Last month, southern New England welcomed a new group of Israeli Young Emissaries who arrived in late August eager to begin work strengthening the living bridge between Israel and the communities to which they have been assigned.
Now in its 17th year, the Young Emissary program is sponsored by the Southern New England Consortium (SNEC), made up of the Jewish Federations of Western and Central Massachusetts and Connecticut. The teens from Israel’s Afula-Gilboa region have delayed their military service to perform a year of outreach in SNEC communities, while living with local host families.
The Young Emissary program is a project of the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Partnership 2000, which connects 400 communities worldwide with regions in Israel.
The Ledger asked this year’s Israeli Young Emissaries from Western and Central Massachusetts to introduce themselves.
I live in Kiryat Tivon, with my mom. Kiryat Tivon is a beautiful green place close to Haifa. My dad lives in Givat Ella, in the Jezreel Valley. I have three siblings, two sisters and one brother whom I love very much.
I was a counselor in the Israeli Scouts for the past three years. In my free time, I meet friends and do arts and crafts. I also love to sing and listen to music.
I want to be part of a community that doesn’t take for granted its Judaism. I want to learn more about Judaism, and to bring Israel to you, as I know it. These are some of the reasons I want to be a Young Emissary.
Looking forward to meeting all of you very soon!
I am 19 years old. I live in Alon Hagalil, a small community in the Jezreel valley. My mother, Dalia, works in the Jezreel Valley municipality. My father, Shlomi, lives in Ramat Tzvi in the Gilboa region. He works as a fencing coach. He participated in the Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
I have two older brothers: Roee, who is 29, and Amit, 26, who married two months ago to Joy. My mother and her second husband, Ofer and his daughter, Tamar, live with us.
I love to act, sing, cook, party, play the guitar and play tennis.
I’m so excited for this coming year. I’ve been waiting for a really long time to participate in the Young Emissary Program! I believe the connection between Jews around the world is important and that is one of the main reasons I chose to take part in this program!
I am 18 years old and live in Moshav Hever, a small community in the Gilboa region. I love sports very much, especially basketball. I played in Gilboa’s basketball club for 10 years.
I heard about this year of service from my sister, who was a Young Emissary four years ago. It made me realize that is the year of service I want to do.
I am 18 years old, and just finished high school. I live in a small Moshav in Jezreel Valley called Moshav Merhavia.
I really love dancing and acting; I took part in dancing clubs for many years and studied theatre at school.
I have known I wanted to do this special year of service ever since I found out about it during an English lesson while I was in eighth grade. I started my journey at Tamarack Camps in Detroit, Michigan, where I was first a camper and later a young guide. I so enjoyed meeting other Jews from around the world.
From Tal and Naama: We hope to bring with all the happiness and joy that we experience in Israel to the community. We look forward to getting to know the people of Western Massachusetts and to become a part of the community. We hope to strengthen the connection between your community and Israel and her people. We see this as a great opportunity to bring you Israel through our eyes. Can’t wait to meet you all!