In an effort to be helpful to parents and artists, we have gathered the most frequently asked questions from parents of past JCC Maccabi ArtsFest®. We hope you will take the time to read through all the questions and answers. If any information is not covered, and you need an answer to a particular question, please contact your local JCC delegation head. We hope that this section provides you with valuable information and a better understanding of ArtsFest.

General Information

Q. What is JCC Maccabi ArtsFest?
A. JCC Maccabi ArtsFest® is an arts experience for Jewish teens taking place annually during the summer from Sunday to Friday in selected communities throughout North America. The program features workshops, performances, and exhibits and incorporates community service, social activities, and themes of Jewish heritage, community, and Israel.

Q. Will teens be participating as individuals or as part of a group?
A. JCCs will form delegations of individuals in the various arts specialties. After the opening, individual teens will join their chosen specialty, a group in which they will attend workshops and create a closing talent showcase.

Q. Do artist participants need to be interviewed or audition?
A. All interested artists can apply online. Applicants will be asked to provide some basic personal information, answer a few questions based on their chosen specialty, and may be asked to submit a video sample of their work. Application instructions can be found by clicking the above link or by visiting the page for the specialty of your choice.

Q. Who runs JCC Maccabi ArtsFest?
A. The managing partner for JCC Maccabi ArtsFest is JCC Association of North America located in New York City. The Continental Director works closely with the host communities’ staff and lay leadership to produce a program that is unique to each community.

Q. What does the itinerary look like for the week of ArtsFest?
A. Each host JCC tailors the week to incorporate a theme and to take advantage of what the particular community has to offer. That said, each arts specialty will include master classes, one-on-one tutorials, big and small group work, and JCC Cares, Hang Time and evening activities.

Q. When can visitors/spectators observe artists?
A. Visitors may attend the closing talent showcase which takes place on the final day of ArtsFest in each host community.

Q. Should I call the host community to get more information about ArtsFest?
A. No. The ArtsFest delegation head at your local JCC should be able to provide you with all the information you will need to have a positive ArtsFest experience for you and your teen. Please do not call the host community as they have much to do to prepare for an event of this magnitude. If you need further information, you can email artsfest@jcca.org.

Q. There is no JCC in my local area /OR/ My local JCC is not participating. How can my teen enroll?
A. There is a continental delegation which brings together teens who cannot join a local delegation for a variety of reasons. For more information about the continental delegation, please email us at artsfest@jcca.org

Arts Specialties

Q. Can artists participate in more than one arts specialty?
A. No. Artists must choose one specialty. Master classes run simultaneously and focus on creating a final performance or exhibit.

Q. Why is a teen asked to provide a second choice specialty?
A. Each arts specialty can hold a limited number of artists. All of the artist participants may not get their first choice of art specialty.

Final Talent Showcase

Q. Do we need passes for the Talent Showcase?
A. Yes. All visitors require spectator passes for admittance into the Talent Showcase. To register, please visit www.jccmaccabiartsfest.org/registration

Q. What is the schedule for the Talent Showcase?
A. Each host community will present a final performance and exhibition on the last evening/afternoon of ArtsFest. Please check with your delegation head for specific times.

Q. Where should I stay if I attend the Talent Showcase?
A. Visiting families are encouraged to stay at the designated JCC Maccabi ArtsFest hotel. These hotels will have schedules and directions to the venue and Closing Event available. Hotel information will be available closer to ArtsFest. Please check with your delegation head.

Q. Where else can I find information about the Talent Showcase?
A. The host JCC will also have this information available to you. Make sure you have a spectator pass when you arrive that will allow you into the Closing Event. If you do not have a pass, please contact your local delegation head upon arrival. Information regarding ArtsFest is also available on the ArtsFest and host community websites.

Applications and Registration

Q. How do I register for JCC Maccabi ArtsFest?
A. Registration is a two-part process:

  1. Click here or visit your chosen specialty’s page to view the application instructions and to apply online.
  2. Once you have applied and been accepted by your local delegation head, you will have to register officially for JCC Maccabi Games & ArtsFest.

Q. Who is eligible to participate?
A. To receive more information about participation, please fill out a quick form.

Q. Do artists choose which host community to visit?
A. Each JCC decides the host community where they will participate. In 2020, JCC Maccabi ArtsFest will only be in San Diego.

Q. If an artist wants to visit a different host community from their local delegation; may they join the Continental Delegation?
A. No. If a local JCC has a delegation going to ArtsFest, teens are expected to attend ArtsFest with that delegation.

Q. Is a fee due when I register?
A. No. Each JCC sets fees based on their own travel, and these fees are paid directly to your local delegation head.


Q. How are host families selected?
A. Each host community has developed a screening process they use for selecting appropriate host families. Most families are sought out from the local JCC, local synagogues/temples and Jewish groups/organizations. In addition, each local artist MUST house at least two artists in order to participate in ArtsFest. Although the process may be somewhat different from city to city, all host families are researched to ensure the teen’s safety and well being.

