Come join us!
Maccabi NSW has 20 affiliated clubs representing a diverse range of sporting interests and our membership ranges from 2,500 -3,000 members. Each club runs autonomously with their own executive team and the club presidents attend quarterly Council of Presidents meetings during the year with the Maccabi NSW Executive.
In NSW, Maccabi is one of the 24 Jewish Communal Appeal (JCA) constituent members and is involved in all aspects of JCA’s fundraising activities within the community.
In September 2021, Hakoah Club, Maccabi NSW, and Maccabi Sports Centre signed an agreement to secure the new Hakoah development at White City as the Primary sporting hub for Maccabi NSW and Maccabi Life.
The announcement was the culmination of a 40-year search to find a home for Maccabi in Sydney.
With a planned late-2023 opening, the Rushcutters Bay site will feature a synthetic playing field, multi-use courts, tennis courts, swimming pools, and a modern state-of-the-art fitness and wellness centre.
Please see the Hakoah website for the latest on their progress and for information on how you can get involved.
To fully understand Maccabi as an organisation, you need to know the history of Jews and Sport well before Maccabi came into existence.
In 1925, a NSW Cricket Team was invited to visit Melbourne. This was the first known interstate meeting of 2 sports bodies of Jewish decent in Australia. The event was so popular that NSW invited Victoria back the next year. And so the tradition began!
In 1946, a formal sporting association was formed in NSW called JASA. JASA prevailed as an organisation for decades before being replaced with the name ‘Maccabi Australia’ in 1991.
Lou Rose MBE, a patron of JASA who was known as the “Father of Maccabi”, took the first team to Israel way back in the late 1950s.
Remarkably, a logo designed by Lou is now used as the symbol for the Israeli Olympic team.
Maccabi is affiliated with the Maccabi World Union based in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Rodney has been involved with Maccabi since arriving in Australia at the age of 13. Rodney attended Junior and Senior carnivals and played a number of different sports with Maccabi. He is extremely passionate about sport and has also been involved in coaching and managing teams. Rodney is a keen footballer and represented Maccabi Australia at the MAIGS games in Sydney in 2006, the Pan Am games in Argentina in 2008 and the Maccabiah Games in 2017.
Rodney worked at a couple of start up companies in Silicon Valley in the US, was a General Manager at Commonwealth Bank of Australia and ran a consulting business for a number of years.
Rodney is married to Kelly and they have two daughters who both play representative netball. The family are very passionate about their sport and enjoy volunteering. They were co-founders of the All In Giving Circle in Sydney, which helps not-for-profits to become more sustainable.
Nicole KatzMaccabi LIFE
Nicole became involved in Maccabi Life in 2019, when she co-founded Walkie Talkies with Mandy Penkin. A year later, they started up Maccabi Running. She is extremely passionate about connecting the Jewish community via non-competitive sports and promoting health and wellness via talks and events. Nicole plans to grow the Maccabi Life team and offering due to the ongoing demand.
Nicole worked in recruitment for Hays Banking Personnel and then at Jewish Care’s Print 35 as a Business Development Manager. Nicole is currently co-founder of Fashion Forward, selling ladies preloved designer clothing labels. 100% of proceeds go to Jewish House and support women and children in crisis.
Nicole is very driven and passionate about her volunteer roles. She loves running, strength training, tennis, bridge, and hiking. She is married to Dan and has 2 sons, Judd and Ari.
Amanda PenkinWomen in Sport / Maccabi LIFE
Amanda has always seen sports and exercise as a way to keep fit, develop specific skills, and make friends. Sporting friendships account for many memorable and favourite times in her youth and have seen her through some of the toughest challenges in her life. She’s committed to taking her passion of building the Jewish community through exercise and wellbeing to the broader community.
Amanda has achieved junior Springbok colours for Judo and made state level for swimming and hockey in South Africa. She’s also actively encouraged her kids to seek similar opportunities in sport.
Amanda, her husband, David, and their two children competed as a family in the 2017 Maccabiah. It was the first time a single family had all competed at the same Maccabiah event.
She was involved in the Maccabi Amateur Swim Club and served as a committee member for 7 years. Amanda is now on the Maccabi NSW Board under the portfolio of Women in Sport and Maccabi Life for the last 4 years. In 2019, she co-founded the Maccabi Life Walkie Talkie club with her friends, Nicole Katz and Nicky Klugman. The group now boasts over 500 members.
