“May the odds be ever in your favor.” This famous quote from the popular movie series the Hunger Games may be repeated several times in the coming week as Birmingham gears up to host the JCC Maccabi Games, a week of athletic competition for Jewish teens. Though the competition won’t be as intense as the Hunger Games where fictional characters fight for their lives, the competition will definitely be stiff.
When our community first started planning the JCC Maccabi Games almost two years ago, we heard, “May the odds be ever in your favor” or a variation of that saying from many people. How could our Birmingham Jewish community made up of just 6200 Jews pull off hosting almost 900 Jewish teens and many additional visitors? Well, in the next few days as the JCC Maccabi Games begin, it’ll be obvious that the odds are in our favor.
But we haven’t just left the success of the JCC Maccabi Games up to chance. Tons of planning by Levite Jewish Community Center staff and volunteer leaders are what will make the Games a success.
The countdown is on. Jewish teens from California to Ukraine to Israel will be making their way to Birmingham in less than 72 hours to see what our city has to offer. Almost 900 teen athletes will compete in various sports across our city, engage in numerous social activities, and participate in an educational/community service program specific to Birmingham. As the Maccabi Games Co-Chair Layne Held put it, “This experience is the ‘Jewish Olympics’ for teens and such a fun-filled week for everyone involved.”
We at the Birmingham Jewish Federation hope that you’re participating in the Games in some way — whether it’s volunteering at one of the evening events, coaching a sport or hosting teens from all over. We promise that you won’t want to miss out on this once in a generation experience. And, we know that the odds are certainly in our favor.
— Samantha Dubrinsky, Director of Community Impact