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February 18, 2016 3:59 pm

Maccabi USA Seeking Jewish Athletes for 2017 World Games

avatar by Shiryn Solny

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The gold medal winning Open Men’s Basketball team from the 19th Maccabiah Games. Maccabi USA is seeking Jewish athletes for the 20th Games. Photo: Facebook.

The gold medal-winning Open Men’s Basketball team from the 19th Maccabiah Games. Maccabi USA is seeking Jewish athletes for the 20th Games. Photo: Facebook.

Maccabi USA is searching for Jewish athletes to represent Team USA in the 2017 World Maccabiah Games, to be held in Israel from July 5-17 that year, the organization said in a press release on Monday.

The 20th annual Games will include athletes from more than 70 countries participating in 42 sports. The Games are the third largest international sporting competition and the world’s largest Jewish one.

“We are really excited about the chance to bring over 1,200 athletes to Israel for the 20th Games, which would surpass the previous record of 1,100 athletes during the 19th Games in 2013,” said Jeff Bukantz, general chairman of the USA 20th Maccabiah Organizing Committee. “We have an extremely talented group of Sports Co-Chairs in place: Ben Fox of Norman, OK; Mark Knue of Cincinnati, OH; Lou Moyerman of Philadelphia, PA; Marc Rosenberg of Morristown, NJ; and Brian Schiff of Philadelphia, PA. We are all hard at work recruiting the best sports chairmen, coaches and athletes to build Team USA.”

Bukantz is working with his volunteer committee to find qualified athletes to represent the USA in both team and individual sports in the Juniors, Youth, Open, Masters and Paralympic divisions. Team USA will be made up of over 1,200 athletes, making it the largest traveling delegation from the United States to participate in any international sporting event, according to Maccabi USA.

Six days before the Games begin, all Juniors, Youth and Open athletes will participate in Maccabi USA’s program called Israel Connect, which gives athletes the chance to tour historical and religious sites in the Holy Land, take part in cultural seminars and train with their teams.

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