Greetings from our Committee Leadership


Rarely does one receive the opportunity to be part of a movement that transforms the landscape of the community and impacts hundreds of people, particularly teenagers. So, too, is it rare to feel the satisfaction that comes with bringing a community together to share in an inter-generational experience of a lifetime.

In July, 2016, the Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus will host the JCC Maccabi Games® for the fifth time, the last time being in 2004. The JCC Maccabi Games® are an Olympic-style sporting competition held every summer in North America and are one of the largest organized sports programs for Jewish teens in the world. Over 750 Jewish teens, ages 13-16 will descend upon Columbus from July 24 through 29 to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Delegates from across the United States, Israel, Mexico, Canada, and other countries will test their skills in more than 12 different sports while experiencing all that Columbus has to offer. In addition to athletic events, the week begins with the excitement of Opening Ceremonies and concludes with the passing of the Maccabi torch at week’s end. In between, athletes learn the value of teamwork, integrity, cultural pride and community service, while expanding an appreciation of Jewish values, enriching their Jewish identities and building lifelong friendships.

The athletes visiting host cities stay with local Jewish families. The “home hospitality” is vital to the experience, representing the extended family and value of welcoming the stranger. Every set of Games includes a community service project called JCC Cares. The JCC Cares program allows athletes to participate in a hands-on service project to give back to the host community is a meaningful way. The basic American concept of community service in closely tied to the fundamental Jewish value of Tikun Olam (repairing the world), which obligates us to make a difference in the lives of others less fortunate than ourselves.

Hosting the JCC Maccabi Games® is a monumental endeavor that requires the commitment of over 1,000 volunteers, giving their time and opening their hearts and homes. Your chance is now. Your generosity will ensure that the Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus shines as a first-class host surrounded by a supportive, welcoming and caring community.

We look forward to your becoming a member of the team that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of our youth to create a lasting legacy.

Jon Meyer

Karen Shore Meyer

Carol Folkerth
Executive Director

Ben Zacks
President, Board of Trustees