Plainview Graduate Swims Across Sea Of Galilee

Gabriel Glasner (left) and Alyssa Blum (right) participated in the 66th annual Sea of Galilee Crossing. It was Glasner’s 60th year swimming in the event, while it was Blum’s first. (Photo courtesy of Alyssa Blum)

Alyssa Blum, Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School graduate and current Bentley University swimmer, swam 4.5 kilometers across the Sea of Galilee in Israel recently.

Blum completed the long swim in a personal-best time. The swim across the Kinneret is Israel’s largest and longest open water swim event.

The athlete is a former varsity record holder at POBJFK high school, and is currently in her senior year swimming for Bentley University, located in Waltham, MA. She was also named to the Bentley University President’s List for the spring 2019 semester. The president’s list is the highest distinction Bentley confers for academic excellence in a semester.

Blum was inspired to fly to Israel for the weekend to swim with her grandfather, Gabriel Glasner, for his 60th year swimming across the Kinneret. Glasner is a retired Israeli national swimming coach and a former national level swimmer himself. Glasner has been swimming in the annual event’s long course starting at 16 years old.

“My grandfather has inspired me throughout my swimming career,” said Blum. “It has been my dream to swim with my grandfather at this event and his 60th swim was a perfect opportunity to accomplish this.”

The annual swim across the Kinneret, also known as the Sea of Galilee Crossing sponsored by Speedo, marked its 66th year in 2019 and drew more than 10,000 participants, which was a record. The event includes a long course swim this year, as well as a short course of 1.8 k.m. this year which is popular with amateur swimmers.