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Three time Olympic Gold medal backstroker, Lenny Krayzelburg moved with his parents to Los Angeles from the Ukraine in 1989 when he was just 13 years old. Trying to adapt to a new culture, learn a new language, and continue his athletic training was very difficult, but Lenny did his best.
In California he worked as a lifeguard at the JCC of Greater Los Angeles, and continued his training. In 1990, Lenny swam for team LA at the JCC Maccabi Games in Detroit. Again in 1992 Lenny won Gold at the Games in Baltimore.
At Santa Monica College, he won the state junior college title after only one season, and captured the attention of influential coaches. Lenny transferred to USC, entered the school’s swim program and began accumulating championships: the national title in 1997, the world title in 1998, world records in 1999, and then, in 2000, three Olympic gold medals!
In July 2001, Lenny chose to compete in the Maccabiah Games in Israel where he won the 100-meter backstroke. Many consider Lenny Krayzelburg the finest backstroke swimmer in the world.
Jason Segel participated in the JCC Maccabi Games when he was younger and he played on the Los Angeles JCC Maccabi Games Gold Medal 15-16 year old Basketball team in 1996 when MetroWest JCC in West Orange, NJ hosted the Games. born January 18, 1980, Jason is an American television and film actor, screenwriter, and musician. Jason is most well known for his role as Marshall Eriksen on the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother. Jason is also known by his fans for his work in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, I Love You, Man, and Gulliver’s Travels.
Red-haired Brett Loewenstern charmed the judges at his audition on American Idol in 2011 and blew them away when he began to sing, but his performance was no surprise to anyone who knew him from JCC Maccabi ArtsFest®. The Boca Raton teen participated in several JCC Association teen arts programs beginning in 2007 and showed off his spectacular talent right away.
Ethan Zohn captured America’s hearts when he became the third one million dollar winner of “Survivor Africa” last fall, but his talents and dedication off the screen and actually on the field will make him a national favorite long after the “Survivor” fever ends. Ethan played soccer for the Boston JCC in the 1990 JCC Maccabi Games in Detroit. He then went on to represent the United States and compete in the 16th Maccabiah Games in Israel in 2001. You may remember seeing Ethan wearing his USA Sports for Israel T-shirt while he was on Survivor. Ethan also appeared on the all-star edition of Survivor.
Ethan attended Vassar College in New York where he graduated with a B.A. degree in Biology. Following graduation he pursued his passion for soccer and played pro ball as a goalkeeper for the Highlanders Football Club (Zimbabwe), Cape Cod Crusaders (Cape Cod, Massachusetts) and the Hawaii Tsunami (Oahu, Hawaii). Determined to stay in excellent shape between seasons, Ethan began coaching for the Fairleigh Dickinson University Men’s and Women’s Soccer Team in New Jersey.
He continues to pursue his passion for soccer but now in a more philanthropic way, thanks to his recently increased profile. Ethan is looking to be an ambassador of sorts to the sport, as he is involved in organizations that help inner city kids participate in educational soccer programs such as America Scores. He is also actively involved in Grassrootsoccer.org, which is a non-profit organization that trains well-known professional soccer players to educate the youth in Southern Africa about HIV/AIDS prevention.