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FAQ

The most frequently asked questions

Maccabi

Maccabi is a worldwide Jewish youth movement dedicated to the promotion of amateur sports, cultural or social activities, and recreation. With its program of activities, it strives to develop an understanding of the spiritual values ​​of the Jewish faith and a higher appreciation of the Jewish cultural and national heritage in Jewish youth.
In recognition of its decades-long contribution to the promotion of competitive sport, the Maccabi World Union (Maccabi World Union) - the umbrella organization of the Maccabi Unions worldwide - was classified by the International Olympic Committee as an "International Sport Union of Olympic rank" as early as 1960. The only other body to be so honored is the International Student Sports Organization.
Maccabi's popularity in the ranks of Jewish youth stems both from the non-political and impartial nature of the movement and from the diversity of offerings for Maccabi members. Maccabi is often referred to as "The first Jewish youth organization in the world".

Enclosed in the movement's emblem in the form of a “Magen David” (Shield of David) are 4 Hebrew letters: Mem, Kaf, Beit and Yod, which are pronounced and spelled Maccabi (or Maccabi) (without the vowels).
There are different versions of the origin of this name, it is generally derived from the name of a family of priests who are said to have given the signal for the rebellion against the Syrian tyrant Antiochus in 170 BC. The army of the Syrian king had invaded the Land of Israel, desecrated the Holy Temple, enslaved the Jewish people and forbidden the preservation of Jewish religion and tradition.
The father of that Maccabi family, the priest Mattathias, had several sons. The bravest of them was called Yehuda, since then known as “Yehuda Ha' Maccabi”. Though greatly outnumbered by the invaders' army, he and his brothers preferred death in battle to surrender.
The story of their desperate but courageous struggle for freedom of conscience and religion has stood the test of time and become a legend in the civilized world. Their deeds became a source of excitement for many generations of Jews in the centuries that followed.

The founding of Maccabi is closely linked to discrimination on religious or racial grounds in late 19th century and relentless persecution in the pogroms of early 20th century Europe:
Jews with a sense of community felt compelled to found a movement that aimed to educate Jewish youth physically so that they could become capable of defending themselves in an emergency.
Before 1917, therefore, Maccabi clubs could be found throughout Europe (including Tsarist Russia), and in later years they could be found on every continent in the world where Jewish communities were relatively free from oppression. In 1921 a joint world organization was founded, the Maccabi World Union (MWU) based in Berlin.
With the spread of communism, the Maccabi clubs were banned from all areas that came under the influence of Soviet Russia. From the Nazi regime's rise to power in Germany in 1933, the Maccabi clubs were gradually closed and many thousands of members disappeared during the inferno. During World War II, a large number of Maccabi clubs in Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia, with all their indoor and outdoor sports facilities, were closed and their property confiscated. Clubs in Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia suffered the same fate.
Step by step, Maccabi clubs were and are being re-established or completely re-established in all parts of the world after the end of the Second World War, after the fall of the Iron Curtain and other political changes.

From 1921 to 1935 the headquarters of the Maccabi Wordl Union (MWU) was based in Berlin. Because of the suppression measures of the Nazi regime, the headquarters had to be moved to London, where it remained until 1946. Then it was moved to Palestine, which was under British mandate at the time. Today, the headquarters are based in Ramat Gan, Israel, on the grounds of Maccabi Village.
The MWU consists of continental associations to which country organizations are attached. Each country organization has a constitution that is adapted to local circumstances but fully compatible with the objectives of the MWU. Each country organization enjoys full autonomy provided that its activities are compliant with the MWU Constitution.
A country organization is administered by an elected National Assembly of Delegates. This is usually represented on the board of the confederation to which it belongs. Each Confederation is represented on the World Executive with a certain number of members. The members of the World Executives are elected every four years by the Maccabi World Congress.
The MWU currently has more than 400.000 members worldwide (as of June 2013).

The Maccabi Village in Ramat Gan is one of the greatest achievements of the MWU and at the same time an important material asset. It was founded in 1953 and has since grown into a large complex. It consists of sports halls, several swimming pools, tennis courts, a basketball court, a clubhouse and also a number of buildings for accommodating youth groups and tourists.
The Maccabi Village owes its creation to the idea of ​​accommodating the participants in a Maccabiah on a site - analogous to the Olympic Villages.
When the Maccabi Village housing options were originally planned, no one expected the number of foreign participants at Maccabiah to exceed 500. Over time, it became necessary to build further house complexes and also to accommodate athletes outside of the Maccabi village.

Modiin - the village where the Maccabi priests lived, fought and were buried - has become a destination for the pilgrimages of Israeli Maccabi youth, as well as Maccabi visitors from abroad.
The torch carried by runners that marks the opening ceremony of the Maccabiah, and which also burns at the annual Hanukkah relay race held in Israel, is traditionally lit at Modiin to remind us of the heroic deeds of the ancient Maccabees: to remember inside.

