Maccabi USA Supporters Mission to Budapest – FAQ

  1. Where are the Games being held?
    • Most competitions will take place in Budapest, Hungary. Some sport exceptions apply.
  2. What are the dates of the Games?
    • July 29 – August 7, 2019
  3. When will Team USA be departing?
    • The Juniors, Youth and Open Team members will depart on July 28. Some teams will have a training camp prior to July 28.
    • Supporters Mission participants should be in Budapest no later than the evening of July 29 and will have the opportunity to take their own international flight or take a Maccabi USA flight option with Gil Travel.
  4. How long is the flight to Hungary?
    • Approximately nine hours from the East Coast and 13 hours from the West Coast
  5. What is the time difference for the Games?
    • Budapest is 6 hours ahead of New York and 9 hours ahead of Los Angeles
  6. How many countries are competing in the 15th European Maccabi Games?
    • 30+ countries will compete, with over 2,500 participants
  7. How many athletes will represent Team USA?
    • Over 225 athletes will travel to Hungary to represent the United States
  8. When will the competition begin and end?
    • The competition will begin as early as Tuesday, July 30 and will conclude by Tuesday, August 6. Sport-specific schedules will not be finalized until closer to the departure dates for Budapest. All schedules are subject to change.
  1. Where and when is Opening Ceremony?
    • Tuesday, July 30 at Uj Hidegkuti Nandor Stadium in Budapest
  2. When is Closing Ceremony?
    • Tuesday, August 6 in Budapest. The Closing Ceremony is only for team members.
  3. Where are the Junior, Youth, Open, and Masters Athletes staying in Budapest?
    • All Junior and Youth athletes will be housed at Danubis Hotel Arena. Open and Masters athletes will be housed by sport at one of the Games hotels.
  4. Where are the Supporters Mission participants staying in Budapest?
    • Mission participants can choose from the following arrangements:
      1. Join the Maccabi USA Supporters Mission at the Ritz Carlton (Erzsébet tér 9-10)
      2. Companions of Masters athletes may stay at another host delegation hotel
    • Make their own housing arrangements
  1. If my Junior, Youth, or Open child is chosen for the team, can they go visit friends and family in Budapest during the program?
    • 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 Budapest 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 15th European Maccabi Games Organizing Committee will set-up a sign-in and sign-out policy for all Junior, Youth, and Open athletes that want to visit with their family members while in Budapest during any “free or down time.” Junior and Youth athletes may only be signed out by their parent or legal guardian. 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.
  2. Do the Mission Packages include special programming for the participants?
  3. What are the costs for the “Missions Package”?
    • Costs for the Mission packages depend on which package you choose. Please look at the Fact Sheet for each package at
  4. What is the dress code for most events?
    • The weather in Budapest is very warm during the summer, so please plan accordingly. However, evenings tend to be cool, so we suggest a light jacket, sweater, shawl or wrap. The dress code overall is casual, but you might want to consider some dressier items for our evening events like the Cruise on the Danube and the Shabbat programming.
  1. Do I need a passport and visa to travel to Hungary?
    • You DO NOT need a visa to travel to Hungary, but you will need a passport valid for a minimum of 6 months after returning home – March 7, 2020 or later.
    • If you need a passport, you should apply for one ASAP. Do not risk waiting – we cannot control how long it takes to issue a passport.
  2. Do I need travel insurance?
    • We suggest that you purchase travel insurance. This can be purchased through Gil Travel, your credit card company, or a third-party provider.
  3. Is it safe to travel to Budapest?
    • Yes, Maccabi USA has been working with the Games Organizers and our Security Team to ensure all venues and itineraries are appropriate for our teams. Maccabi USA will be supported by the Maccabi USA Security Team, in addition to the private security hired by the Games Organizers. The local authorities and intragovernmental organizations have been notified the events. Supporters should expect to clear security before entering a Games venue.
  4. Do teams compete on Shabbat? What are your accommodations for those who are Sabbath observant?
    • No, our teams will not compete on Shabbat. Some light tours or activities may be offered, but they are not mandatory for observant team members.
    • Please contact Maccabi USA to learn more about specific Games accommodations.
  5. Who should I contact about specific dietary needs?
    • Please contact Samantha Sultzer at Gil Travel
      1. 215.568.6655 x380
  6. What is the website where we can find the most up-to-date 15th European Maccabi Games information?
  7. Who is the General Chair of Team USA’s delegation to the 15th European Maccabi Games?
    • The General Chair of Team USA’s delegation is Debbie Adams.
  8. Who is the Chair of the Supporters Mission?
    • The Chair of the Supporters Mission is Dr. Alex Sternberg.
  9. Which Maccabi USA staff will be traveling with the Supporters Mission?
    • Two Maccabi USA staff members will be traveling with the Supporters Mission:

Shayna Weiss, Director of Development
215-561-6900 x4150

Mackenzie Mager, Games Assistant
215-561-6900 x4157

  1. What is the Maccabi USA office contact information?

1511 Walnut St., Ste. 401
Philadelphia, PA  19102
Fax: 215-561-5470