The "Maccabi" Sports Organization-Israel was founded in Tel Aviv in 1912, under the name of The Maccabi Organization of Athletics and Sports in Israel, after several active Maccabi clubshad already been established around Israel from 1906. The name Maccabi symbolizes commitment to the idea of a Jewish nation in the State of Israel, and the basic historical link to the Maccabim, who fought for their right to honor the Jewish religion and to preserve the right to individual points of view and sovereignty.

Maccabi is the only organization that is not affiliated with a specific political trend. The organization is member in the worldwide Maccabi organization - a Zionistic movement operating Jewish community centers around the world. The Maccabiah is held once every four years organized by maccabi world union (the next Maccabiah, sixteenth in number, will be held in the year 2001), where thousands of athletes from Jewish communities in the Diaspora come to Israel and compete with Israeli athletes in many different areas of sport.

Over 170 sports clubs are listed and active in the Israeli Maccabi organization. These clubs are spread out countrywide, in cities, developmental towns, settlements and villages. Over 25 different areas of sport are promoted within the framework of these clubs, and new areas are added each year.

Maccabi Israel operates according to the principle of volunteering (the only Israeli organization that is built almost entirely on volunteers) - its members and supporters are mostly volunteers. The movement sees its objective as bringing different populations closer to each other and enabling every child or adult to be involved in sports, regardless of economic or social status. Within this framework, extensive activity is carried out in the more remote developmental towns and neighborhoods, and much effort is made to absorb new immigrants into the different associations.

The "Maccabi Tzahir" youth movement also operates within the framework of Maccabi's activities. This movement operates 18 branches countrywide, where thousands of youth are trained to be the movement's next generation, in a variety of educational and sports activities. Sports events for all ages are held annually, including national races, competitions, regional championships and more.