The Marcus Jewish Community Center will be one of the hosts for the JCC Maccabi Games in the summer of 2019.
It will be only the second time Atlanta has hosted since the annual North American Olympic-style games were launched in 1982 in Memphis. After serving as one of five hosts in 2001, the Marcus JCC was selected to host in 2007 but had to withdraw because of financial problems.
“I am thrilled that we are bringing the JCC Maccabi Games back to Atlanta,” center CEO Jared Powers said. Jewish teens receive an “amazing experience where they not only compete in sports they love, but also build lifelong friendships, cultivate a deeper appreciation of Jewish values and collectively give back to the community.”
More than 1,000 Jewish 13- to 16-year-olds are expected to come to Atlanta for the games, which now include 15 sports and an arts festival.
Serving as a Maccabi host site should be “a community energize and galvanizer,” Powers said in a statement. “This is a tremendous opportunity to bring our community together to host a national event for thousands of athletes and their families.”
Hosting will involve donors, sponsors and a variety of volunteers. Amy Rubin and Libby Hertz are serving as the Maccabi Games co-chairs, with Garrett Van de Grift as the games adviser and Lisa and Ron Brill as the honorary chairs.
After issues involving money or timing prevented the center from hosting the past decade, the stars finally aligned for 2019 with the right leadership to secure the initial funding, Powers said. “While the games won’t be here until 2019, it is a significant endeavor, and a very strong group of dedicated lay leaders have already been working hard behind the scenes to lay the groundwork.”
The 2017 games are taking place in Birmingham, Miami and the Albany, N.Y., area. Orange County, Calif., is one of the 2018 sites.