We focus on encouraging people to participate in physical activity through sport and other community activities, while maintaining a strong Jewish identity. Read Maccabi Victoria’s impact in the 2023 Annual Report and 2023 Mid Year Report:
We are the largest Jewish organisation in Australia with:
Maccabi Victoria is part of the worldwide Maccabi family represented in over 50 countries with over 400,000 members. Our members participate in national and international sporting events including Junior Carnival and the Maccabiah Games.
Maccabi Victoria is an Incorporated Association which relies on the commitment of dedicated volunteers and financial contributions from individuals and business sponsorships and our annual Giving Day campaigns.
There is a Maccabi club for everyone, no matter what state you live in. To see the specific Maccabi clubs in each state, select a Maccabi state site below.
To be the organisation of first choice for the Australian Jewish Community to participate in Sport and Wellbeing activities.
To engage and strengthen the Australian Jewish community by:
After the establishment of the first Jewish gymnastic club in Istanbul in 1895, Jewish sporting clubs quickly spread across Europe and the rest of the world.
These early clubs were gymnastic clubs which promoted physical fitness but soon body-building and competitive sports, such as swimming, athletics, tennis and, in Australia, cricket, became popular.
In Melbourne, the history of AJAX and Maccabi is interwoven with the former roof body, the Judaean League. The leaders and founders of the League were Les Abrahams, Maurice Ashkanasy and Ben Abrahams.
Over the years, club memberships have ebbed and flowed. The Gymnasium once had 350 members. The Swimming Club, under the Presidency of the late Arthur Maver, had over 400 members. During Hans Licht’s stewardship, Tennis had over 300 members in St. Kilda (and a waiting list to join), and nearly 250 at North Eastern Jewish Tennis Club with Clive Fredman and Ben Alexander.
Many of our community leaders were members of, and competed for, AJAX and Maccabi Victoria. Just to name but a few: esteemed Judges Merkel, Goldberg, and Wodak competed in football, tennis, and hockey, respectively. Renowned businessmen such as the late Richard Pratt participated in football and swimming, while David Mandie showcased his skills in cricket and football. Notably, we were also privileged to count late politicians Baron Snider and Walter Jona among the members of our Tennis Club.
Today, Maccabi Victoria boasts 23 clubs and over 3,400 members.
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.
Playing sport provides a range of social, physical and cognitive benefits:
- Provides a social network to meet new friends
- Builds self-confidence and a sense of achievement
- Provides bonding and a sense of belonging
- Teaches social skills, teamwork, and sportsmanship by showing children how to be supportive, enjoy success, and accept disappointment
- Teaches children to compete fairly, balancing competitiveness with teamwork and the need to respect the other side
- Reduces boredom which can sometimes lead to anti-social behaviour and activity
- Improves physical fitness and stamina
- Develops balance, coordination, agility and flexibility
- Improves general health and wellbeing
- Improves academic performance
- Builds concentration, focus and memory. Children must learn to remember and apply rules, plays and strategies, even when they are excited
- Teaches self-control, persistence, patience and self-discipline
- Builds memory, teaches split-second decision-making and strategic thinking
Maccabi Victoria is an incorporated association with its own constitution and by-laws.
The Board consists of a President, Vice-President, Treasurer and up to nine Board Members.
All Board Members are elected for two years, with the President and Vice-President standing down in the same year.
Board Members and office holders must be nominated by an affiliated Maccabi Victoria club.
Dean Mohr has been involved in Maccabi throughout his sporting life, first as a participant in every possible activity from junior and senior football, to volleyball and table tennis and more recently as a supporting father and coach of his sons’ basketball and football teams. Nothing gives him greater pleasure than being involved in this capacity as he sees his passion for sport and fitness through the eyes of his children. In his professional life Dean is the Managing Director of Bodycare Workplace Solutions who are leaders in workplace health, safety and injury prevention around Australia and New Zealand. Dean is also a Board Member of the Workplace Health Association of Australia and has an in-depth understanding of the importance of health and well-being in every generation. In joining the Maccabi Victoria Board earlier in 2016, Dean hopes to contribute to the overall strategy and direction of Maccabi Victoria and to encourage Jewish youth to become involved in sport from a young age, to value the importance of health and fitness throughout their lives.
Sharon has been involved with Maccabi/AJAX for as long as she can remember, beginning at Alma Rd where her dad was the Judo instructor, she had swimming lessons and played tennis.
Netball became her sport of choice and over the years Sharon has been a player, coach and administrator. She sat on the committee which amalgamated AJAX Netball Club and North Eastern and was President of MANC for 9years. Sharon is Vice President of Stonnington City Netball Association and Director of their Representative Program.
