Completed 2023

“The story of the Maccabiah games is crucial. It’s about bringing Jews together through sport, through religion, through their culture.”

Michele Kuvin Kupfer, Director and Maccabiah ’81 Athlete

Israeli Olympic swimmer Michele Kuvin Kupfer reassembles her 1981 Maccabiah Games team to compete again 40 years later. In the process, they explore the dramatic and inspiring history of the games.

The first Maccabiah Games were held in 1932 in Tel Aviv, just a year before Hitler’s rise to power, and brought together over 400 Jewish Athletes from Europe, North America, and the Middle East. The games quickly grew to become the third largest athletic competition in the world, behind only the Olympics and the WORLD UNIVERSITY Games, and has featured many future Olympic Gold Medalists, including Mark Spitz, Lenny Krazelberg, Kerri Strug, and many more.

As we watch Michele’s team prepare physically and mentally for the games, we profile other star Maccabiah athletes, revisit inspiring and chilling episodes in Jewish sports history – most notably the 1936 Berlin Olympics and the 1972 Munich Massacre of Israeli Olympic Athletes – and show the evolution of Jewish pride and excellence, from ancient stereotypes to modern heroes

“The Greeks created the Olympic Games; so the Jewish people created the Maccabiah.” – David Broza, Internationally renowned Israeli singer-songwriter

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Director: Michele Kuvin Kupfer [bio]

Producer: Lisa Hedley [bio]

Producer: Austin Krause [bio]