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Central Mass. welcomes 2018 Israeli Young Emissaries!

Southern New England welcomes a new group of Israeli Young Emissaries who arrived in late August and are eager to begin work strengthening the living bridge between Israel and the communities to which they have been assigned.

This includes Chen Zabatani and Matan Kupervaser, the two emissaries who will serve in Central Massachusetts.

Now in its 20th year, the Young Emissary program is sponsored by the Southern New England Consortium (SNEC), which is made up of the Jewish Federations of Connecticut and Central Massachusetts. 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 Chen and Matan to introduce themselves. Here is what they had to say.


Chen Zabatani

I live in Afula with my parents, Tanya and Shuli, and my siblings, Tal and Ziv.

In high school I majored in physics and science engineering. I also participated in a special program called Magshimim that deals with cyber security. It was founded by the Prime Minister’s Office. In the future, I hope to serve in a cyber unit in the IDF Intelligence.

I love traveling, photography and music and hosted a radio show for two years when I was 15.

Last year my teacher asked the question, “Who do you think will be prime minister in the future?” then turned to me and said, “I believe you will.” The thought of being prime minister made me laugh a little, but Henry David Thoreau said, “What you get from accomplishing your goals is not as important as what you become from accomplishing your goals.” So, maybe one day I’ll be prime minister or perhaps I’ll be something else, but until then I’ll continue to grow and just be me.

In the summer of 2017, I participated in a youth delegation to the SNEC communities as a counselor-in-training at the Worcester’s JCC. I can’t wait to meet new friends and reconnect with those I met last summer in Central Mass.!


Matan Kupervaser

I have lived in Afula since the day I was born. My mother, Tali, is a school counselor, and my father, Betsalel, is the head supervisor of musical education in the ministry of education. I have a twin sister, Inbar, who is 10 minutes older than me. We have a lot in common; we help each other a lot. I also have a younger sister, Yahav. I love both of my sisters very much.

I have studied piano for 10 years, and I have been playing saxophone – alt, tenor and baritone – since fifth grade. I have played in five different musical ensembles: The Youth Orchestra of Afula, the Big Band, which is a jazz ensemble, the High School Ensemble, the Afula’s Saxophone Quartet and the National Youth Orchestra of Israel. Music is a big part of my life. Most of my best experiences like touring in the USA, Portugal and China with my ensembles have been through my music.

I’ve also been a guide and head counselor with the Afula Scouts. And I’m a huge sport fan – especially soccer, basketball, tennis and wrestling.

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