Maccabi Youth Leadership Program in Israel

June 2, 2010 by Odile Faludi - Maccabi NSW
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In the Hot Seat with Danny Hochberg …

The man behind the establishment of the Maccabi Youth Leadership Program in Israel.

Danny Hochberg

Maccabi News spoke to Danny Hochberg and was pleased to get the scoop story of this great initiative. Your time starts now …

Why do you feel it is important for Maccabi to have a Youth Leadership Program?

In my youth, I was an active member of the Zionist Youth Movement Habonim Dror, and went to Israel on a Shnat (Year) program. I spent years as a leader in Habonim. I look back on my experience fondly, and on the incredible training of leading other youth, and on the contribution we all made to the wider community with great pride.

I have often wondered whether the same model could be applied to Maccabi. We have traditionally relied on parents to volunteer and run its clubs. Lately, it has become harder to attract parents who are busy with their work and family commitments. In many cases, clubs have been forced to hire professionals to fill the gap. This is despite the fact that many of our youth, who are often involved with Maccabi since the age of 6 years, and have enormous loyalty and love for the organisation, are potential leaders themselves. Our youth love sport, are highly motivated, and are natural leaders, often highly trained over many years in the sports they participate in.

Maccabi Australia Israel Leadership Program, “MAIL” will provide the basis for our youth to realise their love of sport, and combined love of Israel and a desire to give back to the community, and in particular, Maccabi. They will become leaders in Maccabi upon their return, involved in many aspects from coaching to administration; from Carnival to camps.

With so many Youth Movements offering Youth Programs what will Maccabi offer that the others don’t?

The focus of our program is much more sports-orientated. Our participants will do everything from Sports training to leadership training to first aid to extreme sports to sea outdoor activities. All taught in English by some of Israel’s best coaches and instructors. It is very hands on, and lots of fun. In addition, they will attend Israeli sports events and meet Israeli sports stars, from Maccabi Haifa football matches to Tel Aviv Maccabi Basketball matches, to the Israel Tennis open, local rugby and netball matches and so on. We hope to attract current Maccabi participants, Jewish sports lovers and those keen to become involved. This is not for elite athletes alone. It is for all males and females who love sport and are keen to pass their love of sport onto others while developing themselves as individuals.

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