Maccabi Australia held its Annual General Meeting on the 6th December 2015 in Sydney. The meeting was marked by a number of significant moments. Barry Smorgon OAM was re-elected as the President for a further 2 years; Harry Procel OAM, a Maccabi Stalwart and long-time contributor to the organisation retired from the Board and the incoming Board has agreed to a new agenda for the year ahead.
Barry Smorgon noted that the Maccabi organisation needs to become more responsive to the dynamic changes taking place in the Jewish community. As such he outlined an agenda for the year ahead which will be centred on 4 key drivers:
A commitment to excellence in sport and sport administration in the Maccabi club network.
The continued and expanded inclusion of those living with a disability.
Providing Jewish athletes a pathway and opportunities to participate in both National and International sporting Events.
The development of the next generation of Leaders.
Smorgon noted that “through a focus on these initiatives, Maccabi will continue to play an important role in connecting the Jewish community in Australia. These programs will deal with the growing assimilation and the broader health issues faced by the community.”
On the retirement of Harry Procel from the MAI Board, Smorgon noted “there has never been anyone nor would there likely to be anyone that has been as dedicated and committed to the Maccabi organisation as Harry”. He has been part of the Maccabi movement for over 40 years holding many roles – a list too long to publish but includes positions such as , President of MAI from 2005 to 2011 and Head of Delegation to the 16th, 17th and 19th Maccabiah Games. Harry was awarded life membership to Maccabi Australia in 2010 and Maccabi Victoria in 1998. Harry will continue his involvement with Maccabi on the international stage as Chairman on the International Sports Committee (ISC) for Maccabi World Union and as a member of the Maccabi Australia Board of Governors.
The new Maccabi Australia board consists of: Barry Smorgon OAM (President), Sydney Kahn (Treasurer), Jeff Sher (Strategy), Mikki Silverman (International Sport), Lauren Ehrlich (Leadership), Philip Sheezel (Member Protection), Ian Sandler (Fundraising), Paul Platus (National Sport), Joe Dorfman (President of Maccabi Victoria), Danny Hochberg (President Maccabi NSW), Joan Hillman (President Maccabi WA), Tom Goldman OAM (Chair of Board of Governors).
With a revitalised agenda, a new Board and in a year that Maccabi celebrated its 90th anniversary; the organisation is well placed to continue to play its role as the largest grass roots Jewish community organisation in Australia. Smorgon noted that “the focus over the coming 12 months will be to ensure that Maccabi can be effective and efficient in meeting the needs of its clubs, its members and the Jewish community in general.”
For more information about this release, please contact Barry Smorgon OAM via the Maccabi Australia office on (03) 9563 5865.
Nominations are remain open for Coaches for the 2017 Maccabiah until 13 December 2015. Go to Maccabi.com.au/Maccabiah for more information.
Those looking to get more involved with Maccabi, whether at the Club, State or Nationally should contact their local Maccabi office.