Jewish Olympic swimming gold medalist comes to JCC Chicago

Kick off Water Safety Month this May with a big splash. Four-time Olympic swimming gold medalist Lenny Krayzelburg will be at Bernard Weinger JCC, 300 Revere Drive in Northbrook, at 9 a.m. on Sunday, May 4.

Krayzelburg will be available for autographs and photos to promote Lenny Krayzelburg Swim Academy lessons being offered through JCC. Throughout the morning, children can receive a free swim evaluation and two free swim lessons when they register for a LKSA swim program. Reservations for a free swim evaluation are encouraged.

“Kids want to spend time in the water, so making sure they are water safe is one of our main objectives,” Krayzelburg said. “With our method, children develop a sense of comfort in the water, and then we teach strokes.” 

Students three months and up first learn basic skills, then mastery of the four competitive strokes: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly.” 

Since 2005, Krayzelburg’s highly successful, exclusively-JCC, learn-to-swim program has taught thousands of children water safety and the importance of knowing how to swim. His inspiration came from the excitement he observed of children taking swim lessons while he was training for the 2004 Olympics in California.

JCC selected the Lenny Krayzelburg program because it’s based on best practices and the most advanced thinking in the field,” said Jacqueline Keane, JCC Chicago Assistant Director of Wellness.Low teacher-to-student ratio gives each child the personal attention they need to be successful.” 

“JCC Chicago’s partnership with LKSA’s high quality swim program of safety and skill demonstrates our commitment to supporting the diverse fitness and wellness needs of individuals and families in our community, and expands on JCC’s commitment of service to families in the northern suburbs,” said Alan Sataloff, JCC General Director and CEO.

Krayzelburg and his family emigrated from the Ukraine to Los Angeles in 1989. L.A.’s Westside JCC provided the opportunity for Krayzelburg to hone his skills, and for his family to explore their Judaism.  Krayzelburg’s first major swim competition was the 1990 Maccabi Youth Games. In 2001, fresh off his three Olympic gold medals at the 2000 Sydney games, Krayzelburg skipped the World Championships, opting instead to join the U.S. Team of the World Maccabiah Games in Israel, where he won a pair of gold medals. His fourth Olympic gold medal came at the 2004 games in Athens.

“The World Maccabiah Games was my first experience in Israel,” Krayzelburg said. “It was a special time to be there as a Jew and I learned more about Jewish culture and history.”

For more information and to learn more about the LKSA swim programs at the Mayer Kaplan JCC in Skokie, contact Kim, (847) 763-3604 or

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