25 years old: Yom Sport becomes strong

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On Sunday September 12, Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters held their 25e annual Yom Sport: a sports day for adults with disabilities at the Solomon Schechter Day School in Newton. After so much time apart during this difficult year and a half, it was amazing to watch the field and see it full of athletes and volunteers all doing a variety of sports together. From football to softball to bocce, every event has served as a reminder of how important community is, especially as we look to a post-COVID world.

I have had the pleasure of volunteering at Yom Sport with JBBBS for several years and can say with confidence that this is one of the most special days of the year! Seeing the joy brought to an athlete’s face when they score a point or win a medal is truly special. This year, JBBBS welcomed its athletes again after two postponements from Yom Sport, with the event usually taking place in June. Many came to see the volunteers and let them know how much they missed the event and how excited they were to be back. Throughout my volunteer time over the years, I have constantly heard athletes and volunteers describe what the event means to them.

But it wasn’t just any Yom Sport, it was the 25e birthday! Twenty five years! Twenty-five years of thousands of athletes and hundreds of young adult volunteers, recruited by Combined Jewish Philanthropies, coming together to connect in this way. Twenty-five years of team captains cheering on their teams, creating team posters and encouraging everyone to participate. And yes, 25 years of tuna salad sandwiches!

Jeremy Brick, right, and Alissa Brill (courtesy photo)

Sitting on the Yom Sport committee, chaired by Yom Sport Co-Chairs Alissa Brill and Dan Greenblatt, I was incredibly proud to serve and plan this event alongside an incredible group of people, some of whom are on the committee. from the beginning! The leadership, guidance and commitment of my fellow committee members play a key role in the success of the event.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the incredible efforts and leadership of all Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters staff, especially Jeremy and Lauren, who have guided our committee through more than two years of planning for this milestone year. . It is astonishing to note that it is them, on a daily basis, who allow JBBBS to have the impact of “transforming the lives of children, adults with disabilities and their families”.

I am convinced that it is important to take time in our everyday life to reflect, consider and connect with those who have life experiences or backgrounds different from ours. This is what makes the important work of JBBBS special. The bonds that are made and the relationships that are forged, not only through Yom Sport, but through JBBBS programming throughout the year, strengthen our community by creating friendships, understanding and connections. If you want to know more about this lineup and get more involved, you can visit jbbbs.org/volunteer.

Finally, it is crucial that I recognize the impact that volunteers have had at Yom Sport this year. The CJP volunteers who attended led their Yom Sport teams with enthusiasm, spirit and determination to make it the best event of the past two years. Solomon Schechter’s teenage volunteers who assisted and directed all sporting events demonstrated immense maturity, integrity and kindness throughout. It’s safe to say that without them we wouldn’t have been able to make it happen. If you have never volunteered for Yom Sport in the past, I strongly encourage you to do so in the future. It is incredibly rewarding for all involved!

After 25 years, it is clear that Yom Sport is still going strong and is here to stay. Here is 25 more years of this fantastic day!

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