Amanda has held many senior positions in business in both South Africa and Australia, working with Investec and CBA. She currently runs her own consulting business.
Josh has been involved with Maccabi since joining the Maccabi Junior Soccer Club, aged six. He played soccer for many years, eventually representing Hakoah U21s and attending the Maccabiah Games in 2017.
Josh has extensive career in Investment Banking and Real Estate and is currently working with Toga Hotels in Sydney. He’s married to Paula, has three young kids, and remains actively involved in the Sydney Jewish community through volunteering and sport
Maccabi has always played a pivotal role in Jodi’s life since she could walk, having grown up in the netball and football clubs and participating in multiple Junior Carnivals. Her leadership journey began as a Carnival leader in 2018, which led her to taking on the Maccabi NSW Youth Officer role for 3 years. Jodi is a keen volunteer and player in the Maccabi Social Clubs and an enthusiastic sportswoman across the fields, from netball and soccer to tennis and touch football.
Jodi works as an Operations Consultant and Transformation Analyst at Accenture, having recently completed degrees in Commerce and Information Systems at UNSW. She has always been a passionate participant in a wide range of Jewish Community organisations, including The Jewish Board of Deputies, Jewish Care, and Olami. Her involvement in worldwide leadership courses in New York, Madrid, and Sydney, have afforded her the opportunity to work with fellow young leaders from over 30 different countries.
Michelle is a marketing professional who has worked in both IT and healthcare for over 20 years.
She joined the Board of Maccabi NSW in 2019 and finds working with such a capable and passionate group of people thoroughly rewarding.
Lauren EhrlichImmediate Past President
Lauren holds qualifications as a Sports and Art teacher from The University of Sydney and City Art Institute and a Graduate Diploma of Secondary Education from Sydney College of the Arts.
She has been very involved with Maccabi for over 20 years. In the past, President of the Maccabi Netball Club and President of Maccabi NSW, Head of Delegation for the Pan-Am Games TO CHILE , and sits on the Critical Incident Planning committee member.
Lauren has attended 5 Maccabiah Games and 3 Pan American Games as an athlete, coach, and administrator. She was also President of Moriah’s P&F association.
Lauren is currently the Chair of Maccabi LIFE Australia and on the Board of CHS.
Maccabi NSW’s Professional Staff work hard behind the scenes to ensure the smooth running of our clubs, programs, and events.
Ori DanieliGeneral Manager, NSW
Originally from Israel, Ori joined Maccabi Tzair Youth Movement in Year 4 and continued to be a Madrich (leader), all the way through to Year 12.
He also played competitive table tennis at Maccabi Netanya, reaching a top 10 player position at his peak, and later coaching some of the best youth players in the country.
Throughout his career, Ori spent many years in senior positions within the Jewish community, including with JNF, the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce, and most recently as CEO of Technion Australia.
Ori served as a commander and medic at the Israel Defence Forces, and he holds a Bachelor’s in Science from the Hebrew University and a Master’s in Science and Technology from UNSW.
Ori lives in Sydney with his wife, three boys, and two dogs.
Nikki LloydSports Officer
Moving to Sydney from South Africa with a young son and heavily pregnant, Nikki’s priority was to ensure that her Jewish connection not only continued but thrived.
What better place to be involved in the Jewish way of life than to join the one and only Maccabi NSW.
Nikki previously worked an African Safari’s specialist, booking once in a lifetime safari’s and was able to travel around Africa meeting wonderful people along the way.
Africa will always have a special place in her heart.
Immigrating is never easy, but Maccabi NSW was so warm and welcoming, and the staff became like family, that it was the best decision she ever made.
Nikki’s passion is helping Jewish kids find their love of sport and after 2 years of uncertainty, getting kids active and playing sport has never been so important.
Nikki’s son and daughter play in the Maccabi Basketball club.
Nikki has been with Maccabi NSW for 4 years now and it has been some of the best years of her life.
Michael VasinFootball Administrator
Mick has been part of Maccabi since his teenage years having been to 5 senior Carnivals and playing for the now defunct Indoor Hockey Club and Water Polo Club, and later at the Senior Football Club.
