About

About

Maccabi is a world wide organisation

We are the largest Jewish grass-roots organisation in Australia, boasting a 97-year heritage, 40,000 supporters and more than 9,000 participants ranging in age from 5 to 85 years across over 54 clubs. Every week participating in a Maccabi team provides an opportunity for Jewish children to connect and form lifelong friendships. Our event calendar includes an annual Junior Sports Carnival, participation in the Maccabiah Games in Israel, interstate sport challenges and Maccabi regional events.

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Maccabi State

With a presence in 4 states across the country, there is a Maccabi club or a wellbeing activity near you. To obtain further information about what is available in each state, select the relevant state from the map.

Vision & Mission

Sport has enriched the life of the Australian Jewish Community for more than one hundred years, culminating in the establishment of Maccabi Australia in 1957.

Over the years many events have been associated with Maccabi Australia, including Carnivals, both Senior and Junior, Maccabi Australia International Games (MAIGS), Jewish Community Centre (JCC) Games, Pan American Games, European Games, and the focal point – the Maccabiah Games. Whatever the nature of the event, a common thread runs through the history of Maccabi Australia – the thread of connecting the community – through friendship, sporting trends, training in leadership and responsibility, even through responses to tragedy.

Maccabi Australia symbolises community, friendship and the competitive spirit. Just as sport maintains an important role in society, Maccabi Australia enriches the Jewish Community, confirming its place in the history of our people.

MAI Vision

To be the organisation of first choice for the Australian Jewish Community to participate in Sport and Wellbeing activities.

Our Mission

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 across Australia that enables the organization to support the objectives and ambitions of the state bodies and clubs.
  • To be forward focused and embracing of opportunities which ensure the longevity of Maccabi across the country.

Our Values

Maccabi honor’s the following values:

Our Positioning

“Connecting the Jewish Community through Sport and Wellbeing”

Maccabi Australia, together with our member states and affiliated clubs, exists to promote Jewish identity and continuity – connecting our Jewish community through sport and wellbeing

We are the largest Jewish grassroots organisation in Australia, with a history that spans almost a century, and thousands of members who connect every year through our clubs and programs.

Maccabi symbolises community, friendship, connection and competitive spirit. Just as sport maintains an important role in society, Maccabi has and will continue to play an intrinsic part of the fabric of the Australian Jewish community.

We provide opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to not only get active, but also form lifelong friendships.

We have a clear and bold Vision for Sport, active participation and wellbeing in the community. Through our club structure and the Maccabi Life program we provide more reasons and options for the broader community to engage in a healthy lifestyle.

A sustainable future for Maccabi has been created by

  • Using Sport to promote social inclusion and cohesion
  • Promoting exercise and regular activity as a positive benefit to both physical and mental wellbeing.
  • Creating and supporting programs that will inspire the next generation
  • Advocating and leading the way on relevant health and wellbeing matters

Our History

In the 1800’s sport was organised for a small group of Jews living in Australia. By 1912 there were 6 sporting organisations in Sydney.

In 1924, The Sydney Judaean Amateur Athletic Association (SJAA) wrote to Rabbi Israel Brodie in Melbourne asking if there was any interest in an interstate cricket match. The Judaean league of Victoria replied and the result was a cricket match between the two states in Melbourne in December 1924.

1925 saw the beginning of the annual sporting carnivals. The first was held in Sydney between New South Wales and Victoria in 4 sports for men: cricket, athletics, swimming and tennis. Women competed in the 1928/29 carnival for the first time. This carnival was held in Melbourne.

After the 9th carnival in Melbourne held in 1934 the Australian Judaean Sports Council (AJSC) was established to control Jewish sport in Australia and be responsible for the annual carnivals. It wasn’t until 1954 when it was decided that the seat of office of the Council would alternate on a 3 year basis between Melbourne and Sydney. The late Basil Isaacs became the first President.

In 1960 the name of the organisation was changed to Australian Maccabi Council and then again in 1974 to Australian Maccabi Federation.

In 1991 the name was changed to Maccabi Australia Inc. (MAI). In 2004, The Maccabi Australia constitution was changed. In 2007, a Board of Governors was formed and a Grievance Committee as well as a governance process was established.

