Making a connection to Israel and Jewish peoplehood through sport

Often referred to as the “Jewish Olympics,” the Maccabiah Games, organized by the Maccabi World Union, are held every four years and have become the largest regularly held international event in Israel. 

The 21st Maccabiah Games are scheduled for July 12 to 26, 2022 in Israel “two weeks to experience, a lifetime to remember.” Making a connection to Israel and Jewish peoplehood through sport is the goal!

In July 2017, the Maccabiah hosted 10,000 athletes representing 80 countries, making it the third largest event in the world, behind only the Summer Olympics and the World University Games. Maccabi Canada sent a delegation of 600 proud Canadians, one of the largest delegations from any Diaspora country. Canadian athletes won 72 medals at the 2017 Games, including 15 Golds. 

As Haley Miller, rhythmic gymnast and one of 10 local Ottawa athletes that competed in the 2017, said, “competing at the 2017 Maccabiah was amazing! It was my first visit to Israel. Although I had learned about biblical history in school, modern Israel came to life on our daily tours. I came home with 2 medals, I gained lifelong friends and the unique experience of competing with national and international level athletes.”

Registration for some teams is still open (until end of September 2021), with spots open in some team sports but mainly in individual sports. Are you interested in being part of this amazing experience? 

If you or someone you know is interested representing Canada and competing next summer at the Games in Israel, visit and register. 

In the past, a dear friend of Maccabi Canada, Jon Braun z”l would help to identify local athletes of all ages and athletes who identified their Jewish roots in many different forms. As Bill Izso (Maccabi Canada executive) says, “simply put, Ottawa would not be on the Maccabi map without Jon’s love of kids, love of sport, love of Israel and his ability to make things happen.” 

It costs a lot of money to send athletes to Israel. Once local athletes are selected, fundraising will begin. More information on supporting “Team Ottawa” will be made available in the fall.

For more information in the Ottawa area contact Bill Izso or Mitch Miller ( or 

Detailed information on age groups, exceptions and sports are updated regularly on the Maccabi Canada website: