Ziff seeks more good sports for Maccabi GB

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 14, 2011
Michael Ziff

Michael Ziff

About to step down as chairman of the British-Israel Chamber of Commerce, Leeds businessman Michael Ziff is turning his attention to encouraging more Jewish youngsters into sporting activity.

Mr Ziff, 57 - who heads high street shoe chains Barratts and Priceless - has been elected as Maccabi GB's new chairman and will take office in June.

The keen cricketer wants to bring grassroots sport to as many young Jews as possible. "Affiliation with regional sports teams has diminished," he noted. "Maccabi is a London biased organisation. But I was asked if there was any way Maccabi can start to take a bigger role in the provinces."

Its target audience would be reached through schools, synagogues and other communal establishments. For example, in his native Leeds, plans to add the Zone youth club and a sports pitch to the Brodetsky Jewish Primary School campus was a project in which Maccabi could become involved.

He added that "coming from a family who have been involved with Maccabi for many years, I am very proud to be taking over as chairman. I am excited about the challenge, starting with the European Maccabi Games in Vienna in July."

Mr Ziff has previously chaired Maccabi's charitable foundation and UJIA in the provinces.

At the BICC, he is standing down after seven years at the helm. He is credited with spearheading its "transformation from a state of dormancy to a vibrant and dynamic organisation, with over 2,500 companies active within the British-Israeli business community". It receives 50 calls a week from companies looking to explore business opportunities.

Last updated: 9:57am, January 14 2011