Australia first competed at the 3rd Maccabiah Games in Israel in 1950 with one tennis player, Elias Honig. Since then, the participation at the Games has increased significantly and has hit a peak of 560 competitors in 2017. The most significant moment in Maccabi Australia’s history was the collapse of the bridge over the Yarkon River at the opening Ceremony of the Maccabiah Games in 1997. The collapse resulted in death of four Australian competitors and injury to numerous others.

The first Maccabi Australia Games (MAGS) was held in Canberra in 2004 and the first Maccabi Australia International Games (MAIGS) was held in Sydney 2006 with a large number of overseas countries competing. An Australian team competed at the Pan American Maccabi Games for the first time in 1991 in Uruguay and have sent a team to 7 Pan Am Games the most recent held in Mexico 2019. We have also sent teams to the European Games starting in 1983 and have been at another 4 since then, the last one in Budapest in 2019. Also, teams have participated in JCC/ Maccabi USA youth games

The 38th Junior carnival was held in Perth Western Australia and the 39th Carnival will be remembered as the @home Carnival impacted by the COVID-19 impact on travel.

Today , Maccabi Australia has 5 affiliated state bodies across the country – including New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland. Maccabi Australia is a member of the Maccabi World Union, the Zionist Federation of Australia, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry and the Australian Sports Foundation.

The MAI Board

Maccabi Australia’s Board consists of a President, a Treasurer, plus a further five to seven Directors. The Presidents of Maccabi Victoria, Maccabi New South Wales and Maccabi Western Australia completes the MAI Board.

Several observers attend Board Meetings as they hold significant positions in the organisation;  these roles include the Chair of the National Fundraising Foundation, Chair of the Board of Governors and Head of Delegation for the Maccabiah.

The full Executive of Maccabi Australia meets a minimum of six times a year, continuing its commitment to strong governance, sound decision-making and national Jewish strategic leadership.

Jeff Sher

President
Jeff joined the MAI Board in 2009, having been involved with Maccabi since emigrating from South Africa in 1978. He has served the MAI board in various capacities including National Sports, Leadership and Strategy. As a swimmer and water polo player, Jeff has participated…

Jeff joined the MAI Board in 2009, having been involved with Maccabi since emigrating from South Africa in 1978. He has served the MAI board in various capacities including National Sports, Leadership and Strategy. As a swimmer and water polo player, Jeff has participated in 7 Maccabiah, winning 15 medals. At the 2009 Games he won 4 Gold Medals, 2 Silver and four years later performed even better, winning 5 Gold, 2 Silver in Masters Swimming across all freestyle distances including the Ocean swim. 

He also won bronze medals with the water polo team in 1981 and 85. At the 2017 games was the Team Manager for the Masters swimming team. He has been a Club Secretary of the VIC Swimming Club and of the NSW Water polo Club. He was the recipient of the 2013 Maccabi National and Victorian Masters Sportsman of the year awards. Jeff has an MBA and significant experience in business leadership. He has been a CEO of an Australian public listed and an Executive Director of a South Africa-based transnational listed company. More recently he has been a strategic consultant to a number of significant retail and supply companies. 

David Birnbaum

Treasurer and Secretary
David has been part of the Maccabi family from a young age having played a mix of sports as a kid. But for over 25 years, David’s sporting passion has found him on the hockey field as a proud member of Maccabi Hockey Club.…

David has been part of the Maccabi family from a young age having played a mix of sports as a kid. But for over 25 years, David’s sporting passion has found him on the hockey field as a proud member of Maccabi Hockey Club. Having served MHC in various roles, including a successful period as a Coach of Junior teams, David has been Treasurer for the last 13 years. During this time he has also held Board and advisory roles with other Not-For-Profit organisations within the Jewish and wider Melbourne community. 

David is a strong believer that the social opportunities that sport offers, in addition to the physical and mental benefits, plays a critical part in developing valuable life skills and sees Maccabi as a major part of this equation. 

