Meet Our Rishonim and Shlichim

Each year, Federation brings a delegation of shlichim (young Israeli emissaries) to our community to educate children, teenagers, and adults throughout the community about Israel, Israeli people, and Israeli culture, and to spark within them an interest in Israel. Greater MetroWest has the largest delegation of shlichim in the country.

They work not just with children in Hebrew schools, day schools, and summer camps, but also in our synagogues, adult education classes, and college campuses.

Our New Rishonim

Rishonim are generally 18 to 19 years old and are in Greater MetroWest during a gap year between high school and army service. They work mainly with children in day schools and Hebrew schools and live with host families in the community.

Itay is from Mabuim, in the northern Negev. He has two older sisters and two adorable adopted dogs, Timon and Pumbaa. Itay is very curious about how the world works, so his high school majors were physics and Arabic. He served as a youth movement counselor for children in grades 4, 6, and 7. He was also elected vice chairman of the student council. In his free time, he enjoys sports such as soccer, basketball, and running. He plays guitar and has composed a number of original songs.

  

Omer lives in Givatayim. He is the middle of three boys in his family. He majored in computer science, software engineering, and biology. For the past three years, Omer was a counselor in the Tzofim, the last as the head of the counselor-in-training program. He also volunteers for Lions International, providing weekly food donations and service to his community. In his free time, he enjoys reading articles on current affairs, including economics, diplomacy, and the military. He also loves taking trips around Israel with his family and friends.

  

Yehonatan lives in Kiryat Shmona, in the north of Israel. He is the third of seven children in his family. He majored in biology in high school. Yehonatan was a counselor in the B’nei Akiva youth movement and volunteered for Krembo Wings, a youth movement for kids and teens with special needs. He also volunteered for Magen David Adom, Israel’s national ambulance, blood-services, and disaster-relief organization. He was a junior counselor in the Diller Teen Fellows program and enjoys hiking in his free time.

  

Juana was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2002, she made Aliyah with her parents, Laura and Roberto. Today she lives in Ra’anana. She has one younger brother, Felipe. Juana majored in biology and international relations (diplomacy in English). She was a counselor of fifth graders in the Tzofim and a coordinator for a team of counselors. She also volunteered in a local school for children with special needs. Juana loves photography, hiking all over Israel, and sports. She also enjoys cooking, attending concerts and shows, and visiting museums.

  

Shay lives in Rishon LeZion. She has a twin sister, Tal, as well as older and younger brothers. She majored in biology and social sciences in high school. For the past three years, she has been a counselor in the Tzofim for children with special needs, seventh graders, and counselors in training. Shay has loved to sing since she was very young!

  

Raz lives in a moshav in Merchavim. She is the middle of three siblings and has six horses and three dogs. Her high school majors were chemistry and electronics. Raz volunteers at Aleh Negev, a rehabilitation village for disabled children and adults in southern Israel. While studying chemistry and electronics in high school, she also served for three years on the student council, the last as chairperson. She was a counselor for the youth movment Haichod Hachaklai for the past four years. In her free time, she enjoys riding horses, playing sports, reading, and listening to broadcast news.

  

Tomer was born in the U.S. due to her father’s work. Today, she lives in Ra’anana. She has two sisters – one older, currently serving in the IDF, and one younger, in seventh grade. She spends her free time as a counselor in the Tzofim and pursuing her passion, dancing. Her dance troupe regularly volunteers to perform for the residents of senior citizens’ homes. She majored in chemistry, psychology, and economics. Last year, she also served as head of her school’s student council.

  

...and Shlichim

Shlichim are young adults who have completed their Israeli military service and university.

Community Shaliach Amit Stern, 35, is from Jerusalem. He holds a B.Ed. and teaching certificate in history and Bible studies from Kibbutzim College of Education and a bachelor of law degree from Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has extensive experience in Jewish education, including working for five years as Israel national director of Noam, the Masorti (conservative) youth movement, and ten years for the Israeli Scouts on a variety of educational initiatives. In his position here, Amit oversees the Mishlachat (the Israeli delegation) and works throughout the community. Amit lives in West Orange with his wife, Ruth, and their two children, Noah and Ron.

  

Shiri Mass

Youth & Campus Shlicha Shiri Mass, 30, is from Rishon LeZion. After high school, she spent a year in Greater MetroWest in the Rishonim program. She has a B.A. in law and international relations from Hebrew University and is currently completing a master’s in American Jewish studies at Haifa University. For the last three years, Shiri worked for Federation in our Israel office as the Diller Teen Fellows and Rishonim Coordinator. In her role here she is supervising the Rishonim as well as working with Greater MetroWest Hillels. She lives in Madison with her husband, Eyal, and their dog, Sophie.

  

Danielle Konorti, 24, is from Rishon LeZion. She served as a combat fitness instructor in the IDF. During her service, she also accompanied a Birthright Israel group. Following her service, she served as a shlicha at Gesher Camp in Livingston, volunteering as a dance instructor. She now works as a senior instructor in the Madazim program and as a youth coordinator at the Rishon LeZion community center. While in Greater MetroWest, Danielle will live in Springfield and work with JCC MetroWest, Temple Emanu-El, and the Israeli Scouts.