Q. What if an artist is not happy with his/her host family?
A. Changes in host families will not be made unless the safety or security of an artist is of concern, or there is a medical condition such as an allergy or dietary issue. Each case is considered on an individual basis.

Q. Are kosher homes available?
A. Yes. The request for Kosher or Glatt Kosher homes is honored before any other requests.

Q. Are artists guaranteed to be housed with their friends?
A. No. The housing of artists is very complex and although the host community will make every effort to accommodate requests, they may not be able to do so. Therefore, requests are not guaranteed. When requesting a roommate, make sure that the person also requests you and that you are compatible, including allergies, keeping kosher, etc.

Q. When will we be contacted by our host families?
A. Host families will contact artists and their families to introduce themselves about one week before ArtsFest. If you are not contacted by your host family, please inform your delegation head. Do not contact the host community.

Q. What sleeping accommodations are provided?
A. Host families are required to have a bed for each teen they house.

Q. What meals and assistance, such as laundry, can the teens expect from their hosts?
A. Breakfast and some dinners will be provided by the host family. Laundry facilities will be available, but artists are expected to do their own laundry when needed. Host families will also provide transportation when needed.

Q. Should artists bring gifts for their host families?
A. Artists are encouraged to bring gifts for their host families. Hosts are extending themselves for an entire week and will appreciate an inexpensive thank you. Suggested gifts include gift certificates to places such as Starbucks or a unique gift from your community.


Q. What meals are served at JCC Maccabi ArtsFest?
A. Lunch is provided daily. Dinners may be served as part of an evening event. Host families are responsible for providing breakfast and some dinners.

Q. Is the food at JCC Maccabi ArtsFest kosher?
A. All ArtsFest host communities are required to provide kosher meals, snacks, and drinks. The level of kashrut may vary from community to community. Please discuss any concerns with your local delegation head.

Q. Is there food available for vegetarians and vegans?
A. Yes. All hosts provide both vegetarian and vegan options at each meal.

Q. Are there drinks and snacks provided for the teens during the day?
A. Yes. Snacks and drinks are provided for artists throughout the day. Spectators are responsible for their own food and drinks.

Q. Is there a variety of food served each day?
A. All host communities work with their food and teen committees to create an appealing and varied menu for the week. Meals are healthy and promote a well-balanced diet.

Q. Do the host families serve kosher food?
A. Kosher homes are available upon request. However, you must specify a kosher home when registering online. In some communities, there is a limited supply of strictly kosher homes, so please register for a kosher home only if the teen eats only strictly kosher food. Various levels of kashrut may be requested via the online registration process.

Q. Are meals included in our registration fee?
A. Yes. All meals and lodging are included in the artist participant’s registration fee.


Q. How will my teen get to JCC Maccabi ArtsFest?
A. The local delegation head will make arrangements for the delegation to fly or drive to the host community.

Q. Who has permission to transport my child during JCC Maccabi ArtsFest?
A. Host family members, volunteers from your delegation who are over 21 and your delegation head may transport your child.


Q. What behavior could cause artists to be sent home early?
A. This is covered in the Code of Conduct. Please review it in the artist confirmation kit provided by your local delegation head.

Q. Who determines if an artist should be sent home?
A. If a conduct issue arises, the Court of Honor, comprised of representatives from the host community leadership, delegations and JCC Association, determine the course of action.


Q. Who is responsible and involved in providing security for JCC Maccabi ArtsFest?
A. The host community works closely with a wide variety of local, state and federal agencies to determine the security needs for JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest.

Q. What are credentials and why are they needed?
A. Credentials are visible identification badges for artists, delegation heads and volunteers to help the host’s security team determine who should be admitted into ArtsFest venues and keep venues secure. The artist’s medical information is also on the back of the credential for emergency purposes. If credentials are lost, replacement credentials are available. Spectators are also required to obtain a spectator pass online at www.jccmaccabiartsfest.org/registration.


Q. What happens if my teen is injured at JCC Maccabi ArtsFest?
A. If an artist is injured, the staff will evaluate the situation and determine the next course of action. If it is determined to be an emergency, an artist will be taken to the local hospital or urgent care center and parents will be notified immediately. In the event of non-urgent care, the artist’s delegation head will be notified immediately and will have the teen evaluated by the local community’s medical staff on the premises to be treated. The delegation head will then contact the parents.

Q. Why do I need to provide a medical form filled out by my doctor within the past six months?
A. It is important for the JCC Maccabi ArtsFest staff to have the most up-to-date medical information on each artist to ensure the artist receives the best care in the event of an injury or emergency.

Q. How do I communicate health issues about my child?
A. Parents will be asked to fill out a medical information form as part of their registration process. In addition, parents should communicate any medical conditions or issues directly to their delegation heads. Any documented information will be kept confidential and parents are encouraged to be honest on their forms so that the delegation head is prepared to deal with any situation that may arise.

We hope these FAQs been helpful to you and provided you with valuable information and a better understanding of JCC Maccabi ArtsFest®. Should you have any additional questions, please contact your local delegation head.