Nathan S.- Arts & Culture, Summer 2017
“Theodore Herzl’s famous words, “If you will it, it is no dream,” could not be any more fitting to my experience here in Israel. Six months ago, interning at The Jewish Agency for Israel was merely a dream, and now after already two weeks, it is my reality because of my passion, drive, and persistence to give back to an organization that has given me so much.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been surrounded by various Shlichim (emissaries) that have worked in my schools, community, and college campus – Shinshinim (Young Emissaries), Community Shlichim, and Israel Fellows. Not only did they have an impact on my connection to Israel, both with the country and through lasting friendships, but now a connection to my professional pursuits. After many years of Shlichim coming to me, the tables have now turned. Working in the Shlichut unit, I have been put to work on a variety of projects and initiatives, including developing educational content for Shlichim all around the world to use in their communities. In a couple of weeks, over 200 new Shlichim will convene in Jerusalem for a two week intensive training seminar. There, I will have the opportunity to facilitate sessions, get to know those on the new delegation, and share my experiences and guidance with them.
This past week has been extremely interesting with The Jewish Agency Board of Governors convening in Jerusalem for three days. On the one hand, I had the opportunity to sit in on committee meetings and network with leaders in the global Jewish community. On the other hand, I witnessed the effects of the recent rulings at the Kotel and on Conversion laws as they unfolded, with the Board shifting its focus to discuss how this influences our global Jewish community.
As I walked up the stairs to my office on the first day, I was greeted by the unit’s slogan for Shlichim:
״המסע מתחיל כאן.
למעט מאוד אנשים, יש הזדמנות כל כך גדולה, לעבור כזה מסע בחיים.״
“The journey starts here.
Very few people get an opportunity this big, a journey to undergo in life.”
This is now my opportunity, my journey.”