Shalom Life | July 27, 2015

Jewish U.S. Gymnast Hits the Right Notes with Hava Nagila

Alexandra Raisman earns spot in finals dancing to popular Jewish song

By: David Shear

Published: July 30th, 2012 in News » World

Jewish U.S. Gymnast Hits the Right Notes with Hava Nagila

Who knows? Maybe the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) refusal to commemorate the Munich 11 at this year’s London Olympics has secretly inspired Jewish athletes from other countries to go above and beyond expectations.

Take, for example, 18-year -old gymnast Alexandra Raisman, a Jewish girl, and Massachusetts native, competing for the United States team. Raisman did the Jews – and the Israelis – doubly proud recently, when she earned a spot in the individual finals for the U.S. in a floor exercise routine set to the unmistakable tune of Hava Nagila, the Hebrew folk song that has become a staple of bands at Jewish weddings and bar/bat mitzvahs.

A clip from Raisman's routine in March performed to Hava Nagila.

Known affectionately by teammates as Aly, Raisman surprised everyone by forcing her teammate – and favorite Jordan Wieber – out of the final, making her the new focus of the team and of much of the U.S. television coverage.

The song choice was the brainchild of Raisman’s coaches, Romanians Mihai and Sylvia Brestyan.

Raisman is the winner of the Pearl D. Mazor Outstanding Female Jewish High School Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award presented by the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in New York.

And if you needed any further proof that Jewish parents can be neurotic, NBC broadcast featured a clip of Raisman's parents watching their daughter perform her routine on the uneven bars. This is as great as parental nervousness gets as these parents watch their daughter fly and flip in the air, trying to stick what is considered her weakest event. Pure comedy.

Study: Diaspora Jews increasingly more critical of Israel Study: Diaspora Jews increasingly more critical of Israel TrendingMeet the Israeli-born Filipina Fighting to Save Lives in the IDF Meet the Israeli-born Filipina Fighting to Save Lives in the IDF TrendingNewspaper Uses Nazi Soldier for Cremation Ad Newspaper Uses Nazi Soldier for Cremation Ad Trending
 

Romania Passes Legislation Banning Holocaust Denial

July 27, 2015 | By B. Shane Morganstein
Romania Passes Legislation Banning Holocaust Denial

Holocaust deniers can now face up to 3 years in prison for denying the Holocaust or promoting fascism

Read More

Google removes Hamas app from Android store

July 27, 2015 | By JNS.org
Google removes Hamas app from Android store

The app was created by the Palestinian terrorist organization to improve its connection with its followers

Read More

Pro-Palestinian Activists Call Holocaust Survivor a 'Nazi'

July 27, 2015 | By B. Shane Morganstein
Pro-Palestinian Activists Call Holocaust Survivor a 'Nazi'

The English Holocaust survivor was accosted by pro-Palestinian activists after setting up a pro-Israel booth at a trade union festival

Read More

Study: Diaspora Jews increasingly more critical of Israel

July 27, 2015 | By B. Shane Morganstein
Study: Diaspora Jews increasingly more critical of Israel

Jewish People Policy Institute publishes new study just a year after Israel's most recent conflict with Hamas

Read More

Meet the Israeli-born Filipina Fighting to Save Lives in the IDF

July 27, 2015 | By Adva Cohen
Meet the Israeli-born Filipina Fighting to Save Lives in the IDF

Two years after her grandmother was rescued from the rubble in the Philippines, Joanna Chris Afron has come full circle - becoming a combat soldier in the same unit that saved her grandmother

Read More

Newspaper Uses Nazi Soldier for Cremation Ad

July 27, 2015 | By B. Shane Morganstein
Newspaper Uses Nazi Soldier for Cremation Ad

Jefferson City news Tribune apologizes for "Cremation with Integrity" ad featuring a young Nazi

Read More

Study: Eminem and Kanye West Use Wider Vocabulary than Bob Dylan

July 27, 2015 | By B. Shane Morganstein
Study: Eminem and Kanye West Use Wider Vocabulary than Bob Dylan

The rock-god has been beaten by the two rappers in a new study examining the range of vocabulary used by musical artists

Read More

Shaw Festival Review: Pygmalian

July 24, 2015 | By Hermine Steinberg
Shaw Festival Review: Pygmalian

Pygmalion is not only timely, but in the hands of Peter Hinton, is a masterpiece in social commentary.

Read More

More Headlines