The Good Wife

May 15, 2010 by Odile Faludi - Maccabi NSW
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Paula and Jeff Houseman

Catching up with Paula Houseman, aged 56, wasn’t what I expected. I was all ready to hear the woes, the melodramatic outpouring of grief as the longtime suffering Maccabi wife. Nothing came. Paula is the lovely wife of Jeff Houseman, Chairman of Maccabi Australia International Games, “MAIGS” and newly appointed Board Member of Maccabi Australia. My whole story had been squashed in the first five minutes of the interview. I had no chance of being Jackie Collins and revealing all.

Paula has known Jeff since she was 15 years old and they met at a Maccabi carnival. One of those sentimental love affairs cemented in concrete right from the start. They married when she was 20 and as they say the rest is history. Maccabi has been part of their entire life. Jeff who is 58 years old, and a doting grandfather, has been involved in Maccabi since he was 13 years old. Paula knew she didn’t have a chance to compete with that sort of love and dedication and in her own words, “To Jeff sport is his religion. I would never take that away from him. Jeff is so community minded and on the contrary, I have encouraged him throughout his life to face his challenges. Along the way, he has been very unsure about taking Maccabi roles and each time I pushed him because I knew once he faced his fears he would feel empowered.” Passitivity is the enemy and Paula is a big believer about living outside your comfort zone and has gone back to study herself studying a Post Graduate Hons. in Health Sociology. For Paula it is very easy, “We support each other in our passions. Sport and Maccabi are Jeff’s and writing and health in society are mine. Jeff is a great leader he knows how to delegate and always puts his family first.” Paula added: “If I had to sum up Jeff it would be in four words: tenacity, commitment, patience and perseverance. Valuable qualities that inspire me.”

When I asked Paula what she loves about Jeff so much, her reply was simple, “His outrageous sense of humour, strong family values, he’s easy-going and he’s a good person.”

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