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Community > Get Involved > Israel & Overseas > Host a Rishon

Host a Rishon and Bring Israel Home!

We are looking for warm, loving families to serve as hosts. This is a wonderful opportunity for families with children to create a lasting connection with a young Israeli!

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Who are the Rishonim?

Each year, Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ welcomes a group of young emissaries from our partnership communities in Israel. Rishonim are talented young adults who are embarking on a gap year between high school graduation and their mandatory IDF or national service. They volunteer throughout our community in schools, synagogues, and JCCs, bringing their spirit, knowledge, and love of Israel to our community. Take advantage of this unique and meaningful opportunity, and make a Rishon part of your Jewish family!

Learn what it’s like to bring a GMW Rishon home to your family in the video below.

We offer two sessions of hosting opportunities: September-January and February-June.

Apply Meet the Rishonim and Shlichim

Meet the Shlichim and Rishonim 21

Each year, in partnership with the Jewish Agency for Israel, Federation brings a delegation of shlichim and rishonim (emissaries) to Greater MetroWest to educate children, teens, and adults throughout the community about Israel, its people, and its culture, and to spark in them an interest in Israel. Shlichim are professionals in the fields of education or social services, and rishonim are here for a gap year between high school and army service. 


Tamar Reshef, Senior Community Shlicha 
Tamar was born and raised in Safed. She holds a bachelor’s degree in community theater and education from Tel Aviv University. For the past six years, she has worked as the educational program coordinator in the Hof HaCarmel Youth Department in the Haifa area. Tamar lives in Union County with her husband, Yuval, and their sons, Maayan (11), Aviv (9), and Shaked (7). She is returning for her second year as Senior Community Shlicha.  

Maya Lior, Community Shlicha 
Maya was born in Ashkelon and grew up in a small community in the Sharon region of Israel. She volunteered with youth at risk in the city of Bat Yam before serving in the Israeli Air Force as the commander of an air control course and a trainer at the Air Force Officers’ School. She holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s in integrative therapy. Maya and her husband, Ilya, are looking forward to getting to know the Greater MetroWest community! 

Rishonim 21

Rotem Reshef lives in Arad and attended a boarding school that specializes in environmental education and Zionism education through hiking and nature. She has been a member of the Israeli Scouts and participated in Shevet Metzada in Arad since the very beginning. Rotem loves performance arts and has been studying dance and theater since childhood.

Noa Azolay grew up on Kibbutz Magal located between Tel Aviv and Haifa. She majored in environmental sciences in high school. Her hobbies are traveling, cooking, baking, photography, and going to the beach. Noa has been an active member of the Scouts movement for nine years, and in leadership positions for the past three years.

Daniel Seri is from Alon Shevut, an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. He majored in cinema in high school and has been part of the Bnei Akiva youth movement for seven years. He has also been a volunteer at Shalva, an organization for kids with disabilities. Daniel enjoys traveling and spending time with his friends and family.

Yali Goren is from Raanana where he majored in chemistry and social sciences in high school. He loves sports, especially soccer and basketball, and is a big fan of Maccabi Haifa and the Miami Heat. He has been a member of the Israeli Scouts for five years and has taken on a leadership position in his Shevet Hadar tribe.

Noam Vashdy is from a small town near Kfar Saba called Alfei Menashe. He enjoys hiking, sports, and hanging out with his friends and siblings. He attended an international boarding school majoring in computer science, economics, and biology.

Lidor Avitan lives in Eshel Hanasi, an agricultural youth village in the Merchavim Regional Council in Southern Israel. He’s been involved in projects connecting teens from the U.S. and Israel for the past few years through StandWithUs. He studied biology, agriculture, media, and radio and has been broadcasting for three years on Kan radio. His hobbies include music, making podcasts, nature, and photography.

Noa Akiva is from Mazkeret Batya, studied psychology, criminology, and physiology in high school. She has been a dancer for more than 12 years and also participated in the Mashatzim youth movement, where she volunteered as an instructor for children with special needs. In her free time, she enjoys traveling around Israel with her parents and siblings. 


We are glad you have decided to consider hosting an Israeli Young Emissary in your home. Hosting has proven to be a wonderful experience, benefiting the emissary, the host family, and the local Jewish community.