Maccabi USA received the largest single contribution in its history, the organization announced Feb. 22.
Stuart Weitzman, through The Weitzman Family Foundation, donated $1 million to the Philadelphia-based Jewish athletics organization, a portion of which will be used to fund the 1,200-member U.S. team’s participation in the 19th World Maccabiah Games this July in Israel. The remainder will be invested in the Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel Endowment Fund.
“Stuart is a good friend to Maccabi USA and he understands the importance of what we do, building Jewish pride through sports, because he has experienced it firsthand,” Ron Carner, president of the organization said in a news release. “He is a dynamic human being who cares very much about the future of the Jewish community.”
Weitzman, the designer behind Stuart Weitzman Shoes, competed as a member of the U.S. masters table tennis team at the Maccabiah Games in 2009.
“My participation in the Maccabiah Games was one of the greatest experiences of my life,” Weitzman said. “After experiencing the games myself, I saw how Maccabi USA changes the lives of the athletes by enhancing their connection to their Jewish culture and heritage. I knew that I had to support the work they do so future Jewish athletes can participate in this life-changing event and feel a strong connection to the State of Israel.”