NEW YORK -- Nearly 5,000 coaches and Jewish athletes from across the United States, Mexico, Argentina, Israel, the United Kingdom and Venezuela will convene at three sites in August to take part in the 25th anniversary JCC Maccabi Games, an Olympic-style athletic competition. Host communities include Houston (Aug. 5-10), Baltimore (Aug. 5-9) and Orange County, CA (Aug. 12-17).

The games give Jewish teens the chance to compete in 14 team and individual sports and to participate in other social programs that promote friendships, community service projects and informal educational instruction, according to the JCC. One volunteer social service program, Days of Caring and Sharing, brings athletes together with local social service agencies for day-long social action projects. Past Days of Caring and Sharing activities have included building homes for the poor, holding carnivals for handicapped children, cleaning parks and packaging food for distribution at local soup kitchens.