Shalom Life | October 31, 2014

Olympic Gold Medalist, Aly Raisman, Accepts Invitation to Israel

The US triple medal winner accepts Minister Yuli Edelstein's personal invite to visit Israel.

By: Ashley Baylen

Published: August 10th, 2012 in Culture » Society » News

Olympic Gold Medalist, Aly Raisman, Accepts Invitation to Israel

18-year old United States gymnast, Aly Raisman, became an Olympic sensation after not only leading her team to a gold medal, but also being the first American female gymnast to nab the gold in a floor routine.

Raisman famously performed the winning routine to the tune of 'Hava Nagila'. When asked why she chose the traditional Jewish song, she explained that she was proud of her Judaism and wanted to represent her heritage at the 2012 London Olympics. Although the song was not intentionally chosen to honor the 11 Israeli athletes slain at the Munich Olympics, she did dedicate all three of her medals to them, and would have participated in a moment of silence if the IOC had accepted the countless requests for such a moment.

Moved by Raisman's love for her Jewish heritage, Israeli Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein, extended a personal invitation to the gymnast inviting her entire family to visit Israel.

“I am sure you know that beyond your wonderful personal achievement, you also brought great pride to millions of Jews in Israel and around the world,” Edelstein wrote in the personal letter.

“For me personally, as the minister in charge of relations with Diaspora Jewry, hearing why you chose the song made me realize that the concept of Kol Israel Arevim Zeh Lazeh [All Jews are responsible for one another] still holds true and that the Jewish people remain united no matter how far apart we may live. I was impressed that someone so young made such a monumental, ethical decision.”

“Making your first visit to Israel is not only important because it is the homeland of the Jewish people but also because you can contribute from your experience to the young generation of Israeli athletes,” Edelstein continued.

Edelstein followed up by getting in touch with the US Embassy in Tel Aviv and Aly Raisman's synagogue in Newton, Mass. to ensure she received his request.

US Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, facilitated a conversation between Edelstein and Raisman on Friday. The gymnast happily accepted the invitation and is currently deciding with her family the best time to visit.

In celebration of Raisman's win, Shapiro sent her a congratulatory message on Twitter in Hebrew, saying “I am so proud of the American gymnast Aly Raisman...She won the floor exercise and immediately dedicated her medal to the Israelis murdered in Munich. What an impressive decision.”

Dafy Hagai Challenges Everything You Think You Know About Israeli Girls Dafy Hagai Challenges Everything You Think You Know About Israeli Girls TrendingAmy Winehouse Exhibition Lands in Tel Aviv Amy Winehouse Exhibition Lands in Tel Aviv TrendingDirector Ari Cohen Discusses His Latest Doc, ‘The Family Farm’ Director Ari Cohen Discusses His Latest Doc, ‘The Family Farm’ Trending
 

Lieberman to Sweden: Middle East Relations More Complex Than Assembling IKEA Furniture

October 31, 2014 | By Ynet News
Lieberman to Sweden: Middle East Relations More Complex Than Assembling IKEA Furniture

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom disagrees

Read More

Lena Dunham and Celebrity BFF’s Raise Awareness For Planned Parenthood

October 30, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Lena Dunham and Celebrity BFF’s Raise Awareness For Planned Parenthood

The 'Girls' creator has designed a shirt for the women's rights organization

Read More

Seth Rogen Will Play Steve Wozniak in New Steve Jobs Bio Pic

October 30, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Seth Rogen Will Play Steve Wozniak in New Steve Jobs Bio Pic

Rogen is in negotiations to star as the Apple co-founder alongside Christian Bale

Read More

A New Pee-Wee Herman Movie Has Been Confirmed

October 30, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
A New Pee-Wee Herman Movie Has Been Confirmed

Paul Reubens told Jimmy Fallon that Judd Apatow will be producing the reboot

Read More

Breakthrough Jew - Joshua Meier

October 30, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Breakthrough Jew - Joshua Meier

18-year-old Meier won the Best in Category Award in cellular and molecular biology at the 2014 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for his work in harnessing the aging process to treat diseases.

Read More

Startup Club: Cat2See

October 30, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
Startup Club: Cat2See

The Israeli company has created an app that lets you play with your cats, monitor them, and even feed them when you're not home

Read More

Why the Mastermind Behind Leon Klinghoffer’s Murder Went Free

October 30, 2014 | By Stephen M. Flatow, JNS.org
Why the Mastermind Behind Leon Klinghoffer’s Murder Went Free

Amid the ongoing controversy over the Metropolitan Opera's performance of "The Death of Klinghoffer," little has been said about the Palestinian leader who masterminded the attack in which Klinghoffer was murdered

Read More

This Israeli Prison Hosted a Fashion Show for its Inmates

October 30, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
This Israeli Prison Hosted a Fashion Show for its Inmates

The Holy Land's only female prison debuted what and what not to wear while incarcerated

Read More

More Headlines