The Hapoel Tel Aviv Gymnastics Club is the largest club in Israel. The Club was founded in the 1950s, with its main focus on elite women’s gymnastics and recreational girls’ gymnastics.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Hapoel Tel Aviv Gymnastics Club began training elite gymnasts for international competitions, including World Competitions. The leadership of the Club was under Agnes Kaleti and Rali Bar-Goren.
Orna Shai and Zahava Zissman, twin sisters, trained under Coaches Agnes Kaleti and Rali Bar-Goren. As girls, Orna and Zahava fell in love with the sport. They competed as gymnasts until they reached the national level at the age of 17. At 17 years old, the twins decided they wanted to devote their lives to the sport of gymnastics and began the transition from gymnast to coach. Orna and Zahava’s parents, Zalma and Efrim (Fredi) Zissman, supported the twins’ career decision. In fact, their father remained Orna’s and Zahava’s biggest fan until the day he died.
In 1971, Orna and Zahava began to recruit talented girls for gymnastics all across Tel Aviv. The twins went from school to school, focusing on the kindergarten classes, for girls who showed potential for the sport. After two years of intensive searching, the results of their efforts began to show. For the first time, Hapoel Tel Aviv young gymnasts finished in third place as a team at the Israeli National Championships. This was a turning point for the Club on its path to becoming Israeli’s premier gymnastics club. Today, Hapoel Tel Aviv Gymnastics Club is considered the best club in Israel and it is also the largest.
Today, the Club’s focus is on competitive and non-competitive women’s gymnastics. The Club’s gymnasts practice mainly at the Tel Aviv National Sports Center in Hadar Yosef and at the gymnasium located on Osishking Street in Tel Aviv