World’s largest Jewish sporting event kicks off in Jerusalem

Over 30,000 attend opening ceremony of Maccabiah Games, which PM Netanyahu and President Peres address.

July 19, 2013 01:00
Opening ceremony of the 19th Maccabiah Games.

Maccabiah games opening ceremony 390. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)


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The 19th quadrennial Maccabiah Games started in grand fashion at Teddy Kollek Stadium Thursday night, bolstered by tens of thousands of enthusiastic spectators, and more than 9,000 of the most talented Jewish athletes in the world.

Click here for the Post's special Maccabiah section

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Also known as the “Jewish Olympics,” the Maccabiah Games is the largest international Jewish athletic competition. This year’s event is considered the biggest of all time, attracting some 30,000 spectators and athletes from over 70 countries.

The opening ceremony – attended by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and a number of international dignitaries – included the traditional athletes’ march, the lighting of the Maccabiah torch, the swearing-in ceremony led by Israeli athlete Alex Shatilov and live performances by local and internationally renowned artists.

“We have come from different places, but we belong to the same family,” said Peres.

“A family whose face is always turned towards Jerusalem, the eternal capital of our people, the capital of justice and peace.”

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