Should athletes bring gifts for their host families?
Athletes 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 city.
What meals and assistance, such as laundry, can the athletes expect from their hosts?
Breakfast and some dinners will be provided by the host family. Laundry facilities will be provided, but athletes are expected to do their own laundry when needed. Host families will also provide transportation when needed.
What are the sleeping accommodations that we can expect for athletes?
Each host family is asked to provide athletes with separate and reasonable sleeping accommodations, an air mattress is an acceptable sleeping accommodation.
When will we be contacted by our host families?
Host families will contact athletes and their families to introduce themselves several days before the Games. If you are not contacted by your host family, please inform your delegation head. Do not contact the host community.
Are athletes guaranteed to be housed with their friends?
No. The housing of athletes is very complex and, although the host city 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 person requests you and that you are compatible, including allergies, keeping kosher, etc.
What if an athlete is not happy with his/her host family?
Changes in host families will not be made unless the safety or security of an athlete is of concern, or there is a medical condition such as an allergy or dietary issue.
How are host families selected?
Each host city has developed a screening process they use for selecting appropriate host families. Most families recruited from the local JCC, local synagogues/temples and Jewish groups/organizations. In addition, each local athlete MUST house at least two athletes in order to participate in the Games. Although the process may be somewhat different from city to city, all host families are researched to ensure the athlete’s safety and wellbeing.
Are meals included in our registration fee?
Yes. All meals and lodging are included in the athlete’s registration fee.
What meals do host families provide?
Most host families will provide dinner to athletes before they attend Opening Ceremonies and on Host Family Night. They also provide breakfast.
Do the host families serve kosher food?
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 athlete eats only strictly kosher food. Various levels of kashrut may be requested via the online registration process.
Is there a variety of food served each day?
All host cities 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.
Are there drinks and snacks provided for the athletes during the day?
Yes. Snacks and drinks are provided for athletes and coaches at most venues throughout the day. Athletes are encouraged to carry and keep the Coca Cola water bottle that they receive at orientation with them at all times and to make sure that it is filled with water. Spectators are responsible for their own food and drinks.
Is there food available for vegetarians and vegans?
Yes. All host cities provide both vegetarian and vegan options at each meal.
Is the food at the games kosher?
All Games 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.