Zahava Zissman came to Israel from Romania at the age of 6. As a young gymnast, she trained at Hapoel Petach Tikva. Upon reaching the senior level, Zahava trained at Hapoel Tel Aviv. At 17 years old, Zahava co-founded, along with her twin sister Orna Shai, the existing Hapoel Tel Aviv Gymnastics Club, a club that is considered the best in Israel. In 1981, Zahava trained as a coach in West Germany for 7 months at the request of the Israeli National Federation and the Israeli Olympic Committee. Zahava used the opportunity to improve her coaching skills. The West German team which Zahava worked with was ranked 8th in the world at the time At the end of 1981, Zahava was appointed as Israel’s National Coach, a position she still holds today.Zahava’s daily schedule includes many hours of coaching Israel’s elite gymnasts and holding training camps that integrate technique and training methods. She also consults with the world’s best gymnastics coaches in an effort to successfully advance Israel’s gymnasts – both nationally and internationally.Zahava fulfilled a life-long dream when she represented Israel as its gymnastics coach at two Olympic Games. She coached Israel’s Limor Friedman (’84) and Revital Sharon (’88). Zahava has also represented Israel as its gymnastics coach at 16 World Championships and 13 European Championships. Zahava has coached Israel’s greatest gymnasts – Maya Shani, Einat Kidar, Hadas Cohen and Vered Finkel, all of whom have won European medals. Zahava also trained the gymnast Stefi Zarog, a semi-finalist on the parallel bars at the 2002 World Championship. At the national level, Zahava’s gymnasts have won 16 senior Israeli championships. In 2000, the FIG awarded Zahava the Honor Pin, recognizing her as one of the greatest international level gymnastics coaches
Married and a mother of two girls, Orna Shai came to Israel from Romania when she was 6 years old. She trained as a gymnast at Hapoel Petach Tikva from the age of 6 until she was 17. At 17 years old, Orna began coaching gymnastics at Hapoel Tel Aviv with her twin sister, Zahava Zissman. The job division between the two brought Orna to focus on the under age 12 gymnasts and after that those girls got to the national level with Zahava as their coach. From 1978 until the present, Orna balances her role as a coach with her position as an international gymnastics judge. She has judged at World Championships & European Championships and many other international competitions. In 1985, Orna was voted Israel’s “Coach of the Year.” In 1992, Orna judged at the Barcelona Olympic Games at the invitation of the Federation of International Gymnastics (FIG). In 2004, Orna judged at the Athens Olympic Games. In 1997, Orna was selected to join the membership ranks of the European Union of Gymnastics (UEG). She remains a member today, having been selected for three consecutive terms. In 1999, Orna obtained the rank of Expert Judge, the highest designation in women’s gymnastics judging. In December 2007, Orna was elected unanimously as vice president by the UEG. She will also serve as the head judge at the 2008 European Championships. Additionally, as Vice President of the UEG, Orna manages the UEG’s Women’s Technical Committee. In Israel, Orna is responsible for training judges for both national and international gymnastics competitions. She also oversees the national technical program for young gymnasts from ages 6 to 13.
Married and a mother of a baby boy, Maya began her gymnastics training at the age of 6 in Hapoel Kfar Saba. At 12 years old, she transferred to Hapoel Tel Aviv where she trained under Orna Shai and Zahava Zissman. In 1993, Maya won 2nd place on the uneven parallel bars, earning a silver medal, and 7th place overall at European Cup held in Belgium. Her personal achievement remains the greatest achievement by a female Israeli gymnast at a major international competition. That same year, Maya also won 1st place overall and won three gold medals on the individual apparatuses at the Maccabiah Games, the international Jewish Olympics. In 1994, Maya was invited to participate, along with the world’s best gymnasts, in the prestigious McDonald’s American Cup. In 1995, Maya qualified for the final at the European Cup held in Italy. In 1996, Maya qualified for the final all-around rotation at the European Gymnastics Championship. She earned 23rd place overall. Overall, Maya has participated in three World Championships and three European Championships. During her career as a gymnast, Maya won the Senior Israeli Championship three times.Maya has a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in physical education from Wingate College. Today, she coaches Israel’s newest generation of gymnasts as a team coach at Hapoel Tel Aviv Gymnastics Club.
Tamy began her training as a gymnast at Hapoel Tel Aviv at the age of 8. She represented Israel on the Israeli National Gymnastics team in two World Championships (1987 Rotterdam and 1989 Stuttgart) and many other international competitions. In 1997, Tamy became an international judge and has judged many international competitions. Today, Tamy is the coach of the junior level team. She recently coached her gymnast, Roni Rabinovich, at the Junior Olympics Games.
Tamy has a bachelor’s degree in communication media and management.
Inbal began training as a gymnast at Hapoel Tel Aviv at the age of 6.
Inbal participated in two World Championships and two European championships. She also participated in the Gimnasiyada Championship held in China. In 1999, Inbal won 1st place for her floor routine at the Israel-Romania International Competition. Today, Inbal, along with Maya Shani, coaches the newest generation of gymnastics on Hapoel Tel Aviv’s gymnastics team.
Nahama began her training as a gymnast at Hapoel Tel Aviv at the age of 7.
At the age of 11, Nahama became the youngest member of the Hapoel Tel Aviv’s gymnastic team. She participated in numerous national and international competitions until the junior level.
Today, Nahama, along with Maya Shani, coaches the youngest members of Hapoel Tel Aviv’s gymnastics team. Nahama also serves in the Israeli Army when she is not coaching.
The Coaches team also includ Adi Lorenz and Roni Robin and also ballet provided by Lodmila Kabachov and choreography by Shiri Shai.