HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal
Dubbed the “Jewish Jordan” by Sports Illustrated in 1999, Tamir Goodman was a top-ranked basketball player from Baltimore who signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv and served in the IDF. Today he is an author, inventor of the Zone190 training aid and Sport Strings Tzitzit. He is a coach, educator, motivational speaker and author of The Jewish Jordan's Triple Threat. Tamir also serves as Director of International Development for the Hapoel Jerusalem professional basketball team.
How did sports impact your Jewish identity?
Sport, in particular, basketball, was my way of connecting with Hashem, to Judaism and to Israel. When I stepped on the basketball court it was with the intention of representing the Jewish people through sports. I never felt that I was playing just for myself. I was fortunate to grow up in a proud Jewish home and have my parents and friends who were supportive of me. For me, Judaism and sports were never two separate things but a channel by which to serve Hashem.
What advice would you give to a young Jewish athlete?
My advice is to take all of the life skills that you get from sports and apply them to your day-to-day life. So many great lessons and skills come from sports: resilience, time management, work ethic, communication, teamwork, dealing with loss, commitment and more. When we realize this, sports can provide people with a chance to develop and refine tools that contribute towards living a meaningful life.
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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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