NEW YORK — More than 6,000 Jewish teens will compete in an Olympic-style sporting competition in four U.S. cities this summer.

The Jewish Community Center Association (JCC) of North America's Maccabi Games began in 1982 with 300 athletes and has grown to become the largest organized sports program for Jewish teens in the world.

The international, multisport, athletic and cultural event promotes community involvement, teamwork and pride in being Jewish. In addition to competing in sporting events, the 13-year-old to 16-year-old participants team with local community organizations to volunteer for social action projects through a program called Days of Caring and Sharing. In the past the athletes have built homes for the poor, organized carnivals for children with disabilities or packaged food for the hungry.

In order to participate in the 2005 competition, the teens must be part of a delegation, which is a group of athletes and coaches who represent a JCC. Each delegation competes in one of four host cities — Dallas; Richmond, VA; San Antonio; or St. Paul, MN. For more information, visit the JCC Web site at www.jcca.org.