Ambassador Shapiro and Ms. Julie Fisher Celebrate Sukkot with Special Olympics Israel Athletes


Guests and athletes also treated to a dance workshop courtesy of BODYTRAFFIC


HERZLIYA PITUACH– U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro and Ms. Julie Fisher hosted a Sukkot reception at their home on Tuesday, September 29, to honor the extraordinary athletes, coaches, and families of the Special Olympics Israel team. The 40-member team competed and medaled in events ranging from basketball to table tennis at the Special Olympic World Games in Los Angeles last month.


Celebrating with the athletes was a diverse group of advocates from the public and private sectors, and civil society, who actively hire, work with, and advocate for those with disabilities in Israel.


“I may be the only one bearing the official title of Ambassador today,” Ambassador Shapiro said, “But each and every one of you is an Ambassador, truly representing the best of the human spirit.”


The event also featured a performance and workshop by dancers from BODYTRAFFIC, a Los Angeles-based dance troupe that is performing throughout Israel for a diverse group of audiences.


“These athletes are such an inspiration,” said Julie Fisher. “It was an absolute honor to be able to mark Sukkot with them, and others who are already doing so much for those in Israel’s disabled community.”


The night was capped by a fierce match between Ambassador Shapiro and Lin Kornhauser, Israel’s competitor in Ping-Pong. For video of the match, click here.


About the Special Olympics

Special Olympics is an international organization that promotes the profession of sports among people with intellectual disabilities, through the organization of sporting events and competitions in various sports, for ages 8 and up. The 2015 Special Olympics World Games featured 25 Olympic-style sports in venues throughout the Los Angeles region.



Founded in 2007, BODYTRAFFIC has surged to the forefront of the concert dance world, and was named “the company of the future” by the Joyce Theater Foundation. The company is conducting U.S. Embassy-sponsored workshops throughout Israel until October 11, working with incredibly diverse audiences – from professional dancers to mixed religious communities to those with autism.


Photo : Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv