A Real, Authentic Israeli Perspective | The Jewish AgencyA Real Israeli Perspective
Stav, Israeli emissary (shaliach)

A Real Israeli Perspective

A Real Israeli Perspective
As an Israeli emissary in Jacksonville, Florida, Stav is offering locals the chance to connect with an Israeli and providing an authentic Israeli perspective.

Image provided by Stav

Growing up, Stav, now 24, was raised in a secular home in Tel Aviv. He never really experienced Judaism in all its complexities and traditions until he participated in Diller Teen Fellows, an immersive leadership program for Jewish 10th and 11th graders from communities worldwide, and visited the Jewish community in Los Angeles. That was his initial introduction to Jewish life outside of Israel and from there, he was hooked.

After his army service in the Israel Defense Force (IDF), Stav wanted to change people’s lives and teach Jews abroad about Israel, so he decided to become a Jewish Agency Shaliach (Israeli emissary). Shlichim (Israeli emissaries) act as living bridges to Israel in their host communities, speaking authentically about Israeli culture and daily life, promoting lasting connections to Israel fostered by personal relationships. Today, Stav is in his second year of being an emissary to the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida and is based in Jacksonville, Florida.

“Every community outside of Israel has a need to learn about Israel, no matter how connected they may be to the Jewish state already,” Stav stated. “And while there are many who can teach about Israel’s history, a Shaliach lets them really experience the culture through discussions, events and activities by offering real perspectives.”

Stav plans programming for the local community ranging from sharing insights into his IDF service to cooking Shakshuka in the Sukkah to teaching about Jewish pluralism in Israel and more. To reach other communities who do not have their own Shlichim, Stav and two other emissaries based in the Southeast were going to hit the road in February 2022 for a “Shlichim Road Tour” and visit eight cities in person. Unfortunately, rising COVID cases forced them to cancel their trip so the Shlichim decided to instead host a virtual event for all the communities they would have gone to.

“While we were sad we had to cancel our tour, we wanted to still do something so we figured a Zoom event would allow all the communities to attend. The event was called the ‘Three Faces of Israel’ and gave us a platform to each offer our various perspectives and highlighted our unique experiences,” explained Stav. “Even though we are all Israelis and Jews we are very different and we wanted to showcase that.”

On a regular basis, Stav visits local schools, including day schools and Sunday school. Most kids he interacts with have never met an Israeli before.

“They hear about Israel from their teachers and read stuff online, but actually meeting an Israeli with personal knowledge, who can answer their questions, who can bring Israel to life – that experience affects how they view Israel and talk about it,” shared Stav. “And having the opportunity to engage with younger people especially who are different from teens in Isreal, we also learn a lot from them and make crucial connections for the Jewish people’s future.”


Learn more about Shlichim