In 1997 Mick took on the role of CEO of Maccabi NSW, He remained in that role for 20 years eventually moving aside to take on the role of Football Administrator to the 4 Maccabi Hakoah Football Clubs. In his time as CEO he founded the Maccabi NSW Hall of Fame and was instrumental in joining Maccabi to the JCA family.
Mick has 3 Daughters who have all played for Maccabi at the Netball Club. Mick was also part of the 1997 Maccabiah Team – notable for the tragedy of the Bridge Collapse but also memorable as he played in the only Football team to ever win a medal at Maccabiah.
Nicki TaitzAll Abilities Manager
Nicki has 17 years of experience working in the disability sphere with many different roles and challenges accepted along the way. The disability sphere has certainly changed within this period with advocacy and inclusion coming leaps and bounds from when she first started out. It makes her proud to engage within such an amazing community that understands and appreciates this important work.
Nicki has 3 children that have enjoyed what Maccabi NSW clubs have to offer and looks forward to making these opportunities available to the All Abilities community.
Taryn LevinYouth and Community Manager
Taryn has been involved with Maccabi since she was 9 years old. In particular, with Maccabi Netball, both playing and coaching for over 10 years. Her mum, Lana, was the VP of the Netball Club for many years giving her the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of Maccabi.
Taryn also represented Maccabi Australia at the 2013 and in 2017 Maccabiah Games in Israel. Together with her netball team, she won Silver as a Junior and Gold as a senior. In the 2013 games she was also recognised as MVP and was team captain.
Isabelle Cige-StantonMarketing & Events Manager
Originally from Belgium, Isabelle has over 25 years of experience in the dynamic realms of events and marketing. Isabelle’s journey has always been driven by her deep passion for the non-profit sector and a profound desire to contribute to the Jewish community. In April 2023, she proudly joined Maccabi NSW, marking a new chapter her lifelong commitment to community engagement. Prior to this, she spent five rewarding years at JCA, where she honed her skills and forged valuable connections. Beyond her professional pursuits, She is a devoted mother to three wonderful children and is thrilled to be a part of the Maccabi family and is looking forward to continuing her mission of giving back to the community.
There are many different views – here are but some. Many will be aware of the relationship between the word Maccabi and Channukah. But what does “Maccabi” really mean.
- One view is that the name does not come from the Talmud or Midrash. It derives from the Apocrypha, where it describes Judah, one of the Hasmonean brothers (II Macabees 2:4).
- Jewish tradition saw it as the initials of the battle-cry, “Mi Chamocha Ba-elim Hashem” “Who is like you the mighty O Lord?
- Other views link the name with a root that means “to extinguish” since the Macabees extinguished the Greek persecution, or with “Makkav” “a hammer” Judah, like Charles Martel, was the hammer of his enemies.
The scholar and poet Aaron Kaminka (1866 – 1950) thinks the name is a corruption of Machbanai, a leading commando in the army of King David (I Chron 12:13). David had 12 commandos from the tribe od Gad, who “separated themselves to David to the stronghold in the wilderness, mighty men of valour, men trained for war, that could handle shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and they were as swift as the roes upon the mountains” (I Chron 12:8). David has always been a role model for Jews, and it may be that Judah’s father, Mattathias, saw in his son the embodiment of an ancient Davidic hero.
To engage and connect the Jewish Community through Sport and Wellbeing activities.
To engage and strengthen the Australian Jewish community by:
- Developing and promoting the opportunity for all members to share and embrace their Jewish identity through sport & wellbeing activities
- Encouraging participation in sport through annual carnivals and competitive sporting events at the state, national and international level.
- Engaging a wider demographic in activities centered on Health and Wellbeing with the purpose of increasing participation, growing membership and improving the health outcomes for the community.
- Working actively to support programs that embody the Maccabi ideals of Jewish continuity, support for the state of Israel and excellence in sport.
- Creating a sustainable and prosperous financial position for Maccabi NSW that enables the organization to support the objectives and ambitions of our members and clubs.
- To be forward focused and embracing of opportunities which ensure the longevity of Maccabi NSW.
Boasting a 90-year heritage, Maccabi Australia is the largest Jewish grassroots organisation in the country – with 35,000 supporters and more than 6,000 members ranging in age from 5 to 85 years across over 50 clubs.
Click on a state to learn about the various clubs available and upcoming events taking place around our nation.