New York, NY, March 1, 2007 (Open Press) — Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel 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 International Maccabi Games in Europe and Australia.
“We take athletic Jews around the world and we bring back Jewish athletes. Everything we do is about keeping Jewish kids Jewish,” said Toni Wortman, President. She continued, “Israel is the attraction, sports are the vehicle and Jewish continuity is the goal!”
Founded in 1948, the United States Committee Sports for Israel (renamed Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel in 1994) originally focused on a dual mission to help Israel develop as a nation through sports and to promote fitness and athleticism for Jewish youth. These goals were quickly realized, as Israel was officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee and became eligible to compete in the 1952 Olympic Games. Today, more than 50 years after its inception, Maccabi USA remains dedicated to enriching the lives of Jews through athletic, cultural and educational programs. They strive to provide Jewish athletes the world over the opportunity to share their heritage and customs in competitive athletic settings, promoting the Maccabi ideals of Jewish continuity, Zionism and sport.
The Mission and programs that Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel champions, supports, and promotes the ideals of Zionism,” said Morton A. Klein, President, Zionist Organization of America. “There are great similarities between our organizations, particularly in our support and fight for the Land of Israel.”
“The Maccabiah Games are the single largest gathering of international Jewry in the world, an opportunity to create a close connection to the State of Israel,” said Ron Carner, General Chair, U.S. 18th Maccabiah Organizing Committee. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to organize a Team of elite Jewish athletes from the U.S. to compete in what has developed into the world’s third largest international sports event, with almost 8,000 participants and 60 nations. It is a very credible sports competition with a strong solidarity with Israel component.”
Maccabi USA is currently recruiting athletes to represent the United States at the 11th Pan American Maccabi Games which begin December 26, 2007 in Buenos Aires. Once the Team returns from Argentina, Maccabi USA will start assembling the largest USA Team ever to compete in the 18th World Maccabiah Games in Israel, July 2009.
To learn more about Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel or to fill out an application for the 11th Pan American Maccabi Games, please visit www.maccabiusa.com. Applications for the USA 18th Maccabiah Team will be available by the end of 2007.
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The Zionist Organization of America, founded in 1897, is the oldest pro-Israel organization in the United States. The ZOA works to strengthen U.S.-Israel relations, educates the American public and Congress about the dangers that Israel faces, and combats anti-Israel bias in the media and on college campuses. Its past presidents have included Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis and Rabbi Dr. Abba Hillel Silver.