With a background in Corporate Restructuring, Advisory and Banking & Finance and now managing a successful SME, David brings with him strong commercial and strategic skills, treasury experience and a great excitement to work with Maccabi in what he sees as an exciting time ahead for the organisation. 

Debbie Rutstein

Confederation Development
Debbie has been involved as a volunteer from an early age. She began her volunteering adventure at Netzer as a madricha, then was on the AUJS NSW committee as education officer. Soon after she was a pioneer volunteer at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She joined…

Debbie has been involved as a volunteer from an early age. She began her volunteering adventure at Netzer as a madricha, then was on the AUJS NSW committee as education officer. Soon after she was a pioneer volunteer at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She joined the Emanuel School Board in 2007 until leaving in 2016 where she had become Secretary. Whilst doing this she was a volunteer team manager and at times, coach, for her son and daughter’s Maccabi soccer teams which she did for over ten years. She was a member of the over 35 women’s Maccabi soccer team for three years. 

In 2015 she joined the NSW Maccabi Committee. In 2017 she was the assistant youth manager for the Australian team at the Maccabiah Games. In 2018 she was elected to the MAI Board and chaired the MPP subcommittee. She is also sits on the NSW Combined Independent Schools Board, and the Emanuel School Marketing Committee in a voluntary capacity. In her professional life Debbie is a lawyer and has her own practice. In her spare time she loves to follow most sports and is a keen Swans and Roosters supporter. She hopes to ensure that Maccabi is a safe and welcoming place for all. 

Jodi Rosenthal

National Sport
Jodi has been working in the sports industry for over 20 years, with a background in sports management and coaching she is passionate about sports development, participation and competition, with a wealth of experience in both corporate and government sports industries. Jodi, born and…

Jodi has been working in the sports industry for over 20 years, with a background in sports management and coaching she is passionate about sports development, participation and competition, with a wealth of experience in both corporate and government sports industries. Jodi, born and breed a Queensland, participated in her first Senior Carnival at 14, she went on for over a decade competing for QLD, WA and NSW. 

After moving to Perth in the early 90’s, she has called Sydney home for over 20 years, married to Anthony, she has 2 daughters. Jodi has been involved in Maccabi Executives in WA and NSW and run the Sport Programs for both Junior and Senior Carnivals. In 1993 Jodi captained the first Australian Netball Team at the Maccabiah Games. Competing at a high level in Netball, she has spent many years coaching and currently educates and up-skills coaches across NSW. 

Jodi hopes to bring her experience and enthusiasm to Maccabi Australia, she looks forward to working with all states continuing to connect Jewish people through sport. 

Susannah Swiatlo

Chair National Leadership
Susannah is born and bred in Victoria. She was active in Maccabi as a teenager participating in carnivals. Her involvement commenced again as a parent at the Maccabi Victoria Basketball club where she has been an active exec and committee member for the last…

Susannah is born and bred in Victoria. She was active in Maccabi as a teenager participating in carnivals. Her involvement commenced again as a parent at the Maccabi Victoria Basketball club where she has been an active exec and committee member for the last 13 years and in more recent years involved with Maccabi Australia in JCC Games (2014-15) Pan American Games (2019) and Maccabiah Games 2022. 

Susannah is a trained social worker with many years experience working in the Department of Justice – Correctional Services. 

Susannah feels the Maccabi values of volunteerism, teamwork, respect and community align so closely with her own personal values and interactions & the Maccabi ethos of “connecting our Jewish community through sport and wellbeing” resonates very strongly with her as she focuses on being able to facilitate people to connect, share experiences, bond and create lifelong friendships. 

Sam Strunin

National Marketing
Sam has joined the board of Maccabi Australia, with a brief to oversee the organisation’s Marketing/Branding portfolio.  Sam is a proven brand visionary and thought leader who comes to Maccabi Australia after holding the same portfolio with Maccabi Victoria for almost 8 years. Sam…

Sam has joined the board of Maccabi Australia, with a brief to oversee the organisation’s Marketing/Branding portfolio. 

