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.
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.
Hi, my name is Adar Duer and I’m 18 years old. I live in Rishon LeZion. I have one older sister, May, and we have a very special relationship. In general, my relationship with my family is amazing — they and my friends are my support unit! I love all kinds of sports. I have played basketball since I was seven years old, and I enjoy every minute of it. Last year, I became a junior counselor in Diller Teen Fellows, so I stopped playing basketball to focus on Diller. I love music, both creating it and just listening to it. My friends are a big part of my life and I love being with them.
Hi! My name is Alon Shaizaf. I have lived in Moshav Nir Hen since I was born. I am the oldest in my family. I have one brother and two sisters. My majors at school were physics and robotics. I played basketball for six years on the Hapoel Lachish team. Another one of my hobbies is surfing. I was an instructor for two years in the youth movement B’nei Hamoshavim, and was a junior counselor in the leadership program Diller Teen Fellows. I love hiking in nature and watching Israeli movies with my friends.
My name is Gefen Ben David. I’m 17 years old and I live in Sapir, Arava with my parents and my two younger brothers. We really enjoy family time, traveling and discovering new places, and just being together. I attended Shitim Darca High School and studied physics, cinema and television, and music. I volunteered in the youth movement B’nai Hamoshavim. I have participated on the student council since 7th grade and currently serve as president. In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with friends and playing piano and guitar.
My name is Hadar Burstein and I’m 18 years old. I have lived in Ramat Gan my entire life. I have two older brothers and one older sister. In school, I majored in physics and a concentration in Bible and Jewish philosophy. At age 10, I joined the religious youth movement B’nei Akiva, and later served as a counselor for two years. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, traveling, and hanging out with my friends. I also like trying new things, like surfing and playing guitar.
My name is Nadav Heller and I live in Ra’anana. I have three sisters—one is older and two are younger. I studied at MetroWest High School and majored in physics and engineering. In addition, I worked on a project with two partners developing a device which helps autistic children gain independence. I participate and volunteer in the Israeli Scouts. Over the last three years I guided groups of sixth and ninth graders. Last year, I also managed and escorted a group of four guides, overseeing a total of 45 children under my responsibility. In addition, I have studied classical and jazz piano for more than ten years.
My name is Oz Pingle. I live in Shoham. I have four siblings—one sister and three brothers. I also have two nephews and one niece. I studied at the religious high school in Shoham. In my free time, I like to play my electric guitar and ukulele, and of course hang out with my friends. Last year I was a head of a team in B’nei Akiva that oversaw the activities of the graduates. In tenth grade, I was in Diller Teen Fellows, and last year I was part of Tzama (NTF), which is the national task force of the program.
Hi, my name is Rommy Shem Tov and I am 17 years old. I live in west Rishon LeZion with my parents, my older brother, and my younger sister. My grandmother lives with us, too, and she makes the best food ever! In my spare time I like to hike and travel around Israel and see new places. I was a fellow in the Mashatzim, a youth movement that focuses on hiking in Israel. I also participated in Diller Teen Fellows and Tzama, which is a continuation program for Diller. I like to cook and bake, usually with my little sister. At school, I majored in Arabic and I really enjoyed it.
My name is Shahar Shriki. I live in Ofakim with my mom. I have two older sisters and three younger half siblings. I love traveling in Israel. A few years ago, I hiked parts of Israel’s national trail. I also love to sing. I performed with my school’s band and with my cousin. I have been volunteering for Krembo Wings, an organization for youth with and without special needs, in many different counseling roles, for the past four years. Two years ago, I took part in the Gesher project in which 11 teens from Arad and Ofakim and 10 from Greater MetroWest visited each other’s communities and learned a lot about our homes and about Jewish identity. In school I studied physics and electronics. Because the Corps of Computing funded the school’s curriculum in these subjects, I wore an IDF uniform to school.
Hi! My name is Yuval Yaish and I’m 18 years old. I was born in and currently live in Rishon LeZion, in the center of Israel. I am the youngest of four brothers. I live with my mom and my dog Ringo, and I visit my dad twice a week in Tel Aviv. I’ve been in the Israeli Scouts since fourth grade. Last summer, I was a participant in the Israeli Scouts delegation to the U.S., in which I was a counselor in a summer camp. I really love scouting and I think it is a beautiful way of educating children informally. I’m very interested in the arts. I’ve been taking photographs for a few years, and I’ve been painting since I was young. I also like cinema and journalism. In school, I majored in Arabic language and international relations. I find these subjects very interesting and I gain a lot of knowledge from them. I am truly excited to be a part of the Rishonim program and to teach about Israel!
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.
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.