FAQ’s- 20th World Maccabiah Games

Maccabiah 2017

  • How do I become a member of Team USA as an athlete or staff member?
    • Click HERE to apply to be a member of Team USA at the 2017 World Maccabiah Games! Your application will be sent to our sport chairs and coaches who will be in contact regarding tryouts and the appointment process.
  • Where are the Games being held?
    • In various cities throughout Israel however the majority of competitions will take place in Jerusalem/Tel Aviv for Open/Masters divisions and Haifa for the Juniors division. Ice Hockey is slated to play in Jerusalem. Some sport exceptions apply. 
  • What are the dates of the Games?
    • July 4-18, 2017.
  • When would Team USA be departing?
    • The Juniors, Youth and Open Team members will depart around June 27, 2017 for the ISRAEL CONNECT Some teams will have a training camp in Israel prior to June 27th and if so, will depart around June 24th. Other teams will also have training in the US prior to their June 27th departure. Details on training camps will be available winter 2017 to all Team Members.
    • Masters athletes should be in Israel by July 4th and will have the opportunity to take their own international flight or take a Maccabi USA flight option with Gil Travel.
  • What teams will be having training camps in Israel prior to ISRAEL CONNECT? (tentatively scheduled)
    • Includes both Men’s and Women’s teams.
    • Juniors/Youth: Baseball, Basketball, Lacrosse, Rugby, Soccer, Volleyball, Water Polo
    • Open: Basketball, Cricket, Field Hockey, Futsal, Rugby, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball, Water Polo
  • When would Team USA be returning?
    • Approximately July 19, 2017.
  • Where will the athletes fly from?
    • Cities of departure are TBD and will be assigned by sports teams for each flight. Departure cities will likely be JFK, EWR, and LAX. All flights are subject to chance and certain flights may be an additional cost
    • Only a certain amount of our team will be allowed to deviate and extend their stay in Israel, and you MUST receive prior approval from the Maccabiah USA Organizing Committee. You cannot deviate to arrive before the team. Deviation is on a first-come, first-served basis with an additional cost
  • How long is the flight to Israel?
    • Approximately 11 hours from the east coast, and approximately 15 hours from the west coast.
  • Who can compete in this competition?
    • Juniors, Youth, Open (including Paralympic), and Masters Athletes, who are Jewish citizens of the United States or hold a green card. If there is any question on eligibility, the applicants name and information will be passed to an Eligibility Committee to determine the acceptance of their application for Team USA.
  • Can someone participate and try out in more than one sport?
    • Only one application is needed, which should be for your first choice sport. You may try out for multiple teams, but you may only participate on one team (pending team appointment).
  • How many sports are being represented by the United States?
    • Approximately 35-40 Sports
  • How many countries are competing?
    • 70+ countries will compete in the 20th World Maccabiah Games, with over 9,000 participants. This is the third largest sporting event in the world.
  • What Sports and Levels are being offered for Team USA?
    • Please check our website to see what sports are offered in these levels:
      • OPEN SPORTS COMPETITION
      • JUNIORS SPORTS COMPETITION
      • YOUTH SPORTS COMPETITION (The Youth Division is part of the Juniors Category)
      • MASTERS SPORTS COMPETITION
      • PARALYMPIC SPORTS COMPETITION
    • Updated sport regulations will be posted to our website once they are received. Please note that any new sports cannot be added.
  • How many athletes will represent the USA Team?
    • Over 1,000 athletes will travel to Israel to represent Team USA.
  • When will the competition begin and end?
    • Competition can begin as early as July 4, 2017 and will conclude by July 18, 2017. We will not have exact competition schedules until very close to departure for Israel and all schedules are subject to change.
  • Where and when is Opening Ceremony?
  • When is Closing Ceremony?
