HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal
How did sports impact your Jewish identity?
I represented Israel on the international circuit for eight years. At every competition, small or large, the announcer always presented me the same way: “Representing Israel, please welcome Tamar Katz.” I would then do a lap and skate out to my beginning pose, look out at the audience, and always see at least one person waiving a large Israeli flag—in Sweden, Russia, Poland, Los Angeles, Italy… There was always someone in the stands waving an Israeli flag and cheering me on. The only other time I felt closer to my Jewish identity was when I stood atop the podium, watching the Israeli flag rise, listening to Hatikvah.
What advice would you give to a young Jewish athlete today?
Judaism teaches you that hard work and sacrifice in the present can lead to rewards later. It’s one of the fundamental practices of Judaism. Sports is the ultimate way to see how sacrifice and hard work can reap rewards and gains later. Going to practice at 6 AM when all your friends are asleep or at 6 PM when they’re at the movies doesn’t sound fun at the present, but it tastes all the sweeter when you hit that winning pitch, nail that new trick, or stand atop the podium.
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Former WBA Boxing Champion ...
This issue presents a wealth of guidance and examples for day schools to stay on top of their game. Articles discuss how schools ensure that athletics stay informed by a school's mission, by embodying Jewish values and embracing inclusivity; how they can use sports as a vehicle for teaching about and fostering love for Israel; how a wide range of sports can bring out the best in students and faculty; and how schools can more broadly employ movement and teach healthy living.
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