Sharon is passionate about kids being involved in sport and particularly with keeping girls playing through their teen years and beyond.
Her Maccabi highlight was as Team Manager of the Australian Open Netball Team at the Maccabiah Games in 2013 that won gold.
As a member of The Maccabi Victoria Board Sharon enjoys working with all our Clubs and their wonderful volunteers who truly help bring Jewish people of all ages together through sport.
Brian SwerskyImmediate Past President
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 attended numerous Carnivals as a swimmer, 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. In August 2016, Brian was elected the new President of Maccabi Victoria.
He has played an instrumental role in the development and roll out of Maccabi’s Member Protection Policy (MPP) program, and during the term of his Presidency Brian has introduced a Woman in Sport portfolio, a Leadership program and a substantial overhaul and modernisation of office systems and database management.
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 an owner of Lincraft Australia where he has been since 2005.
Brian has other community roles including being a Director of the Murrindindi Foundation and a Business mentor at the City of Glen Eira.
Brian is married to Leah and has 4 children and a granddaughter.
Caryn KaveVice President
Caryn has been involved with Maccabi in some form or another for many years, primarily the Netball club growing up, but in the Football, Soccer and Cricket clubs more recently, as a parent. Caryn sees being on the MacVic board as a great opportunity to give back to Maccabi and is excited at being able to promote community sport, getting more people engaged in Maccabi both on and off the field. Caryn believes in the power of community sport for social connection and its importance for both physical and mental wellbeing.
Professionally, Caryn is a qualified dietitian with a special interest in public health and disease prevention. She is currently working at AIA Australia, in the Wellbeing Strategy team. She is excited at the prospect of combining her passion for sport with her interest in health and wellbeing.
Jeremy has been involved in Maccabi for as long as he can remember. Starting junior basketball and cricket at the age of 8 and playing all through school, coaching basketball for 5 years and participating in multiple Junior Carnivals, Maccabi has played a pivotal role in Jeremy’s life.
Sport has always been the way in which Jeremy has connected with the broader Jewish community, and believes in the importance Maccabi plays in bringing Jews together not only here in Victoria but nationally and globally.
Outside of his role on the board, Jeremy works as a Chartered Accountant within the Deals & Advisory division at KPMG. In addition to this Jeremy has 6+ years of experience working in Audit & Assurance.
Jeremy joined the Board in 2023.
Karen’s involvement with Maccabi began with watching her mum play netball. She has great memories of playing netball for AJAX Maccabi and of junior carnivals in Melbourne and interstate.
Karen is passionate about exercise for herself, and for everyone in the community. She believes that it is of vital importance at all ages – from toddlers to the bubas and zaidas.
Professionally, Karen is a medical specialist (Radiology) working in private practice. She is married to Mark and they have two children involved in various Maccabi clubs.
Belle GoldmanBoard Member
Ilan KrausBoard Member
Introducing Ilan Kraus to the Board of Maccabi Victoria. Ilan’s association with Maccabi began with junior soccer in early 1980’s and he participated in many junior carnivals overs the years. He now enjoys watching his children enjoy all that Maccabi has to offer.
Professionally, Ilan is a Partner at national law firm Maddocks and is passionate about governance, stewardship and community.
Ilan is married to Tory and has a son and 2 daughters.
Shari CohenGeneral Manager
Shari has been a part of the Maccabi family of over 6 years, starting as the All Abilities Inclusion Coordinator and also having taken on the roles of Donor Management Officer and Member Protection Officer (for Maccabi Australia). With a background in accessible and inclusive fitness, Shari is passionate about providing opportunities for everyone to get active and involved in the community. Outside of Maccabi, Shari enjoys cooking, dancing and spending time with her dog.
Ruth ClareFinance Manager
I am the Finance Manager for Maccabi Victoria. This role has grown over time and allowed me to delve into other areas such as event coordination and liaising directly with the clubs.
I have always been in finance roles for large companies and small businesses, even running my own bookkeeping business.
The joy I have in working for Maccabi and the amazing team is one that will continue and support the wider community.
Simone GrinbergGrants/ Project Officer
Simone began working at Maccabi Victoria in 2018. During this time, she has worked in varied capacities including implementing the Women in Sport (WinS) program which saw the introduction of women’s social Basketball and Catchball programs. Simone is also responsible for our Maccabi Victoria grants program, identifying opportunities and managing the application and acquittal processes. She provides grant support services to all our clubs, enabling clubs to access much needed funding. She also leads our annual appeal which provides much need community fundraising for Maccabi Victoria and our clubs.