Sports

Over time, the Maccabi movement's introduction of physical training among Jewish youth created a natural desire for athletic competition. The standards that had been set over the years by national and international championships, not to mention the Olympic Games, were too high for the Maccabi amateur athletes.
Early gymnastics demonstrations involving groups of Maccabi members from across Europe gave rise to the idea of ​​running these competitions on a much broader basis. Between the two world wars, several international Jewish sports festivals took place in European cities, e.g. B. in Prague and Antwerp. They were known as the "Maccabiades" (like Olympiads) in the early days. The Hebrew plural for today's "Maccabiah games" is "Maccabioth."
The first Maccabiah, attended by 23 countries, was held in Tel-Aviv in 1932. The second, attended by 27 countries, took place in Tel-Aviv in 1935, at a time when the late Lord Melchett was President of the movement. This paved the way for later Games to be held in Israel. The third games were also supposed to be held in Palestine in 1939, but because of World War II they had to be postponed until 1950 - these were then the first to be held in the State of Israel. In 1953, three years later, the fourth Maccabiah was held. Since then, the Maccabioth has been held regularly every 4 years and the number of competitors and the competitions on the program is constantly growing.
The 19th Maccabiah will take place in 2013, from July 17th to 30th.
The third Maccabiah in 1950 made history, not only because it became the forerunner of the Games that have been held in Israel ever since, but also because the MWU decided to invite Jewish athletes of all nations to the first “World Festival of Jewish Sports” held on Israeli soil, whether they were members of Maccabi clubs or not. This decision has been upheld and has proven extremely useful in attracting an ever-growing number of Jewish athletes from around the world. Among them are some excellent athletes who also participate in the Olympic Games.

The Maccabiah is modeled after the Olympic Games, but differs in many ways. The Olympic Games are held every four years in different cities around the world, under the auspices of, and largely at the expense of, the host country. The Maccabiah Games take place exclusively in Israel and only Jewish athletes of various nationalities can participate.
True to Olympic ideals, the Maccabiah is also open only to amateurs, whose primary goal is to compete, not to win medals. The beacon is and always will be: "In unity to the honor of Judaism and the glory of sport."
Participation in the Maccabiah Games has become a coveted goal of every Jewish athlete, and winning a medal is a mark of remarkable achievement.

Many Maccabiah participants were so encouraged by their initial success that upon returning from Israel they stepped up their training and attained such a high level of proficiency that they were able to represent their countries in international competitions. For many young men and women, the Maccabiah has become a springboard to world championships or the Olympic Games.
During the Maccabiah, a spirit of unity arises, both on and off the field. The presence of some 10.000 Jewish athletes in Israel and their participation in the Games fosters a sense of unity regardless of nationality, language or color. It also increases the sense of belonging to the Jewish people - a people meeting in the land of their ancestors.
Many athletes are introduced to Israel during the Maccabiah. They take with them memories of happy days spent among their Jewish brothers, young Israelis and good athletes. MWU President Pierre Gildesgame once coined the phrase: “Maccabiah is the first step to aliyah.”
In fact, some previous Maccabiah participants fell in love with Israel and have since settled there. A former Honorary President of the MWU, the late Lord Nathan, summed up his impressions after attending Maccabiah in 1953: "I have never been more proud to be a Brit or a Jew."

Only Jewish athletes are allowed in international competitions like the Maccabiah. Therefore, our athletes must also be Jewish. However, you are welcome to support us on a voluntary basis at such and other major events and you do not have to be Jewish to be a member of one of our local associations. Get in touch with us under “Become active” > “We are looking for you”. We look forward to you!

Judaism

Yes, at every event there are of course these Opportunity to keep Shabbat.

The Hebrew word "Hanukkah" means consecration. In this context it refers to the consecration of the temple that followed its desecration. Hanukkah commemorates the battle of the warlike Maccabi priests and the traditional lighting of the Hanukkah candles evokes the legend of the small jug filled with pure oil found in the temple that only lasted for one day. But by a miracle the menorah burned for 8 days.
Since then, Hanukkah has been celebrated for 8 days. The legend of the oil lamp symbolizes the unparalleled courage, perseverance, and heroism of a handful of defenders of Jerusalem.
Therefore, Hanukkah is celebrated as the annual Maccabi commemoration with parades and great fanfare wherever Maccabi clubs are located.

Others

Of course, we also offer beyond the sport various offers, events and activities, in which everyone can participate. Our team consists of physios, doctors, Volunteers, photographers and videographers and many more helpers. Get in touch with us under “Become active” > “We are looking for you”.

Unfortunately, it happens again and again on our sports fields to hostilities, which we use preventive measures try to counteract. The safety of all participants at every event or every course has with us top priority. We always ensure that these is guaranteed at all times and at all times.

We do not offer a voluntary social year (FSJ), but we do offer a federal voluntary service (BFD). The BFD also has the same status as an FSJ, only the distribution of tasks differs depending on the possible assignments. We look forward to meaningful Applications to:

bewerbung@makkabi.de.

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