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Limmud FSU Presenters 2018

What is Limmud? What are the Principles? Also, learn some of our History and more.

Michael Shmerkin Figure Skater. First Israeli Olympian Winter

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Michael Shmerkin is the first Israeli Winter Olympian. He began figure skating at the age of 4 in Odessa, Ukraine. He won the Soviet Junior National Championship in 1987 and represented the Soviet Union Junior National Team in four World Championships, overcoming the hurdles of anti-Semitism in the Soviet regime. In 1990, Michael’s family immigrated to Israel. He believed that his skating career was over until he learned about a lonely small skating rink practically on the border with Lebanon and Syria and approached the mayor of Metulla Yossi Goldberg (Z”L) with an entirely idealistic proposal of representing Israel in the Winter Olympics. Together, they founded the Israeli National Figure Skating Federation. Michael went on to compete in both the 1994 and 1998 Olympics, as well as eight World Championships. He was a two-time silver medalist at the Grand Prix Skate Canada competition, in 1994 and 1995. Michael’s passion for coaching bears its roots in Israel, where he was actively involved in developing the sport of figure skating. With the help from the Canadian Jewish Community, he introduced and inspired a lot of Israeli children to work and persevere in this unique sport. (One of those children represented Israel at the 2014 and 2018 Olympic Games.) Since 2010, Michael has been coaching the next generation of figure skaters in the New York metro area.