Our History

The grass roots of the Maccabi Bridge Club was probably sewn in the back yard shed belonging to Yossi and Deidre Greenfield.  Here they started bridge lessons with Charlie Frugte and had to invite a neighbour to make up the foursome.  Then a group of friends would get together to play in each other’s homes for social evenings.  From these evenings the idea of a bridge club was born.

 In May 1971, Yossi called a meeting at his home to discuss the possibility of starting a duplicate bridge club.  Those at the first meeting were Brian and Shuli Jones, Shira Shilbury, Deb and WallyRosman, David and Esther Finkelstein, Robert and Shirley Masel, Leon and Bella Zeitlin, Eric Samuel and David and Betty Feldman.  They invited Jack Lever for advice.  Jack, a State Representative at the time was instrumental in the forming of the club.  It was decided to form a club with the AGM TO TAKE PLACE IN June 1971.  Yossi was elected President and Eric Samuel Secretary.  The nomination fee was set at $2.00, the annual fee $5.00 and students were to pay half price.

 Jack approached Maccabi WA (the Jewish Sporting Body) regarding affiliation and asked for their support.  They allowed us to use the Maccabi Hall on Wednesday evenings but gave no other financial assistance.  Twelve tables were purchased and Jack managed to borrow three sets of boards and cards from WABC.  After the inaugural meeting there was a short play session of nine tables.....and so was born the ‘Maccabi Bridge Club with Jack Lever as Director.

 In 1973 Mike Hopper directed our first congress and the following year, Lii Soots took over and gave us the benefit of her vast experience and excellent services, until she retired.

The first Monday afternoon session began in 1982.  Alan Routman ran a six table Mitchell in the Sportsman’s Lounge at the Jewish Centre.  The caretaker supplied toasted sandwiches for a treat.  Alan was master-point secretary for fourteen years and always did his best to help the club.

Over the years we have had several moves within the same complex before finally establishing ourselves in the Function Centre.  The venue for which we not rent is very well suited for our need.

 Although only a club of (need to know the numbers now – we used to have 110.....), Monday sessions fills 12 to 16 tables.  We used to have 18 to 23 tables.  We have bestowed Life Membership to members who reach the age of 90 years old and at present have some who play regularly.  For a small club we are extremely proud of the high proportion of our members who have represented the State over the last three decades.  The first Maccabi members to win a National Championship was Debbie Frankel partnered by Ruth Hanson in 1978.

 Deidre Greenfeld and Shira Shilbury have been particularly prominent and were part5 of the team that won WA ITS FIRST Women’s ANC Team Championship in 1988.  And in 1995, with Debbie Frankel and Doreen Jones in the team, WA won again.  Shira Shilbury and Joan Touyz won the National Women’s Pairs in 2001 and were selected to play in the 2002 Australian Pacific Women’s Teams in Bangkok.

 Maccabi Bridge Club is a foundation member of the Bridge Association of WA, which was formied in 1975.  Yossi Greenfield, who was a part of Maccabi Bridge since its inception, served as President and Treasurer of that association from 1980 – 1994 and was Treasurer of the Australian Bridge Federation, going on to come President from 1994 – 1998.

 Maccabi Bridge Club has been around since 1971 and has always been the home club of many of our WA’s best women players. The State Honour Board shows many of our players names like Deidre Greenfield, Shula Jones, Shira Shilbury, Denise Sharbarnee, Debbie Frankel and Joan Touyz. They represented WA on many occasions for many years. Ours members have shown great loyalty to the club and for the first time ever we find our numbers falling away as our club ages. We need new players.

Maccabi Bridge Club will be moving to the Gordon Bloomfield Centre on 4th January and we welcome new members and visitors to play at any time.


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