• Four young Jewish Agency for Israel emissaries have arrived in Amsterdam.

    Four young Jewish Agency for Israel emissaries have arrived in Amsterdam.

    , The Jewish Agency for Israel ©
  • In 2014-2015, about 80 young Israelis are volunteering as emissaries abroad of The Jewish Agency.

    In 2014-2015, about 80 young Israelis are volunteering as emissaries abroad of The Jewish Agency.

  • In 2014-2015, about 80 young Israelis are volunteering as emissaries abroad of The Jewish Agency.

    In 2014-2015, about 80 young Israelis are volunteering as emissaries abroad of The Jewish Agency.

  • In 2014-2015, about 80 young Israelis are volunteering as emissaries abroad of The Jewish Agency.

    In 2014-2015, about 80 young Israelis are volunteering as emissaries abroad of The Jewish Agency.

  • In 2014-2015, about 80 young Israelis are volunteering as emissaries abroad of The Jewish Agency.

    In 2014-2015, about 80 young Israelis are volunteering as emissaries abroad of The Jewish Agency.

Israel In Your Community

The Amsterdam Report: Young Jewish Agency Emissaries Arrive

“I hope that this will be an intense year, one in which I won’t sleep because of all the things I need to accomplish. Professionally, I expect my job and my community that we are building in Amsterdam will be sustainable next year.” Ron Damar, one of the four young Jewish Agency emissaries serving in Holland this year.

With the start of the Jewish New Year 5775, The Jewish Agency has four new young emissaries in their national service (“shinshinim” in Hebrew), who have arrived in Amsterdam a month ago. Lior, Dana, Ron and Peleg are all 18, working to build up a community in Amsterdam. Lior Levison, from Shoham, graduate of the Scouts movement; Dana Razin of Yehud, a counselor and head of a Scouts branch; Ron Daman of Ashkelon, from the Municipal Youth Council and the Diller Teen Fellows; Peleg Weinberg, a graduate of the “HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed” program of Rosh Haayin. Excited and full of motivation, these youngsters find themselves in the simmering heart of Europe.

Keren Friedman, a veteran emissary of The Jewish Agency and Habonim Dror, is there to help the young emissaries adjust to their new surroundings, where they’ll be bringing Israel closer to Amsterdam’s Jewish community – numbering around 40,000, a quarter of them Israelis.

The young emissaries will be active in the collective pro-Israel front, volunteering in elementary and high schools, in youth movements, in Jewish centers and the local Israeli house.

Full of excitement and passion for challenges, the four young emissaries are of that original Zionist stock of values and idealism. From a young age, all four of them knew they would volunteer in a year of service before entering the military. The only question was how.

“This is our time to contribute to the society and to ourselves,” said Lior. “It’s a big opportunity that I decided to take with both hands. My family was a bit shocked when they heard of my overseas service, but when they understood the importance of this step and my passion to fulfill my potential, they blessed my journey and supported me fully.”

“The Amsterdam Kommuna began its activities this year at the tails of the London Kommuna’s huge success last year,” said Rael Goodman, Director of The Jewish Agency of UK and the Netherlands. “This is the second year that The Jewish Agency is conducting this program. In London we have eight young emissaries volunteering and living together, serving as a ‘living bridge’ between Israel and the local community. We decided to expand this model to Amsterdam too, with four young emissaries joining the three Jewish Agency emissaries already there,” Goodman adds.

How does it feel to be young pioneers?

Not easy…we still don’t fit in just yet, but The Jewish Agency has been helping and supporting all the way, trying to make this as comfortable as possible. The Agency organized our joint apartment for us, and really opened the doors to the local community organizations,” Lior says. “On weekends and holidays, each one of us is hosted by a local family,” adds Dana. “Amsterdam Kommuna is a serious start-up of the best kind,” Rael says, proudly.

What do you wish yourselves this holiday season, with the start of the new year, both personally and professionally?

Lior: “Personally, I want to feel that I really used myself, that I enjoyed and didn’t ever compromise. Professionally, I came in order to strengthen the connection with the Israeli and Jewish community. At the end of the year, I hope that the community here understands what our work is emissaries is all about, and knows how to best use it.”

Peleg: “Personally, I’m interested in having an adventure here, a year of meaningful productivity that’s also fun and enjoyable. Professionally, I hope to fulfill my teaching purposes with my students: so that my students learn to read and write in Hebrew, and have basic conversational skills.”

Ron: “I hope that this will be an intense year, one in which I won’t sleep because of all the things I need to accomplish. Professionally, I expect my job and my community that we are building in Amsterdam will be sustainable next year.”

Dana: “Personally, I want to have special experiences, to grow up a bit and become more independent. Professionally, I strive to connect people more to Israel.”

Rael: “the way I see it, the emissaries gain as much as they give. Throughout their volunteering,t the young emissaries change, learn that they are part of a Jewish nation and practically part of a large family. They become more open-minded to different opinions, absorb other cultures, learn about the diversity of life and become more invested in their Diaspora brethren. When they return to Israel, they return with knowledge and experience that will then take them through the army and throughout the rest of their careers and lives. The program’s vision speaks to the hundreds of the emissaries, those who instill positivity, openness and culture into Israeli society.

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What is the young emissaries' year of service in the Diaspora?

The volunteer service of 10 months in Jewish communities in North America, Britain and Holland – aiming to connect high school graduate (pre-army) Israelis with children, youth and adults of the Diaspora, building a living bridge between Israel and abroad. The emissaries are involved in informal educational activities, tied to Israeli culture, current events, Jewish tradition and Hebrew language study. In 2014-2015, about 80 young Israelis are volunteering as emissaries abroad of The Jewish Agency.

 

07 Oct 2014 / 13 Tishrei 5775 0
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Sagit Carmel

שגית כרמל עובדת במחלקה לשיווק ותקשורת בסוכנות היהודית מזה 7 שנים. במסגרת תפקידה עוסקת בכתיבה שיווקית, קופירייטינג, פרסום, הפקות ומרקום. בוגרת המחלקה לתקשורת וצרפתית באוניברסיטה העברית. חובבת תרבות, מוסיקה, טיולים, צילום, ספורט ועוד, ומתנדבת כ-5 שנים במרכז סיוע לנשים בירושלים.