Changes at Maccabi

December 10, 2015 by Jonathan Mond
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Barry Smorgon has been re-elected president of Maccabi Australia for a further 2 years with stalwart Harry Procel, retiring from the Board.

Harry Procel and Barry Smorgon

Harry Procel and Barry Smorgon

At the organisation’s recent AGM Smorgon said that the Maccabi organisation needs to become more responsive to the dynamic changes taking place in the Jewish community and he outlined an agenda for the year ahead centred on four 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 Procel 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 Board of Governors.

Procel told J-Wire: “I joined the Ajax Maccabi athletic club in 1967 and received life membership in 1985. I had 18 years on the board of Maccabi Victoria and received life membership as well as induction to the Hall of Fame.
I served 22 years on the Board of Maccabi Australia Inc.
Maccabi Australia has been a major part of my life and has meant a lot to me. I look forward to remaining involved in the Board of Governors and I am particularly excited by my new role as Chairman of the International Sports of the 20th Maccabiah.”

The new Maccabi Australia board consists of: Barry Smorgon  (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 (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.”

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