Our Shlichim (Israeli emissaries) share their most meaningful memories from 2020-21. Sign up below for our newsletter to receive updates and join our work next year. And remember, it’s not goodbye, it’s l’hitra’ot!
Just a few weeks ago, Raz Perel, the Chairman of the Israeli Scouts, had a meeting here with older participants of the youth movement and the local leaders. I heard them talking about how significant and meaningful the Scouts movement is to them, and they mentioned how important the ShinShinim are – that we make Scouts feel like a home for them. This moment was such an eye opener, realizing how much impact we have here and how important our role is. I hope it will go on for many years and keep growing.
The Shlichut experience was a year-long lesson for me. I learned the value of community, how it ties us all together, especially in times of crisis like a pandemic. I learned a lot more about the Jewish world. I feel more connected than ever to Jewish religious and even ultra-Orthodox communities. And I learned to be even more grateful for the State of Israel.
The most meaningful moment for me was lighting the Hannukiah in the middle of the Queen Mary University campus, with members of the local Jewish Society. It was a great experience to speak with Jewish students over the course of the year and talk about Israel. I learned that nothing can replace personal relationships.
The most meaningful moment for me was leading the ceremony on Yom Hazikaron (Israel’s Memorial Day). Although it was online, I was moved by the number of people who came to view it, and its importance to the community here.
What I love about my job is that it’s dynamic: I’m always meeting new people, and there is always something to innovate, offer and change.
The most important lesson I learned this year was that different Jews express their Jewishness in different ways. There is no one way to be Jewish.
We learned a lot this year from the community about giving, Zionism and following our beliefs. The covid restrictions made the year very challenging, but thanks to online platforms, we expanded our reach to more communities. We held programs for Shabbat and Jewish holidays, gave Torah lessons and led a Bat Mitzvah program and leadership programs. During Operation Shomer Hachomot (Guardian of the Walls) we provided briefings with important information to the community.
There were so many things that excited me this year! It was the simple things: seeing a child in the morning who is eager for your lesson or having a meeting about starting a new project. I learned many things this year about myself, my country, my family and Jewish culture. I learned what flexibility is all about and understand its importance in life much better.
I learned about the Jewish and Israeli communities outside of Israel, especially the ones in the UK. There is still a lot of work to do. I learned about the importance of education, meaning and values. And I learned a lot about myself – what I’m capable of, and what I’d like to do in the future. And that I have a part to play in strengthening the connection between the Jewish people, in Israel and the Diaspora, and keeping Israelis abroad and their families connected to Israel and Israeli culture.
The Jewish Agency for Israel and the UK Jewish community extend our sincere thanks to our dear Shlichim who are concluding their service this summer. In a year filled with immense challenges, you managed to create educational opportunities, and forge connections to Israel, for countless young people and families. Your passion and energy are infectious, and you have made a deep and lasting impact on us all.
We wish you much success and the smoothest of transitions as you return to Israel and continue on your path.
And to our incoming cohort of Shlichim: you have an exciting journey ahead of you! We are delighted that you were selected to serve in our communities, and we can’t wait to welcome you into our homes and our hearts.