Community invited to Maccabi opening ceremonies at SLU’s Chaifetz Arena

The St. Louis delegation takes part in the opening ceremonies of the 2012 JCC Maccabi Games in Memphis. This year, St. Louis hosts the games, which kick off with opening ceremonies on Sunday, July 31. File photo: Larry Brook, Editor of Southern Jewish Life

The JCC Maccabi Games, an international athletic competition for Jewish teens, is coming to St. Louis July 31 through Aug. 5, and local organizers are inviting the community to attend opening ceremonies.

“We hope the whole community will help us welcome our guests and support our local athletes,” said Lynn Wittels, President and CEO of the Jewish Community Center, in a news release. “The Games are a great way to show off our city to visitors from near and far. We’ll have live entertainment and recognize athletes representing their hometowns from around the world. If you’ve never seen the Parade of Athletes, that alone is something that shouldn’t be missed. It will be an uplifting, emotional and memorable evening.”

Opening Ceremonies will take place at 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 31 at Chaifetz Arena, 1 S. Compton Ave., on the St. Louis University campus. The event is free, but advance, online registration is required for each person who plans to attend. Visit for more details or to register.

Organizers expect 1,200 teens from across the United States. and abroad to participate in the Games, a weeklong event of athletic competitions, social events and JCC Cares, a service project where athletes will pack 150,000 meals for the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry.

Organizers of the JCC Maccabi Games are also seeking volunteers and host families.  

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“We still need volunteers, and we don’t want anyone to miss being part of this incredible experience — we will help anyone who is interested find a way to get involved,” said Fanchon Auman, Games Director. 

 “The JCC Maccabi Games has played an integral part in my life, and is the highlight of my year, every year,” said Dave Roberts, 2016 Games Overall Co-Chair and former Maccabi Athlete and Coach. “Maccabi is the foundation of my Jewish identity, and it has provided me with lasting friendships, strengthened my Jewish values, and presented a platform for mentorship. Having the opportunity to continue to serve and represent our community as a member of Team St. Louis is a distinction I respect and value.”

For more information about the JCC Maccabi Games, visit or For help with registration or finding a way to help as a volunteer, contact Sheree Werner at [email protected] or 314-442-3433.