Maccabi Victoria honours best of 2015

Maccabi Victoria named football player Toni Hamilton (pictured with the ball) the most Outstanding Maccabi Sportswoman of the Year for 2015. Photo: Peter Haskin.

PARALYMPIC table tennis player Barak Mizrachi was named outstanding Jewish sportsman of the year at the annual Maccabi Victoria Awards night, held in Melbourne on Sunday night (May 15).

Mizrachi, who was also named as the outstanding Maccabi sportsman of the year, is the Oceania Para Table Tennis champion in class 6-10 singles and has qualified to represent Australia at the Rio Paralympics later this year.

“This recognises a fantastic year by Barak and the entire community looks forward to watching him represent Australia,” Maccabi Victoria president Joe Dorfman said.

There was no winner for the Jewish sportswoman of the year, however the Maccabi sportswoman of the year was Toni Hamilton, who won the team and competition best and fairest in the first year of the AJAX Football Club’s women’s team, the Jackettes.

She was also accepted into the AFL’s academy program and is in line to play in the inaugural AFL women’s competition next year.

Race walker Jemima Montag, a member of Australia’s track and field team, took out the both the Maccabi and Jewish junior sportswoman of the year awards, while swimmer Dante Negri won the Maccabi junior sportsman and cyclist Riley Hart the Jewish award.

Veterans awards went to lawn bowler Gail Nadelman (Maccabi) and swimmer Michael Carp (Maccabi and Jewish), while rhythmic gymnast Alexandra Kiroi received the Rising Star Award, which was reintroduced this year.

Clive Aaron from the Maccabi Swimming Club was named the administrator of the year, and David Zivin – an assistant team manager at the last four junior carnivals, as well as a committee member at the junior cricket and football clubs – received the president’s award.

Mark Klapish received the Lenny Bogatin Award for outstanding service to Maccabi Victoria and Jewish sport for his management role of last year’s 90th anniversary celebrations.

“The quality of this year’s award winners are outstanding and reflects the incredible talent in our community. Our athletes are competing at state and national level and winning medals,” Dorfman said.

“We can be very proud of all winners and nominees. The Henry Jolson Pathways Program, which starts this year, will ensure that our clubs will provide an environment where members can reach their full potential.”

Maccabi also used the event at the Blake Street shul to recognise its club presidents and a select group of volunteers.