01 Aug Overcoming Fears and Limitations at Camp
Overcoming Fears and Limitations at Camp
Noam, who has cerebral palsy, is serving as a Jewish Agency Summer Camp Shlichah (Israeli emissary) in Philadelphia, breaking boundaries and not letting her limitations stop her.
Noam, a 20-year-old from Kfar Saba, was born with cerebral palsy, and despite only starting to walk at the age of four, she has never allowed her limitations to hold her back. Her independence and determination to face extraordinary challenges helped her excel in school and in her year of national service in Israel. From a young age, she spoke to students, sharing her personal story and the struggles of individuals with disabilities, promoting acceptance in Israeli society.
When Noam learned about The Jewish Agency’s Shlichut (Israeli emissary service) program from family members who had served as Shlichim (Israeli emissaries), she decided to apply, alongside thousands of other Israelis.
Each year, The Jewish Agency recruits charismatic and energetic young Israelis to travel abroad as Summer Camp Shlichim (Israeli emissaries) in North America, where they work in Jewish summer camps as counselors, specialists and educators. They participate fully in camp life, sharing Jewish traditions, teaching Israeli and Jewish culture, and serving as role models for campers and staff. In 2023, 1,500 Shlichim are working at 158 camps across North America.
“I decided to overcome my fears, go through The Jewish Agency’s selection process, and once accepted, take this opportunity,” said Noam. “If I let everything that scares me stop me, I wouldn’t be able to get far. I push myself to overcome my fears and prove that everything is possible for me because I feel it is important for me to break boundaries and not let my limitations stop me.”
Noam is currently a counselor at the Ramah Day Camp in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During her Shlichut, she is staying with a Jewish family in the Philadelphia community, experiencing Jewish life in America personally and acting as a role model for the young kids.
“The Jewish Agency really made efforts to accommodate me and my needs in the best possible way,” shared Noam. “They found a host family with a house that is accessible and located near the camp to enable mobility and also tailored my role at camp specifically for me. The Ramah staff really see me and recognize my strengths and built a role that suits my abilities perfectly.”
To know that The Jewish Agency is supporting Noam throughout her Shlichut and has enabled her to be a Shlichah is especially meaningful to Chairman of The Jewish Agency Gen. (res.) Doron Almog, who founded the Aleh Negev Rehabilitation Village in Israel for people with disabilities.
“Noam’s story is inspiring. She chose to overcome difficulties and, despite everything, pursue her dream as a Shlichah, joining other brave, value-driven Jewish Agency Shlichim who bring the Israeli story to the global Jewish community and are committed to our joint mission,” said Chairman Almog. “We are incredibly proud of her.”
“Things that may be trivial to others are significant to me. Difficulty appears in every aspect of my daily life, but difficulties don’t stop me, and I never give up,” added Noam.