    • July 17, 2017 location TBD
  • What will Team USA be doing upon arrival in Israel (Juniors/Youth/Open Team members)?
    • Team USA will be participating in the ISRAEL CONNECT. The ISRAEL CONNECT program is a 7-day mandatory program prior to competition (for all Juniors, Youth, and Open USA Team Members). Members of Team USA train with their Teams in the morning and tour all parts of Israel in the afternoon, with parties, cultural, and special events in the evenings.
  • Where are the Juniors, Youth, and Open Athletes staying in Israel?
    • During ISRAEL CONNECT: All Juniors/Youth/Open Athletes will be staying at accommodation sites together outside of Tel Aviv.
    • During Competition: All Juniors and Youth Teams will be housed together in Haifa. Open Team members will be staying with athletes from other nations and will be housed by sport closest to their competition venue.
  • Where are the Masters Athletes staying in Israel? How much does it cost?
    • Masters athletes have options for the land arrangements.
      • They can take the Maccabi World Union Package that includes hotel and breakfast for 14 nights. In this case their registration portion of their fees will be $4,950 (before the $6,000 sponsorship and airfare).
      • Or they can make their own land and air arrangements in which case the registration fee is $3,375
      • Or they can join the Maccabi USA/Gil Travel Mission program which is all inclusive. Cost to be determined.
  • When should the Masters Athletes arrive in Israel?
    • Masters athletes should arrive in Israel no later than the morning of July 4, 2017. Masters Athletes and their families will also have the opportunity to take part in a touring package in Israel prior to July 4th if they choose.
  • What is the touring package offered for Masters Athletes and their families?
    • The Discover Israel Tour is an optional trip for Masters Athletes and families before the Games start. This is a great way to tour the country before the Games begin! More information will be known winter 2017.
  • What does the word “Yachad” mean?
    • In Hebrew, “Yachad” means “together”.
  • What is the “Yachad” monetary commitment?
    • This is the monetary obligation for all participants for the 20th World Maccabiah Games. Yachad is a program that requires a shared commitment from all of us to fund the USA Maccabiah Team and to ensure the success of the Games. Every appointed member of the USA Team must contribute a minimum amount in support of the Maccabiah and Maccabi USA.  Yachad funds are a contribution to Maccabi USA and are non-refundable.
    • The required shared commitment amounts for USA Team members are as follows:  Open athlete – $8,000; Juniors and Youth athlete – $8,000; Masters athlete – $6,000 to fund-a-need plus a registration fee that starts at $3,375 plus the cost of the trip (air/land which is not tax-deductible); Coaches – $3,000; Accommodations Managers – $3,000; Athletic Trainers – $2,000; Full-time Physicians- $3,000; Additional Coaches, Managers or Self-funded Staff: $8,000. Golfers will also have an additional greens fee of $500. All costs are subject to change.
    • These costs do not include the domestic travel for the USA participant from where they live to where the USA Team departs for the international flight and Tryout and Training Camp costs (if any). 
    • All costs are subject to chance and do not include training camp fees (if necessary).
  • Is my “Yachad” Contribution tax-deductible?
    • Donations are not tax-deductible.  Please check with your tax advisor.
    • Staff: Personal payments towards your Yachad are fully tax-deductible. Outside contributions (not raffle tickets*) are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.
    • For Juniors, Youth, Open Athletes: Personal payments towards your Yachad are not tax-deductible. Contributions made on behalf of an athlete are not tax-deductible. Outside contributions (not raffle tickets*) are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.
    • For Masters Athletes: The $6,000 commitment “fund-a-need” supports athletes from the United States and around the world participate in the Maccabiah. Any cost above this is not tax-deductible.  

