Alexandra "Aly" Raisman was born and raised in Needham, Massachusetts.
Raisman is Jewish and goes to a Reform temple with her family. She became a darling of the global Jewish community after performing her gold medal-winning floor routine to the Jewish folk tune "Hava Nagila" at the 2012 London Olympics, and then announcing her support for a moment of silence in memory of the Israeli athletes killed by a Palestinian terrorist organization at the 1972 Olympics.
As far as I can tell, Jews talk about Raisman a lot more than Raisman talks about being a Jew. It's clearly very important to her, and a central part of her identity, but I couldn't find any quotes of her getting deep into what spirituality means to her.
Regardless, she's surrounded by all things Jew. Her gymnastics coach was a former coach of the Israeli gymnastics team, she's received awards from Jewish organizations for her athletic prowess, she accepted a personal invitation to visit Israel from a state official of that country, and she is praised and saluted by members of the Israel Defense Forces.
It's as if this young woman is carrying the hope of the future of Judaism on her shoulders. I guess that would make anyone a proud Jew.
Politics Are So Cool
Raisman doesn't appear to be very interested in politics. . . yet. The 2012 presidential election passed through her Twitter feed without a mention, although she did tweet that she thought it was "so cool" to meet the president a few days later.
Considering her strong ties to Jewish culture, it would be easy to assume that she has an equally strong opinion about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict–and it's also likely that she joins the 82% of Jews in her country that support a two-state solution. She also probably joins the 70% of American Jews who supported Barack Obama, and therefore the Democrats, in the 2012 election–if she voted at all, of course.
But that's all we know. If you have any clues into Raisman's politics views, or lack thereof, drop us a line in the comments. Thanks readers.