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MAI's new look Sports Leadership program

Posted: 21-Feb-2012 by Maccabi National

The choice for 17-20 year-olds looking for a gap year program in Israel just got a whole lot more tempting – especially if you love sport!

Maccabi Australia is about to launch its Sports Leadership Program for 2013, having built on the first instalment in 2011 to create a bigger and better five-month experience. Commencing in January 2013, the program offers participants a once in a lifetime opportunity to combine a love for sport and Israel in a fun, social, and dynamic program.

The program still offers a schedule focusing on sport, and coaching. But the 2013 program also includes other options, including leadership development, sports management and a trip to Poland.

Given the timing of the 2013 program, it will conclude with all participants teaming up with both Maccabi Australia and the Maccabi World Union (MWU) during the 2013 Maccabiah Games.

In addition, participants will have the opportunity to be linked up with a sporting club in Israel so they can continue to play the sports they enjoy during their program.

The itinerary offers all the hallmarks of traditional gap years in Israel, including Israeli culture, history, community volunteering, time in the army and with Magen David Adom. But Maccabi’s program stands out from the crowd for three unique reasons, according to Jeff Sher, Maccabi Australia’s board member responsible for the leadership portfolio.

“It is a unique program because of its orientation towards sport. No other gap program provides participants with the opportunity to develop sports management and coaching skills and it is particularly unique because we’ll link up with Maccabiah in July 2013,” Jeff said.

“Secondly, it is for people who are interested in developing their leadership skills.

“The participants will also have the opportunity to add value to the community on return to Australia; this program is about the continuity of our community, the leadership opportunities it presents and the participants’ ability to help Maccabi into the future.”

The involvement in Maccabiah 2013 is an exciting addition. The details are still being resolved, however, in broad terms, the participants will join Team Australia’s pre-camp for five days. They’ll then become Madrichim for Maccabi World Union (MWU) to assist the junior delegations of the English speaking countries.

“We have produced a far more enriching program for 2013,” Jeff added. “The program has been adopted and will be run by MWU. They will be promoting the program to other English speaking countries who are affiliated to Maccabi - this will provide participants the opportunity to make connections beyond the shore of Australia."

Not only is this a wonderful opportunity for a life experience doing something you love, but it is also about Maccabi Australia acknowledging its responsibility to encourage the next generation.

“It is about developing future leaders in the community,” Jeff says.

“This is Maccabi’s way of recognising its role in the broader community and that is to encourage the next generation of leaders to take their place in the community. We need to build succession plans and tap into the 20-35 age group, encouraging them to put their hand up to be future leaders. Our connection with these leaders will begin through or 2013 program.

“Maccabi Australia has some key objectives these being continuity of the community, sustainability of the organisation and to develop future leaders.”

Anyone interested can visit our information page for more information and follow the prompts for more information. There will be information nights and Youth Development Officers in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth will be at hand to provide anyone interested with more detail. To find out more register your interest by sending an email to

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