The JCC Maccabi games in Atlanta are more than six months away, but planning has been underway for more than a year.
The 2019 games, from July 28 to Aug. 2, will bring 1,200 Jewish boys and girls, ages 12 to 16, to Atlanta, where they will join 400 members of Team Atlanta for five days of competition and Jewish-themed activities.
The planning checklist includes arranging for some 500 hosts families to take in the boys and girls, many in the homes of a Team Atlanta member. The hundreds of coaches and parents who come with the young people will stay in hotel rooms.
Another 1,500 volunteers will staff the five-day event.
Competitions will be held in flag football, basketball, soccer, baseball, volleyball, ultimate Frisbee, swimming, dance, golf, tennis, bowling, table tennis, and track and field. The primary venues at the Marcus JCC and the Marist School will be supplemented by other sites hosting a single sport.
A fleet of buses will transport the boys and girls from the hubs to competition venues. Planning includes timing events to avoid the worst of Atlanta’s infamous traffic.
Security will involve police and multiple levels of law enforcement.
Heading up planning for the event is Stacie Francombe, director of the Atlanta games.
Atlanta last hosted the sports festival for Jewish youth in 2001. Organizers are seeking $1.5 million in donations (financial and in-kind) to support the event.
The JCC Maccabi Games are designed to promote community involvement and pride in being Jewish. Emphasis is placed on the values of rachmanus (compassion) and Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), which also are central to a planned community service day for the teams.
Since the inaugural JCC Maccabi Games in Memphis in 1982, more than 120,000 Jewish teens from the United States, Israel and other nations have taken part.
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