On this edition of the “Israel Connection” I had the pleasure to interview one of the managers at Maccabi World Union, Galil Itzhaki. Galil is responsible for making sure that every delegation has an incredible time at the 2021 Maccabiah Games in Israel.

Tell me about yourself and your current position at MWU? What are you currently working on at the Maccabiah headquarters?

I am the Head of Staff for the 21st Maccabiah Games in Israel. I am responsible for leading the team at Maccabi World Union to ensure a successful and meaningful Games experience for all participants.

How did you get involved with the Maccabiah Games? What was that experience like?

I am an alumnus of Maccabi Tzair, the Maccabi Youth Movement. I served as the Deputy Manager of the Youth division at the 18th Maccabiah Games in 2009. I had an incredible experience this led to my involvement at the 19th Maccabiah Games in 2013 as the Logistics Department Head, and then as the Purchasing and Contracting Manager of the 20th Games in 2017. I really enjoy working at such a significant and meaningful organization.

What was the most exciting experience you had at the past Maccabiot?

My absolute favorite experience is the Opening Ceremony. It is different at each set of Games and is a defining moment. I always feel the intensity of the movement and it is a joy to watch such an impressive performance. I feel proud to be part of these special moments, celebrating sports, unity, Judaism, and Zionism.

Tell us about something new and exciting that you are planning for the 21st Maccabiah Games

We are looking at the possibility of holding an exhibition e-Sports Tournament. We are also looking to place a larger emphasis on beach and sea sports such as beach volleyball, beach football (soccer), rowing, surfing, and open water swimming, just to name a few.

(L-R: Roy Hessing, Galil Itzhaki, Rabbi Carlos Tapiero, Maccabi World Union Employee)

What is the next step in preparing for the 21st Maccabiah?

In May of 2019, all the delegations of the World Maccabi Movement will come together at the Plenum in Israel. During the Plenum, Maccabi World Union will present their plans for the Games. The delegations in attendance will have an opportunity to collaborate towards new ideas to achieve success together.

What would you like to say to the team members of Maccabi USA that are expected to arrive in 2021?

The USA delegation is the largest delegation from the Diasporaand is very important for the overall success of the Games. USA sets the example for other delegations in terms of professional organization and the participation of athletes in the majority of sports.

Thank you Galil and best of luck to you and your team at MWU, we all look forward to these amazing experience in 2021!