THE 2012 SUMMER OLYMPICS are underway, and children everywhere are tumbling, running, swimming, and jumping. They are actively imagining that they themselves might some day compete in the world’s games as the next Michael Phelps.
For families, the London 2012 Summer Olympics offers a great opportunity to talk about the world’s many different nations, which include the United States and Israel as well as what it means to be Jewish in a world made up of so many different people.
‘KVELLING’ OLYMPIC PARENTS
As Kveller writer Molly Tolsky points out in her piece, "Jewish Parents at the Olympics Are Pure Gold," the 2012 Olympics shows us that Jewish athletes (and their families!) are every bit as human as the rest of us.
Tolsky suggests, for example, that Lynn and Ricky Raisman, parents of Aly Raisman (whose impressive floor routine was set to the song "Hava Nagila") are "the biggest kvellers in America today."
Kveller editors concur, suggesting that proud young parents may end up being quite inspired by all the kvelling.
In their Olympic Game-inspired parenting piece “Jewish Athlete Names,” the Kveller team has pulled together a list of names drawn from past and current Jewish stars. "Maybe choosing one of these names will be a premonition," suggests the editorial team.
If your young children are anything like the little boy below, the 2012 Summer Olympics has turned your living room (and your sofa) in to a gymnasium.
To set the stage here, you’ll want to watch the first video below — gymnast Aly Raisman performs the same "Hava Nagila" floor routine that landed her a spot on the American Olympic team.
Then, watch as a little boy mimicks Raisman, bouncing, stretching, somersaulting, and dreaming of his own chance at Olympic gold.
Raisman’s “Hava Nagila” Routine:
Little Boy’s Raisman-Inspired Routine:
BOOKS FOR YOUNG OLYMPIANS
Want a few Olympics-inspired PJ titles to read aloud with your children this summer? Check out these PJ medal-winners:
|Nachshon, Who Was Afraid to Swim
Author: Deborah Bodin Cohen
As the Israelites rush to leave Egypt after being freed from slavery, young Nachshon is the first to brave the water that must be crossed, even though he is afraid to take the plunge.
Author: Ann D. Koffsky
Illustrator: Ann D. Koffsky
Noah loves everything about summer camp — except swimming. Nothing can get Noah into the pool until he learns about the camp swim-a-thon that will help give other children a chance to attend the camp he loves.
|Zishe the Strongman
Author: Robert Rubinstein
Illustrator: Woody Miller
In this story based on the life of Polish strongman Siegmund Breitbart, children are introduced to various kinds of strength, including the gentle strength that comes from kindness.