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.

By MIKE SILVERSTONE, YSABELLA HAWKINS
August 19, 2012 04:22
2 minute read.
JVN London Olympics 370

JVN London Olympics 370. (photo credit: JVN)

 
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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.

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Lord 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 action.

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.

The Jewish 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 blog.

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 families.

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.

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