More than 400 local host families are needed to house the 1,000 Jewish teen athletes participating in the JCC Maccabi Games in St. Louis. The host family experience is a unique and rewarding aspect of the Games for athlete, family, and community alike. Lasting memories and relationships born from the host family experience are an integral part of the JCC Maccabi Games experience.
The host family offers the athlete a “home away from home” – the best way to experience the Games, St. Louis, and the unique Jewish experience our community offers. In turn, host families experience the Games on a personal level by connecting with their friends and neighbors and building a bond with their visiting athletes that extends well beyond Closing Ceremonies.
Think you can’t be a Maccabi host? We’re here to dispell some recurring hosting myths:
- “I work full time and won’t have time to drive the athletes around during the day.” No problem. Drop your athletes off as early as 7amm and pick them up after the evening events around 9:30pm.
- “I don’t have any kids at home.” Athletes will be with other athletes all week. They just need a warm and welcoming place to call home for the week.
- “I have small children at home.” Your small children will love getting to know these out-of-town athletes while they are with you.
- “I can’t be a tour guide to visiting athletes.” The only time that you have to entertain is Wednesday evening – Host Family Night. This is a great time to get together with other Host Families to plan a fun evening.
- “I don’t have an extra bedroom.” Many families open up beds by bunking their children together in one room for the week or by using air mattressess.
Have questions? Take a look at our FAQs below for answers. Email us if you have any other questions.
A: Yes. All Jewish families are welcome to host visiting athletes.
A: No. All Jewish families are welcome to host visiting athletes.
A: You must house a minimum of two athletes. Each athlete requires his/her own bed (air mattresses are acceptable).
A: All athletes must be housed in a Jewish home (that contains at least one Jewish parent).
A: No, a Kosher home is not required.
A: Yes, by all means. We encourage you to be an enthusiastic spectator at any and all athletic events. You must wear your free JCC Maccabi credentials.
A: You will need to provide dinner on Sunday, July 31 before Opening Ceremonies, dinner on August 3 (Host Family Night), and breakfast on Monday, August 1 through Friday, August 5. It is also suggested that you keep plenty of snacks around the house as teenagers will want to eat almost constantly!
A: Snacks and drinks will be provided at all venues for the athletes. However, feel free to stock up on your visiting athlete’s favorite snacks for them to enjoy in the evening.
A: All drivers transporting athletes MUST be 21 or over. Vehicles must have seat belts for all athletes and passengers. You may carpool for morning drop-off only. Pick-up may only be done by a designated credentialed host family member as Delegation Heads can only release a participant to their assigned host family.
A: No. Athletes should bring enough money to cover all incidentals.
A: Say no. This often leads to problems. The athletes have agreed, in writing, to adhere to a Code of Conduct. Violations of the code will be cause for expulsion from the Games. Please contact the Housing Committee if you have any problems.
A: Yes, we are sorry for the inconvenience. This will be kept to a minimum.
A: You can request gender, age, and sports, but these requests are not guaranteed.
A: You may request to host specific athletes from other delegations. These athletes will request you as their specific host when they fill out their registration packet.