Third Maccabiah Games Begin

September 27, 1950

The Third Maccabiah Games open in the 50,000 seat stadium in Ramat Gan. The games were originally scheduled to be held in 1938 but were cancelled, mostly due to British concerns that that the games would create large scale illegal immigration, especially in light of the spread of Naziism in Germany and Europe.

The games were the first to be held in the new independent State of Israel. Twenty countries sent a total of 800 athletes. At the opening ceremony, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion told the competitors, “Existence in our ancestral home requires physical might no less than intellectual excellence.”

The photo above shows the opening ceremony of the Third Maccabiah Games.