Maccabi USA Receives $5M Matching Gift Opportunity from Stuart Weitzman
Maccabi USA has announced the creation of the newly endowed Stuart Weitzman Scholarship Fund, made possible by a $5M matching gift opportunity from the world-famous shoe designer and three-time table tennis alumnus of the Maccabiah. Often referred to as the “Jewish Olympics,” the event is one of the largest gatherings of Diaspora Jewry in the world, with more than 10,000 athletes competing in Israel from 80 countries. Mr. Weitzman’s gift supports athletes who cannot afford to participate without financial assistance.
“This goes beyond sports,” said Mr. Weitzman. “I cannot imagine a better way to create camaraderie and an understanding and appreciation of Jewish heritage and culture than supporting an organization like Maccabi USA. I am making this gift to ensure that athletes in need can take part in this life-changing experience.”
A true matching opportunity, Maccabi USA must raise $3M by December 2022 to receive the full $5M gift. Maccabi USA has raised $850,000 in the first three months to unlock Mr. Weitzman’s first $2M contribution. It is looking to raise the next $1.15M by the end of 2021 to receive the next $2M from Mr. Weitzman.
“This is the most monumental gift in the history of our organization,” said Maccabi USA President Jeff Bukantz. “After every Maccabiah, we start anew and need to raise $1M to support our athletes. This generous endowment gift will help ensure no qualified Jewish athlete in need is turned away from this transformative experience.”
The next Maccabiah will feature competition in almost 40 sports from July 12-26, 2022. Prior to the Games, Maccabi USA provides the week-long Israel Connect experience for its U-16, U-18, Open, and Para-athletes, which utilizes professional educators to lead athletes around Israel for a variety of experiences, activities, and discussions.
“While sports introduce many young Jews to the Jewish world with Maccabi USA, they are really just a unique vehicle for Jewish and Israel engagement,” said Maccabi USA CEO Marshall Einhorn. “Sports help to build pride, camaraderie and life-long relationships, and ultimately a tight-knit Jewish community that shares a passion for both heritage and competition.”
The first Maccabiah was held in in Israel in 1932 with 390 athletes from 18 countries. Traditionally held every four years, interrupted only by the Second World War, by 2017 the Games had grown to include nearly 10,000 Jewish athletes from 80 countries competing in 40 sports, making it the third largest international multi-sport event, and one of the largest gatherings of Diaspora Jewry in the world. In July 2022, Maccabi USA anticipates sending its largest-ever delegation of more than 1,200 to Israel.
Maccabi USA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with an extensive history of enriching Jewish lives through athletic, cultural and educational programs. Maccabi USA is the official sponsor of the United States team to the World Maccabiah Games, the Pan American and European Maccabi Games, and the Maccabi Youth Games, as well as a sponsor of the JCC Maccabi Games for teens in North America.
Maccabi USA develops, promotes and supports international, national and regional athletic-based activities and facilities. It strives to provide Jewish athletes all over the world the opportunity to share their heritage and customs in competitive athletic settings. Maccabi USA supports programs that embody the Maccabi ideals of Jewish pride, continuity, Zionism, and excellence in sport.
Maccabi USA is a US Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) Affiliate Organization. The organization is one of only 38 Affiliates nationwide to be recognized by the USOPC for its ability to cultivate a national interest in sport and increase opportunities for participation internationally, nationally, and at the grassroots level.