Manchester Maccabi has undergone an exciting squad shakeup ahead of its big refurbishment plans, including the introduction of a pro footballing personality to the ranks.
Manchester Maccabi Community and Sports Club has announced some significant changes at executive level. With effect from September, Darryl Lee will be stepping down from his role as chair of the executive but will remain at board level, while Bernie Yaffe and Suzy Gellman will also leave the executive to work solely at board level, where they also currently sit.The new chair will be Kathryn Levy, and the treasurer replacing Bernie Yaffe will be Ben Brownson, who will also be vice chair, replacing Michael Sacks who will remain on the executive. The executive will continue to run the club on a day-to-day basis, working with the board on strategy and major fundraising projects, with the board maintaining its governance role.
Discussing the changes, current chair Darryl Lee said: “There is not enough that can be said or written about the contribution of both Bernie Yaffe and Suzy Gellman in terms of their years of dedicated work at Manchester Maccabi, but put simply, without them the club would not be here. Kathryn has been on the executive for over two years, and we believe she has all the skills necessary to do a great job in the role at this key time for the club. Ben has the Maccabi movement running through his veins and his close links with Maccabi GB together with his financial background make him an ideal choice.”
In another huge signing, Maccabi has announced professional footballer Dean Furman as ambassador to the club. Dean has played for Glasgow Rangers, Bradford City, Oldham Athletic, Doncaster Rovers and Carlisle United, and returned to the UK from a five-year spell with South African side Supersport United in 2020. Most notably he has played 58 times for the South Africa national side, captaining the team on numerous occasions. His role will see him take an active part in promoting the charity and using his professional football career and contact base to help the club. He has already indicated he is looking forward to helping with the football section at junior and senior level, but the role is not just restricted to footie.
“Having recently moved back to Manchester with my wife and daughter, I am very keen to immerse myself within the local Jewish community,” said Dean. “I am very fortunate to be living my dream as a professional footballer and giving back to the community is something that I believe comes with the territory. I have seen some of the incredible work that goes on at the club and I am very much looking forward to being involved in future projects.”
The club is now looking to add further people at board level as it seeks to cement itself as a communal hub, engaging on the next step in its joint venture with UJIA. The project will see the Maccabi centre undergo refurbishment and renamed Maccabi Mamlock House in an exciting plan to continue building the club.
A VOICE FOR THE COMMUNITY
Following the election of Mark Adlestone OBE as chair alongside the appointment of Marc Levy as chief executive earlier this year, the JRC has embarked on an exciting development plan.
The Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester and Region (JRC) has ambitious plans to proactively represent the community, demonstrated by its extensive political engagement over the past months.
Since the organisation was established 102 years ago, its officers and committee members have worked to ensure the community’s interests and concerns have been taken on board and have become an integral part of the vibrant interfaith scene that has developed.
It is currently in the process of securing its archives at Manchester Central Library: “It is interesting how the issues faced by the JRC over the years are not necessarily new,” says JRC publicity officer Graham Gordon. “Records reveal, that one of the first tasks post establishment in 1919 was to deal with attacks on Shechita – this is sadly something that has been revisited on a number of occasions.”
At present, there are officers that cover youth and community, antisemitism and human rights, publicity, and the ever-important area of education. It also provides the Jewish representatives for the 10 Standing Committees for Religious Education in Greater Manchester: “I’m the representative for Rochdale and find the work very interesting,” continued Graham. “It is imperative the JRC works to ensure that the religious education provision is appropriate. During COVID, like most organisations, events and meetings have had to take place via Zoom and other online platforms. Nevertheless, work has continued and progress has been made.”
The Education Working Group, among its many endeavours, has started a group for those who teach Holocaust Studies, while the Youth and Community Working Group organised a successful event in May, called Community Stars, which recognised those who selflessly assisted the community during the pandemic.
“The community in Greater Manchester is truly blessed to have such phenomenal individuals and charities,” maintained Graham. “The JRC is a vibrant and enthusiastic organisation, which under the current leadership, will only go from strength to strength.” For a virtual copy of the JRC’s Rosh Hashanah magazine, RepPresents, email firstname.lastname@example.org