Robert Spivak was president of Maccabi USA/Sports
for Israel from 1981 to 2001. During that period
he was also general chairman of the U. S. teams
that competed in the 1985, 1989, and 1993 Maccabiah
Games in Israel.
Under Spivak’s guidance, U.S. participation in the Maccabiah Games increased
from 350 athletes in 1981 to more than 600 in 2001. He initiated an athlete
endowment and sponsorship program to perpetuate Maccabi USA’s future.
He is also responsible for the Maccabiah Games pre-camp, a unique enrichment
week prior to competitions that provides American
athletes the opportunity to focus on Judaism, heritage, and Holy Land historical
Early in Spivak’s 20-year tenure as Maccabi USA’s
president, the organization became a co-sponsor of the North
American Maccabi Youth Games, which became
the JCC Maccabi Games, a Maccabiah-like sportsfest and cultural in-gathering
for athletes 16 years and younger.
Spivak’s Maccabi USA also became a participant
in the Special
Olympics, an active supporter of the Israel (Ilan)
Sports Centre for the Physically Disabled in
Ramat Gan, and underwrote the Russian émigré housing
program at the Wingate Institute. In addition to initiating and supporting
numerous other important youth and adult projects in Israel, Maccabi USA, with
the Jewish National Fund (JNF), launched a sports and recreation facility project
in 1994 in Ben Shimen Forest at Modi’in (between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv).
The Philadelphia insurance and securities executive
has been a delegate to the United States Olympic
Committee and served on the board of directors
the International Maccabiah Committee (IMC), the American Friends of Haifa
University, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Jewish Community Center of
Philadelphia, the Delaware chapter of the Jewish National Fund, and Boy’s
Spivak co-chaired the Organizing Committee of the 1979 Pan-American Maccabi
Games and has been a board member of the International Jewish Sports Hall of
Fame since 1981.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented annually, honoring those individuals
who have made significant contributions to the State of Israel and society