B'nai B'rith International sent the following letter to Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman:
Dear Ms. Raisman:
On behalf of B'nai B'rith International – the world's oldest and best-known Jewish humanitarian, advocacy and social action organization, with members in over 50 countries – we would like to congratulate you on your outstanding accomplishments in the 2012 London Olympics. Your poised performances were a pleasure to watch and were wholly inspirational to all who witnessed.a
Even more impressive was your commitment to the Olympic spirit when the International Olympic Committee disrespectfully denied a minute of silence for the slain Israeli athletes of the 1972 Munich Olympics. By honoring them, you displayed immense courage, showing the world discrimination should not be tolerated.
Performing your gold-medal-winning floor exercise to "Hava Nagila" invoked excitement and pride amongst the Jewish community. It will certainly be a historic moment and your heroic achievement will be recounted for years to come.
Before the Olympics, B'nai B'rith signed the petition initiated by Ankie Spitzer, widow of one of the slain athletes, to encourage the IOC to hold the minute of silence and praised countries such as the United States, England, Australia, Belgium and Germany for supporting these efforts. We also participated in the World Zionist Organization's "Minute for Munich" during the opening ceremonies.
Yet, despite all attempts to honor the fallen athletes, coaches and referees outside of the opening ceremony, your actions trumped them all. The manner in which you recognized the Munich 11 was truly unique. On behalf of B'nai B'rith International and all of its members, we commend you.
Allan J. Jacobs Daniel S. Mariaschin
President Executive Vice President
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