connecting our Jewish community through sport and wellbeing



Press Release 


15 May 2020


In light of Covid 19, Maccabi World Union postponed the 21st Maccabiah, originally scheduled for July 2021. We are pleased to advise you, that the games have been rescheduled and will now take place from the 12th- 26th July 2022. The Opening Ceremony will be held at the Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem on 14th July 2022.

Covid 19 remains an ongoing challenge, from which our organisation is not immune. Our dedicated and passionate volunteers have accepted this challenge, and planning is well underway to ensure a positive and memorable games experience for both athletes and supporters.

Prior to the 2017 games, the Australian Maccabiah Team had always been administered by a volunteer base, and it is to this model which we now return.

Under the leadership and guidance of Barry Smorgon OAM, Head of Delegation, a new organisational structure has been established.

Sam Gamsu has been appointed as the Head of Games Operations and Sport and will be at the forefront of the game’s leadership. Most recently Sam was the General Manager of the Australian Team to the extremely successful Pan American games in Mexico City in 2019.

Together with our highly experienced team of Regional Managers - Lauren Erlich, Giselle Berlinski and Debbie Rutstein and supported by the MAI office, we look forward to delivering the most successful games to date.

Additionally, all other members of the leadership team have also been re-instated, following a special resolution passed by the MAI Board.

Our games will be guided by the values of our organisation: Respect, Teamwork, Community and Volunteerism

Nominations for managers, coaches and supporting team staff will open later this year and nominations for athletes will open in early 2021.

Unfortunately, it is with great sadness that we were advised of the tragic death of IDF Golani Staff Sergeant First Class Amit Ben Yigal z’’l, who died in combat on Tuesday 12th May 2020. Amit and his father Baruch are much loved honorary Maccabi Australians, welcoming us with open arms whenever we visited Israel and always looking out for us. We mourn Amit’s tragic and untimely passing and extend our sincerest and heartfelt condolences to our dearest friend and brother Baruch.

Baruch was one of many Israelis who rescued Australian athletes from the Yarkon river in 1997 and has remained close friends with many Australians ever since.

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A Maccabi World Union video message -"FOR THESE DAYS" - from our Maccabi Family around the world.


  Be Strong & Have Courage"