Shalom Life | July 29, 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.”

Eva Green to Star in Upcoming Tim Burton Film Eva Green to Star in Upcoming Tim Burton Film TrendingSeth Rogen Chugs Beer From The Stanley Cup [VIDEO] Seth Rogen Chugs Beer From The Stanley Cup [VIDEO] TrendingOne Direction’s Zayn Malik Receives Death Threats After Tweeting #FreePalestine One Direction’s Zayn Malik Receives Death Threats After Tweeting #FreePalestine Trending
 

The Love Jewce: Why Ron Dermer and other NJB’s are Freaking Sexy

July 29, 2014 | By Andria Kaplan
The Love Jewce: Why Ron Dermer and other NJB’s are Freaking Sexy

A look at those "sexy Jewish men" who are making it known that they support Israel

Read More

New Zealand Cover Story Mistakes Jackass' Ryan Dunn for Slain IDF Soldier

July 29, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
New Zealand Cover Story Mistakes Jackass' Ryan Dunn for Slain IDF Soldier

The New Zealand Herald ran a cover story about late IDF Staff Sergeant Guy Boyland, but didn't use the right photo

Read More

Will Rising European anti-Semitism Lead to a 'New' Holocaust?

July 29, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Will Rising European anti-Semitism Lead to a 'New' Holocaust?

European, Israeli leaders hold emergency session after "rising wave of violent anti-Semitic and anti-Israel demonstrations sweeping Europe"

Read More

An Interview with Umami Burger Creator Adam Fleischman

July 29, 2014 | By Peter Herriman
An Interview with Umami Burger Creator Adam Fleischman

We speak to the renowned chef and owner of the growing restaurant chain about burgers, chocolate fried chicken, and how he comes up with his unique recipes

Read More

American Rabbi Becomes First Non-Christian to Serve as U.S. Ambassador for Religious Freedom

July 29, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
American Rabbi Becomes First Non-Christian to Serve as U.S. Ambassador for Religious Freedom

Rabbi David Saperstein, head of the Religious Action Center, will work towards establishing international religious freedom

Read More

Ten Ways Israelis Cope with Stress Under Fire

July 29, 2014 | By Viva Sarah Press
Ten Ways Israelis Cope with Stress Under Fire

Despite tension and worry, Israelis use their creativity and out-of-the-box thinking not only to endure the trauma but to rise above it

Read More

The Israeli Version of Snapchat

July 29, 2014 | By Maya Yarowsky, NoCamels
The Israeli Version of Snapchat

Israel's Mobli has released Mirage, a social app that allows you to send 15-second photos

Read More

Doctors Condemn Israel for 'Crime Against Humanity'

July 29, 2014 | By Dr. Itay Gal
Doctors Condemn Israel for 'Crime Against Humanity'

Twenty-four physicians and scientists publish open letter against IDF's activity in Gaza in leading medical journal 'The Lancet'

Read More

More Headlines