Sam is a proven brand visionary and thought leader who comes to Maccabi Australia after holding the same portfolio with Maccabi Victoria for almost 8 years. Sam has been involved with Maccabi for more than 40 years, having played for the hockey, tennis and football clubs as a junior and continues to play tennis at the Maccabi Victoria Tennis Club.  

Sam’s background in Marketing/Branding and digital design spans almost 30 years working with local, national and international brands including Red Cross, Trevor Barker Foundation, Adidas, Loreal, BMG Records, EMI Records, Lion Nathan, Fox FM and others. Sam also provides brand guidance to not-for-profit community organisations. 

Sam is passionate about connecting our Jewish community through sport. He has a deep understanding and knowledge of Maccabi and believes strongly in the important roles Maccabi plays in the community. Sam sees his role to ideate, prioritise, develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to create brand messaging and awareness, increase social media followers, and drive membership and brand loyalty across Australia. 

He is “Maccabi PROUD” and honoured to be charged with this responsibility and looks forward to sharing Maccabi’s amazing ongoing story through various campaigns, events, digital marketing, PR and intercommunity collaboration. 

Lauren Ehrlich

Chair Maccabi Life
Since her arrival back in Australia in 2000 Lauren has been a committee member of the Maccabi NSW Netball Club. She has held positions which have included the presidency, coaching coordinator, umpire coordinator, club secretary, coach (level2) and is a certified National C umpire.…

Since her arrival back in Australia in 2000 Lauren has been a committee member of the Maccabi NSW Netball Club. She has held positions which have included the presidency, coaching coordinator, umpire coordinator, club secretary, coach (level2) and is a certified National C umpire. She is a past squash player winning at A1 level and has also played tennis at an international level. 

Lauren is extremely passionate about sport in general and firmly advocates the Maccabi motto which is connecting our Jewish community through sport. She believes that this promotes the Maccabi identity and brings together people of all ages to participate at all levels in something they love. 

Other community involvement includes: 

  • Past President Moriah College Parents and Friends Association. 2012-2017 
  • Attended 5 consecutive Maccabiot as athlete and manager positions and winning medals too! Most recently, Regional manager of the North. 
  • Head of delegation to Pan Am Games Chile-2015/2016 
  • Athlete / manager Pam Am games Brazil-2011/2012-Bronze medalist 
  • Medalist in tennis 2005/2009 
  • Recipient of volunteer of the year from Northern Suburbs Netball Association 

Sam Gamsu

Chair International Sport
Sam has been a part of Maccabi for over 20 years. His involvement began as a parent in the junior cricket club and junior soccer club. He has filled numerous positions within these clubs, including President of the North Caulfield Maccabi Football Club, Secretary…

Sam has been a part of Maccabi for over 20 years. His involvement began as a parent in the junior cricket club and junior soccer club. He has filled numerous positions within these clubs, including President of the North Caulfield Maccabi Football Club, Secretary of the Maccabi Ajax Junior Cricket Club, committee member of the Senior Football Club. He is the recipient of Club awards and Maccabi Victoria President’s Award.

Sam is the only life member of both the Maccabi Ajax Junior Cricket Club and the North Caulfield Maccabi Junior Football Club.

In 2021 he was awarded a 20-year Volunteer Recognition Certificate from the Glen Eira Council.

His Maccabiah involvement includes Assistant Manager of the Juniors (2013), Regional Manager Juniors (2017) and is the Head of Games Operation and Sport to the 21st Maccabiah Games. In 2019 he was the General Manager of the Australian Pan American Games Team which took place in Mexico City.

Brian Swersky

President Maccabi Victoria
Brian is a Maccabi man through and through. He began his affiliation with Maccabi in the 1970’s as Captain of the AJAX Swimming Team. He has attended numerous Carnivals, been a Team Manager for Junior Girls Basketball and is a member of the Maccabi…

Brian is a Maccabi man through and through. He began his affiliation with Maccabi in the 1970’s as Captain of the AJAX Swimming Team. He has attended numerous Carnivals, been a Team Manager for Junior Girls Basketball and is a member of the Maccabi Cycling Club. 

Brian was on the Junior Carnival Organising Committee (Marketing) for Melbourne Junior Carnival 2011 with responsibility for the Community Day, and the following year joined the Board of Maccabi Victoria as Chairman. 

