The Maccabees Flame
Maccabi Tzair began Annual Chanukah Torch Relays in Eretz Yisrael in December 1944. Young Maccabim carry the Torch theme from an impressive lighting ceremony at the Ancient Modi'in site of the Tombs of the Hasmonean Dynasty across the country. Symbolically linking the heroism of the Festival of Lights and Maccabi Tzair's annual educational theme, the Torch is welcomed at ceremonies in Jerusalem at the Knesset and the President's Residence, and carried to celebrations, events & activities in IDF bases, immigrant absorption centers, development towns, and elsewhere.
With the single exception of the Dec 1948 midpoint of Israel's War of Liberation, when many battles took place in the Maccabee heartland, the Relay runs every year during Chanukah. Starting from the 22nd Relay in 1966, teams of Maccabi Tzair Israel madrichim (counselors) and bogrim (graduates) carry the Torch internationally to Chanukah celebrations and activities in Jewish schools, Old Age Homes, Maccabi Clubs, and other Jewish Community institutions.