At the 10th Maccabiah Games in Israel, more than 2,800 athletes from 34 countries participated in 26 different sports, including chess and bridge and for the first time badminton.

10th Maccabiah
Host cityTel Aviv, Israel
Debuting countries Bolivia
 New Zealand
 U.S. Virgin Islands
OpeningJuly 12, 1977[1]
Main venueRamat Gan Stadium

The opening ceremonies were held on July 12, 1977, in Ramat Gan Stadium before a crowd of 50,000 people.[1] The United States won 83 gold medals, 65 silver medals, and 47 bronze medals; Israel was next with 60 gold medals, 70 silver medals, and 60 bronze medals, and South Africa was third with 16 gold medals, seven silver medals, and nine bronze medals.



The Maccabiah Games were first held in 1932 in Palestine, then a British Mandate jurisdiction.[2] In 1961, under an independent Israel, they were declared a "Regional Sports Event" by, and under the auspices and supervision of, the International Olympic Committee.[3][4][5] Among other Olympic and world champions, swimmer Mark Spitz won 10 Maccabiah gold medals before earning his first of nine Olympic gold medals.[6]

It was the first Maccabiah Games to include a women's judo tournament.[7]

Notable medalists


In basketball, the United States, coached by Hall of Famer Dolph Schayes and with his son Danny Schayes, Ernie Grunfeld, Joel Kramer, Howard Lassoff, and Willie Sims on the team, won the gold medal in basketball, beating Israel 92–91 in the final at Yad Eliahu Stadium.[8][9][10][11] Miki Berkovich, Motti Aroesti, Barry Leibowitz, Boaz Janay, and Steve Kaplan were among the Israeli basketball team's squad.[12][8]

In track and field, Esther Roth of Israel won the 100 m hurdles in 13.50, and the 200 m race in 24.03.[13] Roth set records in the 100-meter hurdles, 200-meters, and 4×100-meters.[14] Boris (Dov) Djerassi competed for the United States, and won a gold medal in the hammer throw.[15]

In gymnastics, American Sharon Shapiro won five gold medals in individual and team gymnastics, when she was 15 years of age.[16][17][18][19] American Olympian Abie Grossfeld was Team USA's coach. for both men and women.[20] Israeli Olympian Dov Lupi competed for Team Israel, and had the best overall standing, with a gold medal in the horse and with several silver medals.[21][22]

In swimming, Mexican future Olympian Helen Plaschinski, 14 years old, won gold medals in the 100 and 200 m freestyle.[23] American Olympic bronze medalist Wendy Weinberg won six gold medals and two silver medals.[24][25][26] Among her golds were wins in the 200 m freestyle, the 200 m butterfly, the 400 m freestyle, the 800 m freestyle, and a win in the 4 × 100 m medley relay team of which she was captain.[15][21][25][27][28] Her silver medals were in the 100 m freestyle and the 100 m butterfly.[28][1][29]

In fencing, 2-time Olympic bronze medal winner Yves Dreyfus of France won gold medals in individual and team épée.[30] American fencer Al Axelrod won a gold medal in foil.[31] Joel Glucksman won a silver medal in individual saber for the U.S.[16][21]

In men's tennis, Steve Krulevitz won gold medals in singles and doubles (with Larry Nagler) for the United States, and Nagler also won a silver medal in singles.[32][33] In women's tennis, South African Ilana Kloss won a silver medal in mixed doubles, American Stacy Margolin won gold, silver, and bronze medals in various tennis competitions, and American Dana Gilbert won a gold medal at 17 years of age.[9][32][34][35] Americans Donna Rubin and Jodi Appelbaum-Steinbauer won silver medals in women's doubles, and Appelbaum-Steinbauer won a bronze medal in women's singles.[36] Robin Tenney competed for the United States in tennis.[9]

In judo, Canadian Olympian Howard Stupp won gold medals in the lightweight division of both freestyle and Greco-Roman.[37] Rena Kanokogi of the United States competed in women's judo, which was included in the Maccabiah Games for the first time.[7]

In soccer, Gad Machnes, Gili Landau, and Eli Cohen played for Israel, which won a gold medal.[38]

Also competing were Canadian sprinter Abigail Hoffman (two-time Pan American Games champion), American tennis player Robin Tenney, American soccer player Seth Roland, and Venezuelan Elizabeth Popper (table tennis Olympian).[9][39][40][41]

Participating communities


The 1977 Games were considered the largest assembly of Jewish athletes to that point in time. Thirty-four nations sent athletes.[42] The Israeli contingent was the largest with 500 members, followed by the United States with 340, Brazil with 166, Australia with 165, France with 149, South Africa with 146, Italy with 118, Argentina with 103, and Mexico with 102 athletes.[43][44] Great Britain sent its largest group thus far with 124 athletes.[45] Canada had 92 athletes.[46] Due to international boycotts, Rhodesia was excluded from the games for the first time in seven Maccabiads and South Africa was barred from competing in several events.[45] Despite this, four Rhodesian lawn bowlers and tennis players competed as individual athletes.[47] Bolivia, Iran, New Zealand, and Norway sent single-member teams.[43] The Soviet Union, much of Eastern Europe, and Arab nations boycotted the games.

