Shalom Life | August 28, 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.”

Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones Hope to Co-Star in a Film Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones Hope to Co-Star in a Film TrendingSarah Silverman Wins Emmy, Thanks “My Jews” Sarah Silverman Wins Emmy, Thanks “My Jews” TrendingHoward Stern Takes On The ALS Ice (Cube) Challenge [VIDEO] Howard Stern Takes On The ALS Ice (Cube) Challenge [VIDEO] Trending
 

Iranian Official Claims Israel Sent Drones On Iran from Former Soviet Union

August 27, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Iranian Official Claims Israel Sent Drones On Iran from Former Soviet Union

The country's 'semi-official' Fars news agency alleges that it came from either Armenia, Azerbaijan or Turkmenistan

Read More

Adrien Brody Channels Harry Houdini For Magic Trick on 'Today'

August 27, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Adrien Brody Channels Harry Houdini For Magic Trick on 'Today'

The actor is currently doing the rounds to promote his History Channel mini-series

Read More

Shia LaBeouf Calls Police On Crazed, Stalking Fan

August 27, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Shia LaBeouf Calls Police On Crazed, Stalking Fan

A woman was arrested on LaBeouf's property after he called the Los Angeles police.

Read More

Chelsea Handler Says Her Final Goodbyes On 'Chelsea Lately'

August 27, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Chelsea Handler Says Her Final Goodbyes On 'Chelsea Lately'

The late night host was joined on stage by dozens of celebrities for her final episode.

Read More

Sarah Silverman is Returning to 'Masters of Sex'

August 27, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Sarah Silverman is Returning to 'Masters of Sex'

The comedian will reprise her role as Helen.

Read More

Op-Ed: After Gaza War, Helping Traumatized Israelis Heal

August 27, 2014 | By Chelsea Polaniecki
Op-Ed: After Gaza War, Helping Traumatized Israelis Heal

The road from trauma to resilience is a long and arduous journey that requires extensive therapy and the constant support of a family, whether biological or one born out of tragedy

Read More

Jewish Hall Of Fame: Mikhail Prokhorov

August 27, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
Jewish Hall Of Fame: Mikhail Prokhorov

At 49, the renowned entrepreneur, politician and Brooklyn Nets owner is one of the wealthiest men in the world

Read More

NFL Broadcaster Stereotypes Jews During Live Game

August 27, 2014 | By Peter Herriman
NFL Broadcaster Stereotypes Jews During Live Game

San Diego Chargers broadcaster Hank Bauer joked about penny pinching and some other Jewish stereotypes; he's since been suspended for a game

Read More

More Headlines