Courtesy of JCC

Metro Detroit gets ready for the 2019
JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest Aug. 4-9.

Featured image courtesy of JCC

The sixth time is the charm. Detroit is the first city to host the JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest for the sixth time. That kind of experience matters when it comes to bringing everything together for a successful event, says director Jeremy Fishman.

The work started two years ago with a steering committee of 50 people, the majority who worked on previous Maccabi events in Detroit. During the last few weeks before the games start, “everything comes together in a cohesive whole,” says Fishman, who estimates about 100,000 manhours have been spent on making sure this year’s games are the best ever.

This year’s athletes arrive on Sunday and will be bused to the JCC where they will meet their host families. Delegates, athletes, volunteers — and the general public — are asked to bring nonperishable items to fill up a Gleaner’s Food truck for distribution to the needy. Later that night, opening ceremonies for athletes and host families take place at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. From then on, it’s sporting events, volunteering, friendship-making and fun.

About 10 days out, Fishman says they’re making sure the venues are ready to go, supplies are on hand and everyone is set up for success. Fishman admits to feeling waves of anxiety and excitement. “I can’t wait to wake up and have everyone here,” he said. “I’m excited to see all the hard work come together.”

Fishman adds they can always use more volunteers to help at evening parties, with food service and at the events keeping score. To volunteer, visit

People, Travel, Events and Food Stats:

187: Local athletes
21: Local artists
1,178: Visiting athletes and artists
8,000: Spectators
1,000: Volunteers
250: Referees and judges
45: In-bound flights of athletes
40: Continuously running buses over 5 days
8: Venues
4,621 miles: Furthest distance traveled
11 Sports tournaments
7 ArtsFest disciplines
300 lbs. of hummus
80,000 beverages
70,000 snacks
20,000 forks/knives/spoons

Look for updates on the events and scores throughout the week right here at!

Previous articleYoung Artist Headlines Stephen Gottlieb Concert
Next articleFeel the Beat with Detroit Maccabi Dance Team