He has played an instrumental role in the development and roll out of Maccabi’s Member Protection Policy (MPP) program, of which he is most proud. In August 2016, Brian was elected the new President of Maccabi Victoria. 

Outside of his Maccabi life, Brian worked for many years as a Solicitor with Swersky & Velos Lawyers. He left the practice to become the Managing Director at Dimmeys Stores for ten years. He is currently co-Managing Director at Lincraft Australia where he has been since 2005. 

Brian is married to Leah and has 4 children.

Rodney Rosmarin

President Maccabi NSW
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 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. 

Justine Sharbanee

President Maccabi WA
Justine Sharbanee joined the Maccabi WA Executive in 2006, but was involved in Maccabi WA many years before that as a Carnival participant and Youth Leader. She attended her first Senior Carnival in Adelaide as a very young (chaperoned) 13 year old in the WA Physical Culture team and then…

Justine Sharbanee joined the Maccabi WA Executive in 2006, but was involved in Maccabi WA many years before that as a Carnival participant and Youth Leader. She attended her first Senior Carnival in Adelaide as a very young (chaperoned) 13 year old in the WA Physical Culture team and then competed every year after that in physical culture, athletics and netball. 

Justine represented WA in State team in 1981, 1982 and 1983 as a sprinter and went to the 12th Maccabiah games in 1985 for athletics. As she was living in Israel at the time she ended up represented Israel in the inaugural netball team at the 14th Maccabiah Games in 1993. 

Justine was President of Maccabi Netball club from 2006 – 2011 and again 2016 – 2017. She was Junior Carnival Team Manager at the 28th Perth Carnival in 2010 and  2011, Junior Carnival Social Director in Perth Carnival in 2013. Most recently Justine was Team Manager of the Senior Women’s Netball team for the Maccabiah Games in 2017 where the girls won gold. 

Out of Maccabi Justine has also been President of the Perth College Netball Academy 2012 – 2017, one of the largest clubs at Perth Netball Association, and worked in fashion marketing and tender proposals for Occupational Physicians. 

Justine is married to Paul and has 3 children.

Jacquie Seemann

Chair Member Protection
Jacquie has been a Maccabi participant since she swam in Maccabi carnivals and fenced for Maccabi as a child. She played indoor hockey, swam and debated for NSW at Maccabi National Carnivals as a young adult; and, as a parent, she managed her children’s…

Jacquie has been a Maccabi participant since she swam in Maccabi carnivals and fenced for Maccabi as a child. She played indoor hockey, swam and debated for NSW at Maccabi National Carnivals as a young adult; and, as a parent, she managed her children’s futsal, football and netball teams, and was involved in junior team club committees for futsal and netball. Jacquie played football with Maccabi’s Senior Women from ages 42 to 54. She also loves skiing, hiking, spending time in the surf, and watching a variety of sports.

In her professional life, Jacquie is a partner at national firm Thomson Geer Lawyers. Her main specialties are employment, industrial, discrimination and safety law. Jacquie works in both the public and private sectors, and her expertise spans a wide range of industries including education, sport, health and aged care, community services, financial services, IT, retail and transport.

Jacquie and her team advise on individual and collective employment relationships from recruitment to termination and beyond. An experienced litigator, Jacquie has expertise in unfair dismissal, adverse action and discrimination claims; industrial disputes; and prosecutions for breach of safety laws.

Her sports law work has included developing Member Protection Policies and training materials; drafting constitutions for clubs; drafting coach and player contracts; advising amateur and professional clubs about player, parent and coach misconduct; and advising clubs about employment matters.

From 2014 to 2022, Jacquie was Maccabi NSW’s Honorary Solicitor. She is also a Committee member of Or Chadash Synagogue and a Board member of Together for Humanity Foundation.

Jacquie is married to Alan (a former AJAX footballer), and they have four adult children (who are thankfully still playing sport).

