The Jewish Federation Connecting with Community presents "Building Bridges Between Israel and Local Communities."
Meet the Israeli Young Emissaries who are creating meaningful connections and living bridges between partnership communities in the US and Israel, through the Federation funded Partnership2gether program of the Jewish Agency for Israel. Sivan Gvili and Ziv Lavi will share their personal perspectives on the life of young adults in Israel and share more about their work as part of a group of 12 Young Emissaries living and working in six Southern New England Communities who participate in the Afula Gilboa Partnership.
Instead of entering the Israel Defense Forces immediately after high school, Israeli Young Emissaries defer their army service for a year, and go through an intense year-long training process in order to perform a year of service in Jewish communities across the United States. The Emissaries are trained as experiential, hands-on educators, working toward creating meaningful connections and living bridges between their partnership community in the US and Israel. Most have leadership backgrounds in the Israeli youth movements. The emissaries live with American host families and work in local Jewish schools, JCC’s and Federations, as well as in the public schools. Incorporating these young Israelis into schools and communal programs is an incredible opportunity for students, families and the community at large. These students are role models of the best Israel has to offer. The Young Emissary Program is a joint project of the Jewish Agency and Jewish Federations of North America.
Sivan Gvili is from the Southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, where she majored in biology and Arabic in High school. She chose to learn Arabic because she thinks it is very important for the Israeli people to know both the languages in Israel. A talented lacrosse player, Sivan played in the 2015 world cup and was a member of the Israeli National Lacrosse team in this year’s Maccabiah games. A longtime participant in the Israeli Scouts, she mentored 5th grade boys scouts and worked with a special needs group. As a Diller Teen Fellow, Sivan spent 15 months exploring Jewish identity, leadership, and service, building connections to other Jewish youth from across North America and Israel.
Ziv Lavi is from Kefar-Vitkin, a Moshav North of Tel Aviv, where she majored in Chemistry and Biology in high school. Focusing much of her volunteer work on serving children, Ziv has volunteered as a mentor and song leader at a boys boarding school shelter, with children with special needs and with the children in the oncology department of Schneider Hospital. Singing is an important part of Ziv’s life. She has spent over 15 years as a member of the “Moran Choir,” and has traveled the world performing in Choral concerts in China, South Korea, France and Switzerland. Ziv was also Israel’s champion for middle-distance running in her age bracket.
A special thank-you to the Jewish Federation of Eastern CT for sharing Sivan and Ziv with us for this learning opportunity.
This free program is part of the Federation’s Connecting With Community Series and will be followed by a kosher hot lunch. Lunch is a $2 suggested donation for adults over 60 years of age or $7 for all others. Advance reservations are required for lunch and can be made by calling (413) 442-2200 before 9 a.m. on the day of the program.