Maccabi Canada is recruiting athletes for summer 2025 games in Israel

Jordan Balaban (centre) with Zack Lister and Alex Molotsky at the 2017 Maccabiah Games in Israel. Photo supplied.

by AJNews Staff

(AJNews) – “We’re scouting for high level, passionate, elite athletes to join our team for the 2025 Maccabiah Games!” says Jordan Balaban.

Maccabi Canada has begun recruiting Jewish athletes to participate in next year’s World Maccabiah Games in Israel. The quadrennial games are scheduled to take place July 5-25 with competitions taking place in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Netanya.

More than just a sports competition; the Maccabiah Games offer a life changing experience for participants as they connect to their Jewish roots, the Land of Israel, and other Jewish athletes from around the world.

The Maccabiah Games create the opportunity for Jewish athletes to compete in a world-class international sporting event and to travel to Israel and explore their heritage.

The Maccabiah is the world’s largest Jewish athletic competition and the second largest sporting event in the world – in terms of number of athletes competing – after the Olympics. Taking place every four years in Israel, the Games are Maccabi World Union’s largest initiative.

The primary mission of the Maccabiah is to facilitate a worldwide gathering of Jewish athletes in Israel, and to strengthen their connection to the State of Israel and the Jewish people. All athletes take part in Maccabi educational seminars and tours ranging from 2-7 days. A special celebration is also available at the Western Wall, for athletes who never had a chance to experience his or her bar or bat mitzvah.

Maccabi World Union is committed to bringing any athlete who qualifies to the Games, regardless of income, including 400 athletes from financially disadvantaged communities.

The Maccabiah Games is often referred to as the “Jewish Olympics.” In July 2022 the Maccabiah hosted over 10,000 athletes representing 80 countries. Maccabi Canada sent 600 proud athletes and staff to the last Maccabiah games and was the second largest international delegation. The Games featured 3000 tournaments across 47 sports. The Maccabiah Games are committed to the values of fair play, mutual respect and the pursuit of excellence. Above all, they are a fun experience of sport and culture.

The Maccabiah includes four separate competitions:

  • Juniors – open to any qualifying athlete aged 15-18.
  • Open – unlimited in age, subject to the governing international rules in each sport, and intended for the best athletes from each delegation.
  • Masters – divided into a number of different age categories to accommodate older competitors.
  • Paralympics.

In 2025, the Canadian delegation members will travel to Israel on the following dates: Junior Delegation athletes must be available to travel and stay in Israel between July 2 -22, 2025. Open and Masters athletes must be available to travel and stay in Israel between July 7 -22, 2025. Training camps in Toronto will be scheduled for 2-3 days prior to departure.

To participate in the Maccabiah, athletes must be part of a delegation, formed by one of the countries that participate.

Alberta members who participated in the Canada delegation in 2022 were: Zohar Broder, U16 junior men’s tennis, Danyael Halprin, open women’s track & field, Nicole Hult, open women’s squash, Ian Power, coach, open male and female squash, Brittney Sawyer, open women’s hockey, Alana Takahashi, medical staff, Tim Takahashi, medical staff, Conaire Taub, U18 men’s volleyball and Nick Taub, U18 men’s volleyball.

Balaban has participated in 5 Maccabiah Games and highly recommends it as an amazing life changing experience. Competing in the Games is special, “but for me, the opening ceremonies are always a highlight,” said Balaban. “Walking through the stadium with 10,000 other Jewish athletes from over 80 different countries is a tremendous experience of Jewish unity and pride.”

Balaban is spreading the word to bring more athletes from out west to the Maccabiah Games. For more information, he can be contacted at: General information about Maccabi Canada or the Maccabiah Games can be found at

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