Stretching and Kvetching... Putting the "oy" in Joy
Submitted by: David Category: Engaging in Our Community
The Big Idea
Life is pretty weird/awesome/meshugana huh?
If you told me 8 years ago when I was back in NY working on Wall Street, that I would be spending my Sundays in LA at assisted living communities teaching how to stretch and complain, I would think you were Passover soup nuts (ahem, the worst and craziest kind of nuts).
But here I am for the last five years teaching Stretching and Kvetching, an exercise and entertainment class that works out the heart, mind, and laughter muscles as much as our legs, arms, and pinky toes.
The premise of the class was founded on the wild discovery that people enjoy things that are fun and make them happy. Crazy discovery I know, yet you would be surprised how often this is over looked.
Over the years the class and program has taken on several different incarnations. Most recently a wonderful stand up comic and professional clown (seriously, like red nose and floppy shoes professional) Galit Levi has joined and has added even more to the creation and performance aspect of the class.
Though I would like to take this moment to personally invite each and every one of you that is reading this right now to come to a real, live class, I will do my best to paint the picture for you so that you can get a sliver of this experience.
Each stretch is combined with a kvetch. For example: Wait, wait, are you just going to read it? C'mon, don't just be a passerby. participate in life a little! Follow along with each step and it will be worth your while.
Step 1: Begin sitting comfortably in a chair with arms comfortably at your side.
Step 2: Slowly inhale while raising your arms overhead (or to a height that is comfortable for you).
Step 3: While keeping your hands stretched out over head, look up at the sky and begin shaking your hands back and forth and as you exhale, scream to the heavens "WHY COULDN'T MY SON BE A DOCTOR!!!!".
We recently (like hours before the submission deadline recently), completed the Stretching and Kvetching promo video. If you choose to watch it you will get a better idea of who we are and what we are all about. You will also laugh and feel really, really good about yourself.
We want to see a day in Los Angeles when visiting bubbe at the assisted living center is more fun and exciting than sitting at home all weekend watching TV.
We want to fool people who are too busy laughing their tuchus off and getting a great workout into learning about their culture and heritage.
At its best IT IS GOING TO STRENGTHEN ALL THREE PILLARS.
The stage show part of the project would be a mix between Jewtopia and Tony and Tina's Wedding.
And most importantly...
We want a 2012 Lexus LFA, with a sunroof... ha ha just checking if people are reading this.
This Is A Great Idea Because
Well, I can tell you that it is more than just an idea... because I have been living this for the last 5 years of my life.
Stretching and Kvetching is more than just shaking your body while talking about how much gas costs (even though you don't drive a car)...
It builds community. It bridges the gap between generations. It makes learning an almost forgotten language cool. It makes you want to not only respect your elders, but learn from them, enjoy them, get inspired with them.
In a word... it's FUN. And in my opinion, we need way more fun in the Jewish world.