Leo Dan Bensky President of MWU

February 2014

Leo-Dan Bensky from Finland was elected unanimously in May 2014 by the MWU Executive as President of Maccabi World Union. 

At 53, Leo is one of the youngest Presidents of MWU, and at 197cm (6ft7⅝in), certainly the tallest. He brings to the position more than 4 decades' experience of every aspect of Maccabi, local, continental and global. He is a lifelong active Maccabi athlete, starting at age 10 when he attended the 1970 Winter Camp of Makkabi Helsinki, one of our Movement's oldest Clubs (Est. 1906). An enthusiastic footballer in his club from his teens through his twenties, he made his mark in Squash as a Finland Junior National Team player at the 1978 & 1979 World Championships, and as a referee at European (1979 & 1991) and World (1981 & 1989) Squash Championships. Since 1989, he competes regularly in Makkabi Helsinki Golf Championships. He served continuously on the Board of his Club from 1980, as Treasurer, and Chairman from 1987-1997; since 2006, he is Honorary Chairman of Makkabi Helsinki.

At a continental Maccabi level, Leo has been to all European Maccabi Games since 1979, winning Bronze with the Finnish football team that year, and another with the Squash team in 1999. He has been continuously active on the European Maccabi Confederation (EMC) Executive since he was first elected in 1988: Education Director, then Sports Director, Vice Chairman, and from 1998-2002, Chairman. At the ripe old age of 42 in 2002, EMC made him an Hon. Vice-President, a lifetime appointment.

Likewise, Leo Dan Bensky knows MWU and the Maccabiah experience at every level: athlete, coach, Head of Delegation who has participated in all Maccabiot since the 12th Games in 1985; member of the MWU Executive and IMC, Head of Confederation and most recently, MWU Vice President, a position to which he was elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2010. Active on many MWU and IMC committees, including International Finance and Yakir Maccabi, Leo has chaired numerous Congress, Plenum and IMC sessions.

Leo succeeded his father Dave of blessed memory as CEO (1988) and President (2006) of their family-owned business, Oy Anglo-Nordic Ab. Established in 1935, this substantial company has a storied history, including the first Finnish TV broadcast, and being the major distributor in Finland of Nokia cellphones. On the Council of his Helsinki Jewish Community since 1986, he has been its Chairman since 2006. Since 2004, he is also Treasurer of the Foundation for Jewish Culture & Heritage in Finland, Vice Chairman of the Finland-Israel Trade Association and Chairman of Keren Hayesod Finland.

Leo combines his business interests and his lifelong passion for sports: Anglo-Nordic is the major shareholder, and Leo is Chairman of the Board of Talihalli Oy Squash & Badminton Center, and is a Co-Owner and Board Member since 2009 of HIFK professional ice-hockey Team, founded in 1897 and 7-time Finnish National Champions, most recently in 2011. Leo and his wife Eva have two children. Miriam (24) is completing a Masters in Conflict Resolution at Columbia U. (NY); she has a BA in Government from IDC Herzliya (Israel), where her younger brother Jonathan (22) will graduate this year with a BA in business. Like his father, Jonathan is also a Maccabiah athlete (Futsal, Golf).