Board Observers

Dale Smorgon

Chair National Foundation
Dale is the CEO of Innovative Retail Pty Ltd, a leading supplier of children’s entertainment a family investment company. He is a passionate lover of many sports and played for AJAX Football Club for many years at both junior and senior levels, including being part…

Dale is the CEO of Innovative Retail Pty Ltd, a leading supplier of children’s entertainment a family investment company. He is a passionate lover of many sports and played for AJAX Football Club for many years at both junior and senior levels, including being part of the 1999 Reserve Grade Premiership team. Dale has three sons, two of which are active in both Maccabi Basketball Club and AJAX Junior Football Club. 

Dale joined the Foundation Board in January 2015. 

Harry Procel

Chair – Board of Governors
Harry joined Maccabi AJAX Athletics in Victoria in 1967, and competed as an athlete for 25 years becoming a Life Member in 1985. He attended 15 Senior Carnivals over that time. Harry served as a Board Member of Maccabi Victoria for 18 years, and was awarded Life Membership…

Harry joined Maccabi AJAX Athletics in Victoria in 1967, and competed as an athlete for 25 years becoming a Life Member in 1985. He attended 15 Senior Carnivals over that time. Harry served as a Board Member of Maccabi Victoria for 18 years, and was awarded Life Membership in 1992. He is an inaugural inductee to the Hall of Fame in 2000 and became a legend in 2016. 

Harry was on the Board of Maccabi Australia for 22 years and was president from 2005-2011. He has represented Australia at nine Maccabiot, including three times as ‘Head of Delegation’. Harry served as ‘Head of Delegation’ to the Pan American Maccabi Games and two JCC Maccabi Games in the USA and one European Maccabi Games.  In 2010 Harry was awarded Life Membership of Maccabi Australia – only the sixth Life Member inducted. 

in 2013 Harry was inducted as a Maccabi Yakir on the world stage. He was Chairman of the international Sports Committee of the Maccabiah from 2014-2018 and is currently Chairman of Sport for Maccabi World Union. 

Barry Smorgon

Head of Delegation Maccabiah 2022
Barry participated in his first Senior Carnival in Athletics as a 14 year old. He competed for Maccabi Athletics from 1962 till 1970, winning many awards as Jewish champion, and went on to the Maccabiah Games in Israel in 1969 as a member of the…

Barry participated in his first Senior Carnival in Athletics as a 14 year old. He competed for Maccabi Athletics from 1962 till 1970, winning many awards as Jewish champion, and went on to the Maccabiah Games in Israel in 1969 as a member of the Athletics Team. Barry also played Australian Rules Football for AJAX Football Club from 1970 to 1978, playing 100 games. He served on the Committee of both clubs as Vice President, as well as on the Maccabi Victoria Executive. Barry was Patron of MAIGs in Sydney 2004 and 2010. He joined the Executive of Maccabi Australia in 2006, and created the Board of Governors in 2007, serving as Founding Chairman, along with the role of Chairman of MAI.  In business, Barry serves as Executive Chairman of Tismor Health and Wellness which manufactures food and pharmaceutical products and Sandbar Investments, a private investment company. He is a Director of DBR Corporation as well as several other private companies. Barry is former NSW Chairman of AIJAC a position held for 16 years and Life Governor of Jewish Communal Appeal. 

Barry received the Award of Australia Medal ( OAM ) for services to the Community , Business & Maccabi in 2010. 

Giselle Berlinski

Maccabiah Operations
Giselle is an energetic, enthusiastic and a highly organised volunteer with over a decade of experience managing and contributing to highly successful community events with specific focus on event planning, team leadership and youth development. Giselle is passionate about volunteering within the Jewish community,…

Giselle is an energetic, enthusiastic and a highly organised volunteer with over a decade of experience managing and contributing to highly successful community events with specific focus on event planning, team leadership and youth development.

Giselle is passionate about volunteering within the Jewish community, having worked with a variety of organisations including WIZO, JNF, Maccabi and Flying Fox.

Over the last decade, she has particularly focused on management with Maccabi Victoria and Maccabi Australia. She began at club level and has enjoyed many roles within the Maccabi organisation including Assistant Manager – Junior Carnival Organising Committee 2015, Victorian Team Manager – Junior Carnival 2016, Team Manager – Maccabiah Games 2017 and Deputy General Manager – Pan American Games Mexico 2019. She is the Head of Support Services and the Open Regional Manager for the 21st Maccabiah Games.

