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The JCC Maccabi Games, the young people's Jewish Olympics, have started in the state of New York. The Games are a chance for aspiring athletes, hopeful Olympians of the future, to come together and compete. But it is also an opportunity to share the common shared identity of being Jewish. More than 1500 teenagers from around the world take part in these international games. They are encouraged to remember their Jewish roots and think about their heritage. Rachmanus or compassion is a defining value of the Games, and Judaism as a whole. Athletes are reminded to show compassion to their opponents, something that's become a cornerstone of the competition. At this year's Opening Ceremony, a minute's silence was held to remember the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches who were killed at the 1972 Munich Olympics.