Shalom Life | July 23, 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.”

Backstreet Boys Cancel All Three Sold-Out Shows in Israel Backstreet Boys Cancel All Three Sold-Out Shows in Israel TrendingAdam Levine is Officially Married, Jonah Hill Officiated Adam Levine is Officially Married, Jonah Hill Officiated TrendingWoody Allen Shares His Thoughts on The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Woody Allen Shares His Thoughts on The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Trending
 

Shalom, Mauritius: A Jewish Culture Guide

July 22, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Shalom, Mauritius: A Jewish Culture Guide

In 2000, Rabbi Silberhalft officiated the first Bar Mitzvah in the nation since World War II.

Read More

Robert Downey Jr. Is Still The Highest Paid Actor in Hollywood

July 22, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Robert Downey Jr. Is Still The Highest Paid Actor in Hollywood

The 'Iron Man' star raked in $75 million last year.

Read More

Woody Allen Appears On His First-Ever Podcast

July 22, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Woody Allen Appears On His First-Ever Podcast

The famed director spoke to Josh Horowitz, admitting he doesn't even know what a podcast is.

Read More

‘Louie’ Renewed For a Fifth Season, Only 7 Episodes

July 22, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
‘Louie’ Renewed For a Fifth Season, Only 7 Episodes

FX has announced another season on Louis C.K's popular show

Read More

The Love Jewce: Third Time's A Charm

July 22, 2014 | By Andria Kaplan
The Love Jewce: Third Time's A Charm

Sometimes you can't get to know someone after one fateful meeting on Instagram. Sometimes, it takes a few tries

Read More

CNN Poll Shows Most Americans Side with Israel

July 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
CNN Poll Shows Most Americans Side with Israel

A new poll shows that the majority of U.S. citizens agree with Israel's right to defend itself against Hamas

Read More

Study: 80% of British Jews Feel They Are Being Blamed for Gaza Conflict

July 22, 2014 | By ShalomLife Team
Study: 80% of British Jews Feel They Are Being Blamed for Gaza Conflict

"Most respondents (over three-quarters) maintained that they hear the Israel/Nazi parallel in Britain at least occasionally"

Read More

European Officials Condemn anti-Semitic Rallies

July 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
European Officials Condemn anti-Semitic Rallies

Foreign ministers from Germany, France and Italy will fight "acts and statements that cross the line to anti-Semitism"

Read More

More Headlines