Martin JonaPathways Program Director
I was born in Argentina and grew up in the Jewish Community of Buenos Aires. In 1990, just after I finished high school, my family made Aliyah to Israel. I spent the first months in Kibbutz Gan Shmuel learning Hebrew and working. Later I got a degree in Geography and History of Israel (Tel Aviv University) and served in the Israeli army. After taking a few courses in Information Technology, I started working as Quality Assurance Engineer.
In 2011 I got relocated by the company to Auckland, New Zealand. In parallel to my IT job, I started coaching Futsal, Football, Netball and Tennis voluntarily. Since sport was always my passion, I enjoyed every minute. In 2016 I got an offer from Auckland Football Federation to deliver Futsal programs at schools and another one from Riverside Sports Club to work as Sports Development Officer. So I decided to leave my IT position and happily moved to the Sports Coaching and Managing field. I coached for many years in Kadimah, the only Jewish school in New Zealand. In 2018 I worked as Sports Coordinator at ACG Parnell College.
In 2019 we moved to Melbourne because my wife got relocated for work. I was very lucky to start working at Maccabi Victoria as Pathways Program Coordinator, organising sport activities at Jewish School. I am enjoying this role very much. I have participated in many Junior Carnivals as Team Manager and Sports Manager. I’m also working as Administration and Registrations Officer at Maccabi FC Caulfield. I’m currently coaching my son’s Soccer and Basketball teams at Maccabi, and support my daughter in the games of her Maccabi Netball team. We are a Maccabi proud family 😊.
Daniella LevinMarketing and Events Officer
Daniella Levin is our Marketing & Events Officer and recent export from South Africa. She brings a wealth of communal and NFP experience having been involved in community for the most part of her professional career.
Daniella believes that Maccabi truly reflects the diversity of the Jewish community and is a place for ALL Jews to connect with their identity, to find a place of belonging and peoplehood and to foster friendship, unity and good sportsmanship!
Daniella values the power of authentic communication and relationship building through meaningful engagement. Her passions lie in creative brand development and Marketing Operations.
In her role as Marketing & Events Officer, she liaises and works collaboratively with Maccabi clubs, staff, volunteers and the wider community and is involved in all things events, public relations, and marketing. Daniella has a Postgraduate Degree in Marketing as well as a Degree in Tourism and Events. Her love for community is evident in everything that she does: ‘It’s about people-proofing the community and leaders stepping up to make it an amazingly sustainable, viable and thriving community!’
Outside of the office, you might find Daniella at the Australian Open or one of the ATP tournaments. She’s also an avid traveller, with a fierce passion for good food and colourful culture – Daniella lived on a small island in the Caribbean for 2 years! Daniella also enjoys socialising with friends and spending time with her family.
Caren LubofskyAll-Abilities Program Officer
Meet Caren Lubofsky. She is thrilled to join Maccabi as their new All Abilities Program Officer. Caren’s recent roles have been around supporting people in the disability sector. She founded a not-for-profit charity, Aspies: Find Your Tribe Inc., and ran the Southern support group for Aspergers Victoria.
Caren has lived through a lot of difficult situations, which have given her a breadth of experiences and a whole lot of empathy. Her attitude is to always try to flip the negatives to positives. She says, “If I can support just one person, or share some advice or knowledge I picked up along the way, perhaps I can make a difference. And then maybe that person’s life can change for the better and they can help another. We’ve only got one life to live, and I think we just have to pursue happiness.”
Caren is a mother of three boys; two of them are on the autism spectrum and the other has been diagnosed with high anxiety. Caren identified that she was autistic, at the age of 44, after her eldest son was diagnosed. She sought an official diagnosis – which was life changing and explained a lot! Last year, she was also diagnosed with ADHD (inattentive and hyperactive) and is slowly learning what this means to her. Caren is looking forward to supporting the All Abilities Program from a lived-experience perspective. Please reach out to her, if the program may be of interest to you.
Jenny SchulmanAdmin Officer
We welcome Jenny as our newest Maccabi Team member, and she joins us as our Administration Officer. With many years of experience working within our community, both in Melbourne and New Zealand, Jenny has an understanding and the skills required to meet the expectations of all stakeholders. Jenny will act as support person in the office and assist the Board of MV with all admin related matters. She is your go-to person should you have a query or simply not sure who to approach for any general matter.
Jenny is an ongoing advocate for all values that Maccabi aspire to, in particular those that involve equality, tolerance and authenticity. She looks forward to engaging with and getting to know all club members, the many inspirational volunteers and the broader community.
Outside of work Jenny maintains an active lifestyle, enjoys hiking and exploring interesting destinations, loves to travel and enjoys cooking for family and friends.