Each year, Jewish Community Centers throughout North American bring thousands of young, Jewish athletes from around the world together for athletic, educational, cultural and social programs. The history of the Maccabi Games (an Olympic-style sporting competition) goes back to 1895, when the first all-Jewish sports club was formed in Constantinople. Today, cities across the U.S. host annual games where 6,000+ young athletes from around the world gather to compete and give back to the communities they visit.
This year, Milwaukee hosted the Maccabi games. 1,000 kids from 6 countries gathered for a week of competition and fellowship. All athletes paused right in the middle of their week for JCC Cares, a day of community service throughout the city. "We're trying to be great citizens," says Mark Shapiro, president and CEO of the Jewish Community Center of Milwaukee. "JCC Cares should leave a better Milwaukee then when (the athletes) arrived." In jus tone day, kids built a playground, packed 30,000 lunches for kids in need, built a community garden and participated in a Special Olympics competition.
Click the story above to hear from Englash, who traveled from Isreal for this year's Maccabi games and learn more about Milwaukee's JCC Cares program.