Maccabi Junior Carnival Underway

January 11, 2012 by Esther Oliver
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The Maccabi Junior Carnival has been officially opened in Brisbane by Maccabi Australia president Lisa Borowick…almost 25 years after the city last hosted the event.

Jason Steinberg (President, Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies), Adrian Schrinner (Deputy Lord Mayor of Brisbane), Yuval Rotem (Israeli Ambassador), Lisa Borowick (President, Maccabi Australia), Phil Reeves (Queensland Minister for Sport), Joshua Magnus (President, Maccabi Queensland).

It was a special moment on a balmy Brisbane afternoon, when the opening ceremony of the 30th Maccabi Australia Junior Carnival took place in Brisbane… the first to be held in Queensland since 1987.
The opening ceremony, held at the Jewish Communal Centre was attended by Israel’s Ambassador to Australia, his Excellency Yuval Rotem, whose last visited the Queensland Jewish Community Centre 11 months ago  to commiserate with those residents affected by some of the worst floods in Australian history.
Also attending the opening was the Queensland Minister for Sport, Phil Reeves, and Deputy Lord Mayor of Brisbane Adrian Schrinner. Both the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council were major sponsors of the Carnival, along with GJames Glass and Aluminum, The Pelerman Group and the Lowy Family and Westfield.

One highlight was the lighting of the Jocelyn Kann Memorial Torch which has been lit since 1987  signifying the opening of a Junior Carnival, by the late Jocelyn Kann’s daughter Jodi, her son Aaron and her grandchildren Marley, Sharne and Layne.

The Ambassador, whose grandfather emigrated from Europe to Israel (then British-mandated Palestine) in 1938, spoke warmly of his conviction and attachment to Maccabi, not only for sport, but for ‘sport, community and life’.

Junior Carnival Manager, Paul Myers, who has 40+ years of Maccabi experience, (as do Co-Patrons Gerald Moses OAM and Michael Solomon), spoke of the legacy of friendship Maccabito the 45 participants from Victoria, 63 from NSW, 8 from New Zealand, and over 50 from Queensland and their families.

This sentiment echoed throughout the opening ceremony, where long friendships were noted, and people reminisced about their lifelong association with Maccabi, while their children sat in their team groups, or as youth leaders.

Maccabi Australia president Lisa Borowick spoke of meeting Queenslanders Josh and Gabby Magnus four years ago where they proposed hosting the 30th Junior Carnival. “And now here we are in the Sunshine State,” she said. Josh and Gabby were both presented with special awards for their tireless work promoting Maccabi.

As noted in the foreword to Brian Kino’s wonderful historical record of the Australian Senior Maccabi Carnivals (1924-74): “It’s not easy to name a Jewish leader in communal affairs, or the academic, professional, or business world, who does not figure in the history of Maccabi”.  And so it is like that here for the 30th Australian Maccabi Junior Carnival.

With help over the last 18 months from an enthusiastic and tireless committee, including Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies president Jason Steinberg, and community group leaders, businessmen and women, shule leaders and parents, Queenslanders have shown that Maccabi Australia did well to listen to Josh Magnus in his convincing and inspiring speech that said Brisbane could do this and host a junior carnival. And, indeed it can.

With sports including futsal, volleyball, beach volleyball, netball and mini golf, table tennis, tennis, soccer and with activities including a Foam Party, Hawaiian Night and a Community Service Day, and a packed program for the next seven days, Queensland is on target for the most successful Carnival in a long, long time.


One Response to “Maccabi Junior Carnival Underway”
  1. Barry Smorgon says:

    Well done to Maccabi Queensland for having the foresight & courage to host the Carnival.
    It augurs well for the Community in the future.
    Wishing all participants a successful & enjoyable time.

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