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The 2009 Maccabiah Games (Hebrew: המכביה ה-18 ישראל תשס"ט‎). the 18th incarnation of the Maccabiah Games, were held in July 2009.[2] According to the organizing committee these were the largest games held yet. These Games were the world's fifth-largest sporting event, behind the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, World Police and Fire Games, and Universiade. On the 13th of July, more than 6,000 Jewish athletes from all over the world joined Team Israel's 3,000 participants at the Ramat Gan Stadium in Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv District, Israel, for the opening ceremony.[3]

18th Maccabiah
2009 Maccabiah Logo.png
לגעת ברגעים גדולים
Touched by Greatness[1]
Host cityTel Aviv
Nations participating55
Debuting countries Grenada
Athletes participating9,000
Opening ceremonyJuly 12, 2009
Closing ceremonyJuly 24, 2009
Officially opened byJason Lezak
Main venueRamat Gan Stadium
17th Maccabiah 19th Maccabiah  >

The American delegation arrived two weeks prior to the games to hold practice sessions at a cost of more than two and a half million dollars.[4]



The Maccabiah Games were first held in 1932.[5] In 1961, they were declared a "Regional Sports Event" by, and under the auspices and supervision of, the International Olympic Committee.[6][7][8]

Notable competitorsEdit

Jason Lezak at the Games.

Greco-Roman wrestler Lindsey Durlacher was the flagbearer for the US, and Olympic pole vaulter Jillian Schwartz was one of the US banner bearers.[9] US Olympic champion swimmer Jason Lezak won four gold medals, while setting four Maccabiah records, and was named the most outstanding male athlete of the Games.[9] American basketball player Dan Grunfeld led the US Open Men's Basketball team to a gold medal over Israel, as college basketball coach Bruce Pearl coached the team.[9] American Max Fried, who in 2017 became a major league baseball player with the Atlanta Braves, won a gold medal with the Team USA Juniors baseball team.[10]

Israeli champion Laetitia Beck won an individual gold medal and a team gold medal in golf at the Games.[11] Israeli swimmer Amit Ivry won a gold medal in the Women's 100m butterfly.[12][13]

Chess grandmaster Judit Polgár from Hungary, the number 1 rated woman in the world, was named the Maccabiah's most outstanding female athlete of the Games.[9] Brazilian judoka and future Olympic medalist Felipe Kitadai won a bronze medal, beating Lindsey Durlacher along the way.[14][15][16]Bensiyon Songavkar played for Team India, which won a silver medal in cricket.[17][18]

Participating communitiesEdit

Medals in the 18th Maccabiah, front
Medals in the 18th Maccabiah, back



Medal countEdit

  *   Host nation (Israel)

1  Israel (ISR)*138128101367
2  United States (USA)445151146
3  Russia (RUS)12111134
4  Canada (CAN)981532
5  South Africa (RSA)5128
6  Australia (AUS)471324
7  Great Britain (GBR)471223
8  France (FRA)4206
9  Brazil (BRA)34815
10  Mexico (MEX)32914
Totals (10 nations)226221222669


  1. ^ בריקמן ינהל את קמפיין פרסום המכביה ה-18 (in Hebrew). 2009-06-08. Archived from the original on 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2009-06-09. הסלוגן המוביל של המכביה יהיה: "לגעת ברגעים הגדולים"
  2. ^ 2009 18th Maccabiah Games
  3. ^ "The Last Word: The power of the Maccabiah". The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 2009-07-30. Retrieved 2009-07-04.
  4. ^ המכביה ה-18 תהיה הגדולה ביותר אי-פעם (in Hebrew). Yedioth Ahronoth. Archived from the original on 18 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-17.
  5. ^ A brief history of the Maccabiah Games
  6. ^ Helen Jefferson Lenskyj (2012). Gender Politics and the Olympic Industry. Palgrave Macmillan.
  7. ^ Mitchell G. Bard and Moshe Schwartz, 1001 Facts Everyone Should Know about Israel p. 84.
  8. ^ "History of the Maccabiah Games". Maccabi Australia.
  9. ^ a b c d "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-05. Retrieved 2013-10-04.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ Oster, Marcy (2012-06-05). "Max Fried, 18, drafted by Padres". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
  11. ^ "ספורט – ענפים נוספים nrg – ...גולף: לטיסיה בק זכתה בטורניר" (in Hebrew). July 22, 2009. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  12. ^ "US men's hoops limps into medal round. Pearl's boys narrowly avoid another loss, to face Canada in semis". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved October 23, 2013.
  13. ^ "Games and Results ; Maccabiah Swimming" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-23. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  14. ^ "Felipe Kitadai (Brazil) – Judo stats and info". July 28, 1989. Retrieved November 26, 2013.
  15. ^ "Judo Results 18th Games". July 19, 2009. Archived from the original on December 2, 2013. Retrieved November 26, 2013.
  16. ^ "Aaron Cohen and Barry Friedberg Win Bronze at the Maccabiah Games". July 20, 2009. Archived from the original on December 2, 2013. Retrieved November 26, 2013.
  17. ^ "Successful Maccabiah outing for Indian cricketers"
  18. ^ Dwivedi, Sandeep (28 July 2009). "Indian cricketers strike silver at Jewish Olympics, little Moshe first to get a feel". Indian Express. Retrieved 22 August 2009.
  19. ^ Maccabiah Games-2009. Opening. (3) - YouTube
  20. ^ [1] Archived 2011-10-04 at the Wayback Machine The list of Maccabiah Sports is provided at The link for each sport provides further links the disciplines of the sport, if applicable.

External linksEdit