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Jewish Athletes Wall of Honour

Jewish Athletes of the Year


Rhonda J. Prepes


by Rhonda J. Prepes, P. Eng., June 14, 2010

Over 100 sports fans attended the rededication of the Manitoba Jewish Athletes Wall of Honour at the Rady JCC on Sunday, June 13, 2010. The wall was rededicated in the memory of Cyril "Zeke" Marantz. The contribution made by his family also allowed for the addition of two new walls of honour: Jewish Builders of Sport in Manitoba and Jewish Athlete of the Year. 

Morley Hoffman, President of the Rady JCC Board of Directors began the ceremony by saying, “The Manitoba Jewish Athletes Wall of Fame was originally created 11 years ago to recognize and honour Jewish members of Manitoba’s sports community. Since then members of Manitoba’s Jewish community have continued to excel in sports, as well as, support and build sports in our province. To honour these vibrant members of our community our Sports Wall of Fame needed to grow."

Sixteen new athletes were added to the Cyril Marantz Manitoba Jewish Athletes Wall of Honour. Selected by committee based on the criteria of being a Jewish member of a Manitoba team, a Canadian team, or any post secondary team, they included Spike Abramson for softball, lacrosse, soccer, football, and rugby; Norm Adelberg for 5-pin bowling; Steven Bager for tennis; Leah Dlot for gymnastics; Ron East for wrestling; Ken Einhorn for basketball/tennis; Leo Fletcher for lacrosse/hockey; David Greaves for bob sled/track and field; Tracy Leipsec for speed skating; Debby Lexier for basketball; Andrew Nemiroff for golf; Arnold Popeski for football; Clarice Rubin for swimming; Charlie Rusen for softball; Sam Simcoff for football/lacrosse; and Phil Yakir for martial arts/karate. 

A new category of Builders was created to honour individuals who were instrumental in contributing to the development and promotion of sports in Manitoba. These inductees included Earl Barish for basketball; Mark Danzker for baseball; Max Freed for horse racing; Allan Finkel for running; Michael Gobuty for hockey; Barry Greenberg for curling; Sidney Halter for football; Jack Kaplan for coaching; Sam Katz for baseball; Phil Kives for horse racing; Ken Kronson for hockey/Rady JCC sport centre; Morley Meyers for hockey; Ernie Nairn for sports broadcasting; Harvey Rosen for sports writing; Max Saper for curling; Zivan Saper for curling; Joseph Wilder for football; and Neville Winograd for football. 

A Jewish Athlete of the Year Wall of Honour was also added. The past winners from 1986 and on were announced to the crowd, while the Jewish Athlete of 2010 will be announced at the Y Sports Dinner at the Winnipeg Convention Centre on Wednesday, June 23, 2010. This year’s nominees are Daniel Fainman for hockey, Yael Kaplan for basketball, Ezequiel Lubocki for soccer, Lauren Sera for soccer, and Daniel Worb for baseball. 

Speaking on behalf of his family, Dr. Jeff Marantz thanked the Rady JCC for the opportunity to honour his father’s memory in such a unique way.

“Cyril believed in all Jewish traditions: family, charity, education, the State of Israel and most importantly, a sense community," Marantz said. "He loved sports... and he loved to interact with youth. The Jewish youth of Winnipeg were close to his heart and he could see the impact sports had on uniting a community."

" I don’t think there is a better way for us to commemorate his memory," he added. "He passed away at the young age of 46, but lived a full life.”

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