Opening Ceremonies

The Opening Ceremonies will kick-off the JCC Maccabi Games five weeks from Sunday. There’s a lot to be excited about, and the Ceremonies are no exception. Held in a huge venue, the Greater Columbus Convention Center in downtown Columbus, on Sunday, July 24, the Opening Ceremonies will bring everyone together in a night to remember for a lifetime.

Columbus Team Austin Games“The Opening Ceremonies are important to Maccabi because it sets the tone for the whole experience that follows,” says Opening Ceremonies Committee Co-Chair Pam Gurwin. “The Ceremonies create enthusiasm and a sense of awe about what these dedicated athletes, coaches, volunteers, and spectators are about to experience together!”

Mills-James is producing the Opening Ceremonies, ensuring that our kick-off is an unparalleled event. The night begins with a special pre-show video at 6 p.m. which will officially welcome visiting delegations to our city and our JCC. It will feature background information about Columbus, interviews with athletes, and more to catch everyone up on the hard work and fun we’ve had preparing to host the Games.

The Ceremonies begin at 7 p.m. and will run about an hour. Junior Maccabi participants will lead in the twenty delegations in the Parade of Athletes. There will be guest speakers and Bexley High School Vocal Ensemble will sing the anthems. We will commemorate “The Munich Eleven,” the eleven Jewish athletes who lost their lives at the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics. There will also be a surprise finale produced by Cirque Dreams that no one will want to miss!

In fact, no one needs to miss this incredible event. Those who are not already involved in the Games may attend as well. Admission is free, but spectators will need to obtain credentials first by registering at Spectators with credentials are also welcome to attend competitions during the week.

“We want people to get really excited about coming to the Convention Center for the Ceremonies – we want them to imagine the energy and thrill of what a crowd of over 2,000 attendees can produce,” says Gurwin. “We want them to get passionate about what the week will hold – all through the Opening Ceremonies launch!”

We’d like to give a special thanks to the Columbus Jewish Foundation for being the official sponsor of the JCC Maccabi Games Opening Ceremonies!

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