My personal journey with Israel Engagement began seven years ago, when we hosted a ShinShin in our home. We view Israel as our home away from home so we were already an Israel engaged family. To say that the experience with the ShinShinim program had an impact on my life would be an understatement. Experiencing the real people- to- people hands on experience with Israel on a daily basis was life changing and as a result, I took on a three-year lay leader role with the ShinShinim program. After that I knew my path was set. From lay leader, I took over the Chair of ShinShinim Program and then this year I was awarded the tremendous honour of taking over the Chair of Israel Engagement of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.
People always ask me what motivates me and that’s an easy question to answer. My love, passion and connection with Israel as well as the remarkable volunteers who held these positions before me do exactly that. These people and the Toronto Jewish Community as a whole inspire me and encourage me to see my vision to fruition. None of this would be possible without the dynamic professional team whom I admire and respect for their hard work and dedication in bringing Israel into our daily lives.
I have always been described as a “people person”. This is because I am extremely fortunate to be surrounded by love and friends and colleagues who see a strong future with Diaspora Israel relations, like I do. We all share the same dream.
My ultimate vision is to spread the depth of Israel Engagement in our broader community. While simple in words, the actual strategy is far more complex. In order to achieve my vision, I need the help of the community. As such, I have formed Strategic and Programmatic Advisory Committees as part of the larger Israel Engagement Committee (IEC). I am proud of the strong, dynamic, dedicated members of these committees who share my vision and my passion.
As we near Hanukkah and reflect on a time of miracles, family and future, I am incredibly optimistic and grateful. I am optimistic about new programs and new opportunities and I am grateful for this new role and for the community that surrounds me - people that share my vision and who will help me fulfill my goals and aspirations.
On behalf of Israel Engagement and my family, I wish you and your families a Chag Hanukkah Sameach. May the miracle of Hanukkah bring peace to your lives and to our precious Israel.
Chair Israel Engagement