Giselle has received the Glen Eira City Council Volunteer Recognition award in 2019.

Over the years Giselle has developed strong skills in people management, time management and working in a team. Effective communication, relationship management, organisational skills and conflict management are her strongest contributions in these roles.

MAI Team

Terri Kahan

Finance Manager
Terri has been with Maccabi Australia for 3 years and has moved up the ranks from Bookkeeper, to Finance Manager and is now the Operations & Finance Manager, leading the finance and operations of the Organisation, while being accountable to the Board via the…

Terri has been with Maccabi Australia for 3 years and has moved up the ranks from Bookkeeper, to Finance Manager and is now the Operations & Finance Manager, leading the finance and operations of the Organisation, while being accountable to the Board via the President. She owned and operated a retail chain for 23year and sold it in 2015. Terri is an invaluable member of the team. Her passion for the brand, outstanding values and effective management skills, together with her always willingness to assist all and her can-do attitude are appreciated by all.

She provides leadership of the organisation and drives the strategy through a values-based culture and with respect for the volunteer nature of the Maccabi organization across Australia. Terri leads the MAI team made up of the Sport Project Manager, Maccabi Life Program Manager, Members Protection Officer and the Donor Management Manager as well as play a key role in working with Maccabiah organising committee to ensure that the strategic objectives of the organisation are delivered.

Laurence Miller

Sports Manager
Laurence’s Maccabi story began when he emigrated from South Africa as an 11 year old in January 1996. As a kid growing up he was welcomed into the Maccabi family playing for the AJAX Football and Cricket Clubs as well as the Maccabi Basketball…

Laurence’s Maccabi story began when he emigrated from South Africa as an 11 year old in January 1996. As a kid growing up he was welcomed into the Maccabi family playing for the AJAX Football and Cricket Clubs as well as the Maccabi Basketball Club. As a 16 year old, he changed codes and moved to soccer to play for the North Caulfield Maccabi Senior Football Club where he was involved in 3 promotions in 5 years helping the club achieve the highest level in its history, culminating in captaining the Senior team from 2009-2013.

HIs Maccabiah journey began as an athlete after being selected for the Australia Open Football Team in 2005 and 2009. In 2016, he joined the Maccabiah Management Team as the Sport Operations Coordinator of the largest Australian Team to participate in Israel at the 2017 Maccabiah Games and since then he has continued his association with Maccabi Australia in a Sport Development role as well as the Sport Manager for the 2019 Pan American Games and 2022 Maccabiah Games.

Bindy Houghton

Maccabi Life Program Manager
Bindy is the Program Manager for Maccabi Life, bringing her passion for health and wellness to the organisation in the form of a variety of health programs and events designed to engage and connect the community, whilst empowering them to make health and wellness…

Bindy is the Program Manager for Maccabi Life, bringing her passion for health and wellness to the organisation in the form of a variety of health programs and events designed to engage and connect the community, whilst empowering them to make health and wellness a priority in their lives. Bindy has qualifications in Commerce, Marketing, Nutritional Medicine, Medical Science and Holistic Health and Nutrition. She walks her talk, knowing that optimising her health leads to better performance, happiness, focus, greater energy and illness prevention. Bindy spent 5 years living in London working in Business Development in a Private Hospital which inspired her to continue her journey of helping promote health, nutrition and physical fitness to friends, family and the wider community.

Organisation Structure

MAI was developed to enable the organisation to leverage the national capability and to unify the organisation under one banner.  The MAI board exists to serve the imperatives of the States and assist them to deliver value and meaning to the Clubs.

The State bodies are responsible for engaging with the clubs to assist with the development of programs and events. The State offices also play a significant role supporting the clubs with administration, governance and membership matters

Each Club has its own constitution and is responsible for the operational management of the club and the competitions, events and training that its members engage in.

The key message here is that MAI is only involved in matters that have national implication and or have universal benefit. The extent of the centralisation of activity is determined by the States.