccabi competitions in Europe and Australia, 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.