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August 22, 2014 | 26th Av 5774
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RJ Magazine: Reform Jew Olympics Star

Originally posted in RJ Magazine.

Alexandra "Aly" Raisman, a member of Temple Beth Avodah in Newton Center, Massachusetts, led the U.S. women's gymnastics team to Olympic gold at this past summer's London games. The squad captain's floor routine, performed to a jazzed-up version of Hava Nagila, received the highest floor exercise score of the evening, sealing the U.S. team's victory over Russia. Notably, she also dedicated her win to the memory of the Israeli athletes slain in Munich in 1972, after the International Olympic Committee had ruled against honoring them with a moment of silence in the opening ceremonies.

"Aly is what you see on TV...gracious, confident, focused," says Rabbi Keith Stern. "She was the same at her bat mitzvah."

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