Jewish London and the Olympic Games
The greatest victory of the Olympic Games goes to the 70,000 volunteer Games Makers who worked day in and day out to ensure that the “friendly Games” were the best possible for athletes, officials and spectators alike.
JVN London Olympics 370 Photo: JVN
What is your favorite memory of the London 2012 Olympic Games? Is it Team GB’s
incredible performance in the velodrome, taking seven golds? Could it be the
breathtaking feat by Usain Bolt as he completed the 100m and 200m sprint double
for the second Games in a row? Or perhaps it’s Michael Phelps cementing his
place as the greatest Olympian ever.
Or were you captivated by something
outside the sporting achievements? The Opening and Closing Ceremonies were
certainly a sight to behold, and it was clear that all the doubts as to whether
Britain could pull off a successful and incident-free Games were null and void.
But the greatest victory of the Games, for many, goes to the 70,000 volunteer
Games Makers who worked day in and day out to ensure that the “friendly Games”
were the best possible for athletes, officials and spectators alike.
Coe said, “[The volunteers] have the right to say tonight: ‘I made London
2012.’” The Jewish Volunteering Network (JVN) couldn’t agree more. The response
of the Great British public has astounded even the most optimistic of people,
and their “boundless enthusiasm” has been reflected in the general mood of the
country. JVN has ensured that the Jewish community has been at the center of the
Through our sister website created in partnership with the Jewish
Committee for the London Games (JCLG), JVN and a committed team of volunteers
has ensured Jewish visitors to the Games know exactly where to stay, where to
eat and what events and exhibitions across the UK may be of interest to them.
With around 20,000 visitors to the site and counting it has certainly proved its
use, and there is talk of the site continuing after the Games.
presence has also been felt at the Games itself. JVN has worked hard to promote
Games volunteering on our website, and many have responded – read some of the
volunteers’ stories in our New Year newsletter edition and on our
In particular, JVN has been helping ensure that the Israeli
Paralympic Delegation is well looked after. Israel is sending a large Paralympic
team and JVN would like to thank all those who have offered accommodation,
transport and other services to officials, athletes and their
To everyone who has or will be participating: your country and
your community is proud of you. Some of you will be committed volunteers
already; for others, it may be your first time volunteering. Whatever you
previous experience, if you have enjoyed your time as a volunteer during the
Games then why not continue? Many charities rely on volunteers to function, and
JVN’s website provides hundreds of opportunities in the Jewish and non-Jewish
communities across England. Find your perfect volunteering opportunity today!
Mike Silverstone is the youth co-ordinator of the Jewish Volunteering Network.