Gold Medal Batmitzvah

September 2, 2012 by J-Wire
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Olympic Gold Medal winner Jo Aleh has joined her family in Israel to celebrate the Batmitzvah of her half-sister Shefa.

Shefa and Jo in the pool

Yaam, Shefa and Jo…..and the medal!

Jo’s mother Daniella told J-Wire from Moshav Yinon in southern Israel where the Batmitzvah was held: “It was a big simcha with more than 200 guests. All the family members were very  keen to be photographed with Jo’s Gold Medal. Shefa made  her entrance in a beautiful white gown (laced at the  back) with  a pale pink sash. She sang a song from Adele which she had pre-recorded. Lots of brechot (from her two grandmothers, Yaam, her parents, and Professor Kerem from  Hadassah Har haSofim. She and five of her gymnastics group put on a floor display with lots of cartwheels and somersaults. Her father Shuki and little brother Yaam  played some songs, Shuki on guitar with Yaam on drums.    Shefa  gave a little presentation to Professor Kerem from Hadassah Har haSofim, and one to Jo.    “Vocapeople” whom Shuki and Tali had  met in hospital  played some of their songs. At one point all the women of the family created a large circle and danced around Shefa and Yaam who were dancing together.   Shuki’s friends from school and army, all Shefa’s class mates.  Lots of dancing and good food.  Shefa looked very beautiful.

The day after the bat mitzvah Shefa  got a Make a Wish foundation gift of three days at the Dan Panorama with myself and Jo, where she  played lots in the pool, had a surfing lesson, watched the Mayumina show “Momentum” in Yafo and most importantly went shopping twice!  She has great shopping stamina.”
Jo Aleh told J-Wire:  “I watched the 1995 Americas Cup and that’s what inspired me to sail. I read every single sailing book I could find and when I told my Dad how much I wanted to sa
l,  he found a learn to sail course for me in Ponsonby. I used all my Batmitzvah money to buy my first proper racing boat…an Optimist.”
She added: “With all the hardship Shefa has been going through it was wonderful to have such a big celebration for her. It was a very lovely birthday…one she had been looking forward to for such a long time.”
Shefi and Yaam both suffer from cystic fibrosis…a chronic lung disease.
J-Wire asked Jo Aleh is she was still floating. She answered: “Sometimes! I am slowly coming back down to earth…I am looking forward to getting home and getting back into a normal routine…”
26-yr-old Auckland-based Aleh’s half sister and brother were both born in New Zealand.

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