*Please note that ALL raffle tickets are non-refundable, and not tax-deductible.

  • Do USA Team members have to pay for their trip out of pocket, or can the Yachad commitment be raised?
    • The money need not be an out-of-pocket expense; it may be raised. Maccabi USA can provide you with sample fundraising letters and raffle tickets to assist you in your fundraising efforts.
  • Is there an online fundraising tool for me to utilize and to track donations on my behalf?
    • Yes! Maccabi USA has developed a new opportunity for you to set up your personalized fundraising page online so you can reach out to your personal and professional contacts to donate directly on your behalf. This is a great easy way to fundraise.
  • Is there Yachad Relief (Scholarship) for Israel?
    • Juniors, Youth, and Open Athletes may formally apply for Yachad Relief within 30 days of being appointed as a member of Team USA. If you are approved for Yachad relief, it may help with a portion of your Yachad commitment. You must follow all directions provided in your appointment materials in order to be considered for scholarship. If a scholarship is received, this is the lat portion of your Yachad and the balance must be fulfilled by the given date.
  • Are Raffle tickets tax-deductible*?
    • The raffle tickets are not tax-deductible, nor are they refundable. Each raffle ticket is $100 and the full amount can be credited to your Yachad. A drawing is held every 1,000 tickets sold for three prizes.
  • Do the athletes receive an apparel package?
    • A variety of apparel will be sent by Maccabi USA to each Team member prior to the Games along with guidelines of when each apparel piece must be worn. This package will be sent a few weeks before departure, so it is extremely important that you update Maccabi USA with any address changes.
  • Do the athletes receive a Team uniform?
    • Each team will receive competitive uniforms from their respective coach and/or chairman.
  • Will there be a training camp for each team sport before departure to Israel?
    • Although most team sports will have training camps, it is ultimately determined by the team’s Chair and Coach. Teams may have training camps in the USA prior to leaving for the ISRAEL CONNECT, or they may depart earlier and have their training camp in Israel.
  • If my Juniors, Youth, or Open child is chosen for the team, and we have friends and family in Israel, are they free to go visit them during the program?
    • NO.  Please keep in mind team members are participating in an international sports event and the coach will be monitoring their training and down time. The athletes have a very structured schedule from the time they depart the USA to the time they return. If family and friends want to come visit the athletes at the Hotel (when there is free or down time) in Israel or see them after the individual games at the sporting venue, that is acceptable. There are no overnight stays for any athlete outside their assigned accommodations as a Team USA participant.
    • There will be times during the competition when the athletes will have “free or down time” determined by the coach and individual team manager. The USA 20th World Maccabiah Executive Committee will set-up a sign-in and sign-out policy for all Juniors, Youth, and Open athletes that want to visit with their family members while in Israel during any “free or down time”. A Coach or the USA Team Manager has the right to decline any requests from any family members or friends that want to take their athlete out for any period of time.
  • Is there a trip for family and friends of the athletes?
    • Yes, there is a travel program designed specifically for families and friends of USA Team participants. The “Mission Package” information will be sent to each appointed team member and his/her family in Fall 2016. Participation in the Mission Package makes your experience so much easier.
  • What are the special programs being offered in the “Missions Package”?
    • The Mission program will include fascinating tours and cultural events, exclusive dinners, cocktail parties and admission to all competitions and some special events. Attending the USA Missions Program is the best way to experience all that Israel has to offer while being able to cheer on your loved one on Team USA!
  • What are the costs for the “Missions Package”?
    • More costs and package options will be available Fall 2016.
  • Will we receive daily updates of the Games if we do not travel to Israel?
    • We will be emailing you several weeks before the Team departure requesting that you provide your email (and any other emails) to us that you wish to stay informed during the Games and we will be sure to send you daily updates.
  • Do I need a passport and visa to travel to Israel?
    • You DO NOT need a visa to travel to Israel, but you will need a passport valid for a minimum of 6 months after returning home- January 19, 2018.
    • If you need a passport, you should apply for one ASAP. Do not risk waiting into 2017 and it being delayed. We cannot control how long it takes to issue a passport.
  • Will I need to complete medical forms in order to compete?
    • All team members (including staff) will need to complete medical forms, including a physical. All team members aged 40+ by July 6, 2017 will also need to have an EKG.
    • Physicals must be completed within one year from Opening Ceremonies for team members under 40, and six months for those 40+.
  • Do I need travel insurance?
    • We suggest that you take out travel insurance. This is on your own should you want this.
  • What is the website where we can find 20th World Maccabiah Games updated information?
  • What is the Maccabi USA office contact information?
    • 1511 Walnut St., Ste. 401, Philadelphia, PA  19102

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