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HISTORIC FIRST FOR MACCABI AT THE 2022 AGM

Photograph From Left To Right: Dean Mohr (Co-President), Sharon Roseman (Co-President), and Brian Swersky (Imm. Past President) 

The Maccabi community came together on Wednesday the 9th of November 2022 for the Maccabi Victoria AGM. The evening celebrated Brian Swersky’s longstanding involvement with Maccabi, and also looked to the future as Maccabi Victoria welcomed new faces onto the Board.

Brian Swersky, who joined the Board as Chair in 2012 and has been President since 2016, stepped down from his role, making way for Dean Mohr and Sharon Roseman who take up the post as Co-Presidents. This is the first time in Maccabi Victoria’s near 100-year history, that a female president has been elected – a truly momentous moment! Other new faces welcomed to the VIC Board include Jonah Wise, Ilan Kraus and Belinda Goldman. Caryn Kave, Victoria Board Member, has been elected as Vice President and Karen Fink, as Secretary.

Mr Swersky kicked off the evening with a comprehensive report-back on the year’s key events and club activities. He highlighted the success of Maccabi’s Annual Giving Day, Maccabi Aquatics’ first birthday, The Jolson Houli Unity Cup; bringing Jewish and Muslim Footy players together, and other 2022 inspiring programs and events. Swersky went on to congratulate the three new Hall of Fame Legends and the ten new Hall of Fame inductees, an award honouring Jewish athletes, coaches and administrators who have made a significant contribution to sport in Victoria.

Swersky thanked the many people who provided support, counsel and hard work during his tenure. He said that during his time at the helm, notwithstanding COVID-19, Maccabi Victoria “has grown, become more professional, is financially secure and is recognised as a community leader.” He then closed with an emotional message: “Thank you for giving me the honour of leading this organisation, for trusting me as the custodian of our legacy for this brief moment in time. I wish Dean and Sharon and the new Board every success and remain committed to support and help as needed.”

The proceedings were then handed over to Treasurer, Jeremy Davis, who presented the financials and Honorary Solicitor, Simon Abraham, who took the audience through AGM formalities and voting. It was then time for newly elected Co-Presidents, Mohr and Roseman, to introduce themselves and discuss their exciting vision and plans. They finished their speech by acknowledging the great contribution Swersky has made to the organisation and played a heart-warming video of his time at Maccabi through the years. Sam Parasol OAM then presented a Certificate of Achievement, honouring Swersky’s contribution to the community on behalf of David Southwick MP, Member for Caulfield.

Other highlights of the evening included an update from Kate Lustig, All Abilities Program Officer. Lustig took to the floor, sharing the Program’s successes and their plans of entering the All Abilities Footy Club into the 2023 FIDA – AFL League (A Footy league for people with intellectual disabilities). Tim Bursztyn, Chair of the Maccabi One property committee updated the attendees on the ongoing search for a Maccabi home. Tim promised the attendees ‘We will have a home for Maccabi Victoria soon’. Dale Smorgon, Chairman of the Maccabi Foundation outlined the crucial work of the Foundation and thanked generous donors. The evening closed with a heartfelt farewell message to Swersky from the President of Maccabi Australia, Jeff Sher.

Maccabi Victoria is deeply grateful for Swersky’s leadership, dedication and passion which ensured the organisation grew from strength to strength, despite operating in one of the most challenging climates. Equally, Maccabi is excited for what the future holds under Dean and Sharon’s leadership. Dean and Sharon bring a wealth of experience and strategic vision to the organisation.

All in all, the evening was a resounding success, full of mixed emotions, introductions, and departures. Thank you to all those who attended. Maccabi Victoria looks forward to a prosperous year filled with good health, happiness, camaraderie and sportsmanship.

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