A Man on a Mission – meet Eyal Tiberger, Director General, Maccabi World Union

September 1, 2010 by Odile Faludi - Maccabi NSW
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Eyal Tiberger was recently in Sydney. Maccabi News was fortunate enough to have 30 minutes with this charismatic Israeli (in between back to back meetings) but it really was not long enough.

Eyal Tiberger

Eyal Tiberger, 55, is Director General of Maccabi World Union overseeing a global Jewish organisation which spans five continents, 60 countries and boasts some 400,000 members. After five minutes of chatting to Eyal one could be mistaken for thinking they have known him for their whole life. He has a spontaneous warmth which is very welcoming.

Eyal told Maccabi News, “Our main mission is to develop the dialogue between Israel and the Diaspora through Maccabi sports, culture and social activities. We emphasise two main aspects of Jewish life – the centrality of the State of Israel and Jewish continuity. We aim to attract the youth who are welcomed through our Clubs and then to essentially provide a link with Israel and ideally, develop an option for their future. Maccabi can also attract youth through major events such as Maccabiah which is an unbeatable recipe for Maccabi to continually grow.”

From an early age Eyal was destined to create what really matters, with his life’s work being not a job but a mission. As Eyal puts it so eloquently, “It is called in Hebrew – Shaliach. I am an emissary. I am a messenger teaching people to respect and love Israel and Maccabi.” Eyal’s father, died when he was only 11 years old, he would no doubt be very proud of him.

Eyal has come to Australia not only to catch-up with good friends, but importantly to do fundraising to ensure the successful perpetuation of Maccabi events. Specifically, to assist athletes who live in less affluent communities so that they too can participate. Eyal added, “For example, at the 18th Maccabiah in 2009, we had 54 countries registered and amongst them 34 countries could not afford participation unless Maccabi World Union helped them with subsidies and scholarships for their participants. We need to make sure that those who have the qualifications, talent and the skills are included irrespective of cost.”

“In Australia, I have been overwhelmed by the reception that I have received. It has been phenomenal to hear the kind reaction from organisations and philanthropists I have met. I believe this is confirmation of their belief that they also feel it is their responsibility to maintain the health of the Jewish world at large. In this way, Australia is unique, in not only helping their own but by being incredibly generous with their outside support. I would like to especially thank Maccabi Australia executives, Barry Smorgon OAM, Harry Procel and Tom Goldman OAM and Tom Danos, (Maccabi World Union Board of Trustees member) for their hospitality. But mainly for their outstanding efforts for putting together my trip which has been very successful. I praise Maccabi Australia and all its States for the incredible and impressive work they do on a day-to-day basis,” Eyal said.

Finally, when asked about the Maccabi Australia International Games (MAIGS) commencing December 2010 in Sydney Eyal said, “I encourage all Australian athletes to use this beautiful event as a stepping stone for the PAN AM Games in Brazil in December next year, followed by the 19th Maccabiah in Israel in July 2013. The Israelis are very excited to be coming Down Under.”

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