Maccabi: a vital role

By Jessica Elgot, March 31, 2011

The majority of Maccabi GB participants say the sports organisation has helped shape their Jewish identity. Around 60 per cent of the participants in Maccabi GB programmes said it played an "important" or "extremely important" role.

The survey was part of a review into activities by Maccabi GB and UJIA. Around 200 past and present participants, aged 16 to 27, responded to an online questionnaire about their experiences at Maccabi.

All the respondents said the Streetwise Leadship programme with the CST was useful and 80 per cent said they had gone on to volunteer in the community.

One respondent wrote: "If it had not been for Maccabi GB, I don't know how involved I would be."

Around 90 per cent of the athletes who went to Israel with Maccabi GB said it had made them more aware when Israel is in the news.

The survey is evidence that our work makes a difference

Less affected were the personal lives of participants. Less than 40 per cent said being part of Maccabi GB had made them more likely to keep Jewish customs, and just over 50 per cent said that Maccabi meant they were more likely to marry someone Jewish. Maccabi GB chief executive Martin Berliner said the survey "is evidence that our work makes a difference".

The survey was supervised by UJIA's Dr Helena Miller.

Last updated: 1:43pm, March 31 2011