For decades, the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) together with the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) have been bringing Shlichim and Shlichot (Israeli emissaries) to Australia to bring their unique and authentic combination of skills, knowledge, expertise, innovation and energy to the various communities and youth movements in which they operate around the country.
Traditionally, shlichim and shlichot serve in Australia for 1-3 years and immerse themselves in our communities, bringing personal connection directly to their communities. There is currently a small, but very active group of Jewish Agency Shlichim here in Australia and New Zealand.
All through the COVID-19 crisis, the Shlichim and Shlichot have found creative ways to connect with and contribute to their communities. And this is how the “Shlichim Project” was born. Every few weeks, they have been hosting a panel discussion over Zoom where they have discussions on burning topics in Israel such as the protests outside the Prime Minister’s residence and whether the Torah is taboo in satire.
As a team, the shlichim represent a wide range of voices from within Israeli society and often find themselves deep in (friendly) argument and debate about issues in Israel. This form of discussion on this platform has really allowed for meaningful discussions, and has opened up these day-to-day Israeli debates to the community, in particular young adults.
“We have an incredibly diverse group of Shlichim/Shlichot – from a settler to modern Orthodox, Reform from a big city, Kibbutznikim, differing sexual orientations, Israelis from the periphery, left, right, centre – a vast array of different groups of Jews in Israel represented. Each of us will all bring to the table something different from our own life experience”, said Sefi Shalam, the Shaliach for Netzer and Progressive Judaism Victoria.
This week’s talk will commemorate 25 years since the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin entitled “Reflecting on the past; leading the future”. As a part of the generation who were only children or teens when Rabin was assassinated, they will reflect on milestones in the recent history of Israel and how it has been affected by different major events (for example, the exit from Lebanon, the disengagement from Gaza), and mostly, how it shaped their views. They will also host representatives from the Zionist youth movements to reflect on Israeli society in the next 25 years, and the role of the youth.
This talk will take place on Thursday 5 November at 7pm AEDT over Zoom.
Meeting ID: 891 6635 8241
Meet the Mishlachat:
Michael Manhaim is the Shaliach of Ha’Tzofim and Garin Tzabar Australia. Before his arrival to Australia, Michael was involved in many initiatives in the field of Public Diplomacy, connecting people through culture and was an LGBTQI activist.
Motty Goodman is the world Bnei Akiva and Jewish agency Shaliach in Melbourne. He is in Australia with his wife Yisca and their 3 children. He studied physiology and education and has experience mainly in informal education management.
Boaz Hadari is the Jewish Agency’s Shaliach for Habonim Dror and Aliya NSW.
Boaz has B.A in social work and worked for many years as a leader and manager in informal education, as well as leading workshops in Israeli schools.
Sefi Shalam is the Jewish Agency’s Shaliach for Netzer and Progressive Judaism Victoria. For many years he worked in and around politics, diplomacy and peace-building programs.
Sapir Atias is the Jewish Agency’s shlicha for Hashomer Hatzair (Hashy) and Aliyah.
She is a social worker and an educator, who spent many years learning and mediating current cultural and social dilemmas while working with at risk youth.
Elisheva Fogel is a Shlicha of the Jewish agency and Bnei Akiva in Auckland, NZ. Before leaving for shlichut she spent several years teaching in severe special education classes where students were Jewish, Muslim and Christian. Before her B.A she spent 3 years in the Israeli army commanding groups of soldiers with criminal and mental backgrounds, bringing her to a point where she has met many of Israel’s unique populations
Noam Fogel is the Jewish agency and Bnei Akiva Shaliach in Auckland, NZ. Before his Shlichut, he worked as a media consultant, working mainly for politicians and political organisations.