Maccabi FC president Kevin Milstein had been through a family tragedy when he sat next to an old business colleague in shule. “When I got talking to him I realised that even though I knew this man many years ago, I never really knew him. He told me his life stories with sadness in his voice.”
“What are you doing with your time?” Milstein asked.
“Nothing, I have too much time on my hands to just think,” he replied.
This was Milstein’s light bulb moment, as he realised men need a place to talk, be sad and cry if they need to. They should be around other men because a man’s greatest weakness is not sharing with friends.
That’s where the men’s locker room idea was born.
The Maccabi Men’s Locker Room is a comfortable space for men 18 years and over, and for those that identify as men, to come and talk. Most importantly, what goes on in the locker room, stays in the locker room.
Milstein said, “You don’t need to be affiliated with any Maccabi group; you will be welcomed into the Maccabi family.”
The locker room encourages men to talk, help, laugh and most importantly share emotions in a safe and confidential environment.
Milstein explains it is not about affirming opinions, everyone is entitled to talk about whatever is affecting their lives. If someone wants to get away from the headache of current events and just wants to share, for example, a great time they had on their recent overseas trip, that’s okay.
Milstein has worked with communities of people for a long time. “I feel as though I’m able to help people, give them some sort of direction or suggestions.
“We lost a nephew through suicide recently. I’ll put it to you this way. If my nephew had this forum to go to and talk maybe he never would have committed suicide.
“Over time, we hope to be able to help men explore their own life experiences and be able to impart their knowledge to others, when and if the time is right for them,” Milstein explained. “We hope to encourage speakers of all backgrounds to join us so that we may be able to learn from them and with them.”
Maccabi Men’s Locker Room sessions are held every second Wednesday from 9.30 to 11am at Caulfield Park Bowls Club, 280 Balaclava Road Caulfield North. No joining fees.