Olympic gymnast is speaker at Hannah Senesh School
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn residents will get a chance to learn the secret to gymnast Aly Raisman’s phenomenal success when the Olympic gold medalist comes to a private school in Carroll Gardens to discuss her brilliant career later this month.
Raisman, a two-time Olympian and six-time medalist, will be the guest speaker at the Conservations@Senesh Steinhardt Speaker Series at the Hannah Senesh Community Day School, 342 Smith St., on Oct. 24.
Raisman will be interviewed by journalist Virginia Heffernan at the event, which will take place at the school at 7:30 p.m.
Funded by philanthropist Michael Steinhardt, Conservations@Senesh features leaders from all areas of public life who speak about the factors that drive their success and share their ideas about Jewish values.
Raisman served as the team captain of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics gold medal-winning Olympic teams in both 2012 and 2016.
She is the second-most decorated American female gymnast in the history of the sport, having earned six total medals during her Olympic career.
Raisman, who was born in Massachusetts in 1994, discovered gymnastics not long after she began walking. “I was 2 years old when my mom put me in ‘Mommy and Me’ classes. I always had a lot of energy so it was the perfect fit!” she told USA Gymnastics.
She won the gold in the vault event at the 2009 American Classic and won the all-around category at the 2011 CoverGirl Classic. She also helped the U.S. team win the 2011 World Championships.
At the 2012 Olympics in London, Raisman won two gold medals — one in the team competition and another in the individual floor exercise — and earned a bronze medal for the balance beam.
She returned to the Olympics in Rio in 2016, winning a gold medal in the women’s team competition and silver medals in the individual all-around final and floor exercise.
She is the author of the book “Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art,” published in 2016.
Hannah Senesh Community Day School is a progressive, independent K-8 Jewish school in Carroll Gardens.
Raisman’s appearance will mark the second event in the Conversations@Senesh series.
Feminist icon Gloria Steinem was the series’ inaugural speaker. She came to the school on March 27 and told the audience that one doesn’t have to be a famous person to create changes in American society.
“Don’t listen to me. Listen to yourself. Each of us can be effective in ways that nobody else can be,” Steinem said when she was interviewed by Heffernan.
In front of a sold-out audience, Steinem and Heffernan discussed the values that influenced Steinem’s campaigns for gender equality and human rights. The talk ranged from Steinem’s suffragist Jewish grandmother, to the Passover Seders she participated in, to her thoughts about religion in general.
For more information on the Senesh speaking series, visit HannahSenesh.org/conversations.