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Hallway in Asper Jewish Community Campus

U of W Collegiate Disbands Junior Boy's Varsity Basketball Team following game with Gray Academy Raiders at Asper Campus Gym

by Rhonda Spivak, February 22, 2023


There was an incident and/ or incidents that took place during a junior varsity boy’s basketball game at the Asper Campus gym  on Feb 2 between the Gray Academy Raiders and the University of Winnipeg Collegiate Wesmen, which resulted in the rare step being taken by  U of W Collegiate to disband its own team. 


It is not clear what exactly happened.


Lori Binder, CEO and Head of School at Gray Academy said in a statement:


"We do not comment on incidents involving students, especially when they are minors. Our general rule when there are incidents in sports is to work closely with the administration of the other school to ensure appropriate follow up in keeping with community values, policies and expectations of respectful conduct on and off the court or field.


"Regarding the U of W Collegiate, we recommend you contact their administration as we cannot comment on the policies or decisions of another school.”


Josh Weinstein, President of the Board of Jewish Education wrote to the Winnipeg Jewish Review, “I stand by the comments of Head of School Lori Binder.”


A Winnipeg Free Press story   about  the  matter at hand  referred to the Feb. 2 incident as involving  “behavioural issues” and did not elaborate what they were. It is not clear how many U of W students exhibited what the Free Press referred to as these “behavioural issues.”



Gustavo Zentner, President of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg made the following statement:


"The Jewish Federation of Winnipeg has been made aware of an incident during a sports tournament that included behavioral issues outside the true spirits of sports and community-building. 


"The Jewish Federation is in direct consultation with Gray Academy of Jewish Education to provide any support and avail them of any resources needed. We understand that all parties involved are working directly with the Manitoba High School Athletics Association and other pertinent authorities. 


"We take any incident affecting the youth of our community very seriously and stand up against all kinds of hate, intolerance, and discrimination. We encourage any community members who have experienced antisemitism to report the incident using the tool available on the Federation’s website."


According to the  U of W Collegiate's website, Unacceptable conduct is defined as follows:

"Unacceptable conduct for students, instructors and staff of The University of Winnipeg Collegiate is constituted by:

  1. Any action that disturbs or disrupts the learning of students and/or the learning environment;
  2. Any action that jeopardizes an individual’s personal well-being or safety and/or the safety or well-being of others in the Collegiate;
  3. The use of verbal or electronic abuse (bullying, cyber-bullying, uttering threats etc);
  4. Acts of bullying, harassment, intimidation, physical assault, hazing, or retribution against a student or person who has intervened to prevent or report incidents to an instructor or staff member;
  5. Gang involvement;
  6. Acts of discrimination as outlined in subsection 9(2) of the Human Rights Code;
  7. Use, possession, or distribution of illegal or restricted substances or weapons;
  8. Plagiarism and academic dishonesty;
  9. Use of the internet (including social media, text messaging, instant messaging, web-sites and email) in an irresponsible, disrespectful, and/or unlawful manner;
  10. Use of cell phones and digital cameras in an irresponsible, disrespectful, and/or unlawful manner. "


According to the website, “We require a signed player contract/code of conduct that outlines how The Collegiate operates.”


Belle Jarniewski, Executive Director at the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada, noted on her Facebook page following the Free Press article that she was “disappointed that “no classes from the UW Collegiate have registered for the Holocaust and Human Rights Symposium this year after having been a part of it for 20 years. There is no cost and the program will be virtual.”


The U of W team that was disbanded had lost all of its games and was only scheduled to play one more game this season.


The Winnipeg Jewish Review does not know whether or not there were any previous incidents that occurred at earlier games between the Gray Academy team  and U of W Collegiate team. The Winnipeg Jewish Review also does not know whether or not the behavioral issues involved  included antisemitic behavior, as this writer has not had the opportunity to speak to any of those students directly involved.





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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.