Detroit Games co-chair Karen Gordon, director Jeremy Fishman and co-chair Franci Silver along with Stacie Francombe and Carissa Mindt from Atlanta
Detroit Games co-chair Karen Gordon, director Jeremy Fishman and co-chair Franci Silver along with Stacie Francombe and Carissa Mindt from Atlanta

The Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit will play host to the JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest next year. Aug. 4-9, 2019, to be exact.

Even though the dates are about 10 months away, a call went out last week for local athletes to try out for Detroit teams and sign up for individual sports, ArtsFest participants, host families and volunteers.

Jeremy Fishman, Maccabi Games and ArtsFest director, issued this statement in a news release:

“The JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest is a transcendent event because it brings the entire Jewish community together. We’ll have Jewish participants from all over the world, girls and boys. It’s truly unique and special that Detroit, a city on a fierce comeback, has been chosen to host this event to showcase our city and community.

“As the saying goes, ‘It takes a village.’ We really need the entire community to be involved in this event. Ultimately, we have repeatedly shown, when it comes to hosting the JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest, there is no place like Detroit.”

Detroit Games co-chair Karen Gordon, director Jeremy Fishman and co-chair Franci Silver along with Stacie Francombe and Carissa Mindt from Atlanta
Detroit Games co-chair Karen Gordon, director Jeremy Fishman and co-chair Franci Silver along with Stacie Francombe and Carissa Mindt from Atlanta

More than 1,500 athletes and 300 coaches are expected to participate in the Maccabi Games. More than 800 host families are needed to house the visiting athletes.

Local teens ages 12-16 can try out for these team sports: softball, baseball, volleyball, soccer, basketball, lacrosse and ice hockey. They also can participate in tennis, dance, table tennis, golf and swimming as individuals.

Detroit teens ages 12-17 can participate in these ArtsFest disciplines: acting/improv, dance, musical theater, rock band, visual arts, social media, star reporters, vocal performance and culinary arts.

More than 1,000 volunteers are needed for tasks before, during and after the Maccabi Games and ArtsFest. Tasks include mailings, serving food and preparing the sports fields.

To participate in the Maccabi Games and ArtsFest or sign up to be a host family or volunteer,  send an email to Maccabi@jccdet.org, call (248) 934-0889 or visit maccabidetroit.com.

This will be the sixth time Detroit will play host to the Maccabi Games since the event’s founding in 1982.

Detroit was a Maccabi Games host in 1984, 1990, 1998, 2008 and 2014. It was the only site in 1984 and 1990, when the Maccabi Games were held every two years. Multiple sites hosting the Maccabi Games annually started in 1997. Atlanta also will be a host next year.

Detroit records for visiting and local athletes were set in 1998 and 2008. There were 3,100 visiting athletes and 400 local athletes in 1998. A decade later, there were 500 local athletes and 2,300 athletes from out of town.

ArtsFest began in 2006.

The Maccabi Games is the largest annual sports competition in the world for Jewish boys and girls. In addition to the competition, the event features community service, and cultural and social programs.

No Need To Sit Down

There’s a new twist to the Michigan Jewish Sports Hall of Fame induction dinner Oct. 23 at the Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield.

Guests will find a strolling dinner at 6 p.m. in Handleman Hall instead of the traditional sit-down dinner. The reasoning for the switch is so guests can participate more easily in the silent auction and visit with one another.

The program will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Berman Center for the Performing Arts.

Cost for the dinner, program and afterglow is $185, but special pricing is available. Go to michigajewishsports.org or contact Michigan Jewish Sports Foundation Executive Director Sari Cicurel at (248) 592-9323.

In addition to the induction of the Hall of Fame Class of 2018 — Ken Daniels, Todd Gesund, Dana Jacobson, Michael Jacobson, Al Nagler and Arn Tellem — Jim and Lisa Price will receive the Shirley and Alvin Foon Humanitarian Award. Pillars of Excellence, Jewish News Male and Female Athletes of the Year, and Dr. Steven and Evelyn Rosen Stars of Tomorrow Scholarship winners will be honored.

Send news to stevestein502004@yahoo.com.