Jewish athletes win gold at Canada Summer Games

Winning gold at the Canada Summer games in Winnipeg last month, Zane Grossinger (#6) from Richmond Hill and Ethan Kalef (#2) from Ottawa, are not just members of the 18U Team Ontario Men’s Volleyball team but 2 accomplished young Jewish athletes making their mark in Canadian sports.

Zane (#6) just completed high school at TanenbaumCHAT Kimel Campus in Vaughan, Ontario and will be attending and playing volleyball at Queen’s University in the fall. Ethan (#2) is going into grade 12 at Longfield-Davidson Heights SS in Ottawa.

Zane finished his club career with the Lakeside Volleyball club in Oakville where his team won a bronze medal at the 18U National Championship in Saskatoon this past May. Ethan plays for the Ottawa Fusion Volleyball Club and has played up an age division for all of his club career.

As the only Jewish athletes to be members of the 18U Provincial Team, they are part of an emerging group of Jewish athletes choosing the sport. Zane’s family has been involved in volleyball for over 35 years and have been part of the Maccabi experience as Zane’s dad Howie was a member of the Open volleyball team’s in 2001 & 2005 and Zane’s older brother Cole was on the 2013 Open volleyball team that won a silver medal. Howie served as the assistant coach on the 2013 team.

This past summer, Ethan, a leftside hitter and defensive specialist and Zane, a setter, were contributors to the most successful summer in the history of Team Ontario volleyball. After an intense three weeks of training in North Bay, Zane, Ethan and their teammates travelled to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for the US High Performance Championships. Playing against the best 18-21 year old’s in North America, Team Ontario defeated a talented team from Southern California to win the tournament. An achievement no other Canadian team has ever achieved. Zane was also named to the tournament all-star team.

After Florida, Team Ontario returned to Brock University in St. Catherines, Ontario for their last 10 days of training before travelling to Winnipeg for the Canada Summer Games from August 7-12. Playing against the best 18U volleyball players in Canada, Team Ontario went undefeated and beat Team Alberta in the Gold medal match 16-14 in the 5th set. The first Gold medal for Ontario at this event in 24 years.

Zane and Ethan are hoping to represent Canada at the next Maccabiah Games and given the number of talented Jewish athletes playing the sport today, Canada will be well represented in 2021.