Israel did not win anything at the Summer Olympics in London but gold medals are
on the way after Jewish- American gymnast Aly Raisman accepted an official
invitation from Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein Friday to come to
Jerusalem with her family.
In a phone conversation facilitated by US
Ambassador Dan Shapiro, Raisman, 18, told Edelstein that she was very happy to
be invited and that she would decide with her family when would be the best time
A source close to Edelstein said the end of December would be a
likely choice because Raisman’s younger siblings Brett, Chloe and Madison would
be on vacation from school. Raisman and her family have never been to
The gymnast won a gold medal for her floor routine, which she
performed to the tune of “Hava Nagila.” She won another gold medal for the
performance of the US women’s gymnastics team she captained and a bronze in the
MK Danny Danon, who chairs the Knesset’s Diaspora Affairs Committee, said he would invite Raisman to
the legislature to address the committee.
Raisman may not be the only
medal winner to come to Israel.
Sailor Jo Aleh, 26, who has an Israeli
father and a UK-born mother, and who won a gold medal for New Zealand in women’s
470 class sailing on Friday, is expected to come to Israel for the bat mitzva of
her half-sister, who lives on a kibbutz with her father, Shuki.
also still a chance for one Israeli to win a medal: Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball
coach David Blatt will be coaching the Russian team that will face off against
Argentina for the bronze medal in men’s basketball on Sunday.