The United States won 83 gold medals, 65 silver medals, and 47 bronze medals; Israel was next with 60 gold medals, 70 silver medals, and 60 bronze medals, and South Africa was third with 16 gold medals, seven silver medals, and nine bronze medals.[8]

  *   Host nation (Israel)

10th Maccabiah Games medal table
1  United States (USA)836547195
2  Israel (ISR)*607060190
3  South Africa (RSA)167932
4  Netherlands (NED)119323
5  France (FRA)1061531
6  Canada (CAN)881430
7  Australia (AUS)6131029
8  West Germany (FRG)63413
9  Great Britain (GBR)37616
10  Sweden (SWE)24612
11  Brazil (BRA)23510
12  Mexico (MEX)1438
13  Italy (ITA)1337
14  Argentina (ARG)1045
15  Austria (AUT)1012
16  Greece (GRE)1001
17  Denmark (DEN)0202
18  Virgin Islands (ISV)0011
Totals (18 entries)212204191607
Source: "Maccabiah Games Medal Standings". The Montreal Star. July 21, 1977. p. 40 – via

Also participating in the games were:[48]



Israel issued three stamps to commemorate the 10th Maccabiah Games. The stamps show in turn a shot putter, a fencer, and two judoka in a judo contest.[49]


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  2. ^ Mietkiewicz, Mark (June 19, 2017). "The 20th Maccabiah Games: A brief History (Part 1)". The Canadian Jewish News.
  3. ^ Lenskyj, Helen Jefferson (2012). Gender Politics and the Olympic Industry. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781137291158.
  4. ^ Mitchell G. Bard and Moshe Schwartz (2005). 1001 Facts Everyone Should Know about Israel p. 84.
  5. ^ "History of the Maccabiah Games". Maccabi Australia. Archived from the original on September 13, 2018.
  6. ^ Kuttler, Hillel (July 14, 2022). "At Maccabiah Games, 300 Jewish American athletes become bar and bat mitzvah". The Forward.
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  11. ^ Goldstein, Richard (December 10, 2015). "Dolph Schayes, a Bridge to Modern Basketball, Is Dead at 87". The New York Times. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
  12. ^ "Tenth Maccabiah - Maccabiah 21".
  13. ^ "U.S. Brothers Finish 1, 3 in Decathlon in Israel". The New York Times. July 20, 1977.
  14. ^ "Roth, Esther". Jews In Sports. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
  15. ^ a b "U.S. Swimmers Again Dominate Tel Aviv Games". The New York Times. Associated Press. July 19, 1977.
  16. ^ a b "U.S., Israel Neck-in-neck for Honors in 10th Maccabiah Games". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. July 18, 1977.
  17. ^ Wallman, Sheldon (May 16, 1980). "Who Is Best Jewish Athlete In America?". Jewish Post – via Hoosier State Chronicles.
  18. ^ Kaplan, Ron (2015). The Jewish Olympics: The History of the Maccabiah Games. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781632208552 – via Google Books.
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  20. ^ "Grossfeld, Abraham Israel".
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  22. ^ Kaplan 2015, p. 181.
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  28. ^ a b "Weinberg wins gold medal, silver in Maccabiah Games". The Baltimore Sun. July 14, 1977. Retrieved March 19, 2011.
  29. ^ "Americans Excel in Maccabiah Games". The New York Times. July 18, 1977.
  30. ^ "Dreyfus, Yves". Jews In Sports.
  31. ^ "History: The 1960s". Maccabi USA. Archived from the original on April 14, 2014. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
  32. ^ a b "Israel Basketball Team Loses out to Underdog U.S. Squad at 10th Maccabiah". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. July 22, 1977.
  33. ^ Israel Digest. World Zionist Organization, American Section. 1977.
  34. ^ "At the Maccabiah Games: U.S. Wins the Most Medals with 246; Israel Comes in Second with 217". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. July 26, 1985.
  35. ^ "Seeking Jewish Tennis Players to Represent the United States | Adults-Seniors – News". USTA Florida. September 22, 2008. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
  36. ^ "Cutler Bay News 7.23.2013 by Community Newspapers - Issuu".
  37. ^ "The Canadian Jewish news, August 13, 1981, page 6 | SFU Digitized Newspapers".
  38. ^ Maccabiah Games
  40. ^ "FDU's Seth Roland Named US Maccabiah Soccer Team Head Coach".
  41. ^ "Mobile - Seth Roland". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved September 2, 2022.
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  45. ^ a b "Record Games". ⁨⁨The Australian Jewish News. Vol. XLII, no. 42. Melbourne⁩, Victoria, Australia. JCNS. July 29, 1977. p. 40 – via The National Library of Israel Newspaper Collection.
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  47. ^ Little, Charles (2011). "The Sports Boycott Against Rhodesia Reconsidered". Sport in Society. 14 (2): 193–207. doi:10.1080/17430437.2011.546519. ISSN 1743-0437. S2CID 143654494.
  48. ^ Bell, Daniel (ed.). "Maccabiah Games". Encyclopedia of International Games. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company Inc. p. 209 – via Internet Archive.
  49. ^ Tower, Samuel A. (August 7, 1977). "New Commemoratives Mark Black Heritage in U.S." The New York Times. p. 30D.