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Barry Smorgon OAM Appointed New MAI President

Posted: 02-Dec-2014 by Maccabi National

Maccabi Australia is excited to announce that Barry Smorgon OAM has been elected as the new President.

Barry has been on the MAI Board since 2009 and in his role as Chairman has brought about many significant reforms to the organisation, most notably the national perspective that MAI now enjoys. In addition he has been instrumental in bringing a level of accountability and structure to the organisation whilst enabling constitution reforms and the introduction of the Member Protection Policy.   

Barry replaces outgoing President Lisa Borowick, who after 4 years announced her intention to retire from the position and the Board. Lisa has served the Maccabi organisation in one way or another over 35 years. During this time, she was a member of the Maccabi Victoria Board for 12 years and the MAI Board for 8 years.  Furthermore, she has been involved in over 15 Maccabi Carnivals as a player, manager or administrator, and has undertaken Team Management roles for 4 Maccabiah Games and was appointed Head of Delegation for the 11th & 12th Pan American Games. Maccabi Australia is grateful for her significant contribution to the organisation.

The new MAI Board structure and members are noted in the schedule below. Significantly the roles and responsibilities have been adjusted to meet the needs of the dynamic nature of the organisation. The marketing and fundraising positions are being actively recruited as are a number of people to sit on the various sub committees that are being formed to drive forward the strategic objectives for 2015.

Barry noted that “it is the Board’s intention to develop the next generation of leaders and we are determined to position the organisation for the future. In so doing we have invited a number of young leaders to join the MAI Board sub committees to assist us develop our exciting programs. ” 

Barry will be supported in the role by an Executive Committee made up of 4 people including Sydney Kahn, Jeff Sher, Phillip Sheezel and the Executive Director of MAI- Ellana Aarons. The initial focus will be to ensure that the organisation is able to deliver real value and meaning to its members. In 2015 there will be 3 international teams travelling to sporting competitions and the planning for the next Maccabiah gets underway in earnest.

Barry also noted that 2015 marks the 90th anniversary of Maccabi in Australia. To mark this occasion a year of sporting and cultural events are being planned which will augment Maccabi’s position in the community. “Maccabi’s key objective is to connect the Australian Jewish community through sport, and we will use this 90th year to reach our heritage members as well as current members to build the connections even further.”

 The Maccabi organisation is represented by over 9000 members who participate in more than 50 sporting clubs around the nation. Over a 90 year period, there would be few families in Australia who have not had a positive Maccabi experience. Barry stated that “The reach of Maccabi is unmatched within the Jewish community and this anniversary will be a great opportunity to celebrate the rich history of the organisation and engage current Maccabi Members as well as Maccabi and Maccabiah alumni.”

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