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Israeli Shaliach build bridges in Central Mass

From the moment Aviv Jerbi arrived in Central Massachusetts this past September, he hit the ground running. A post-Army Israeli shaliach (emissary), he had the advantage of already knowing many community members, thanks to the time he spent in Worcester as a Young Emissary seven years ago. 

Aviv has been working with Central Mass synagogues and their religious schools, and on projects with the Jewish Federation of Central Mass (JFCM), sponsor of the Young Emissary program. He led a monthly Israel Culture Series on Zoom, with programs ranging from “Israeli Whiskey Tasting” to “What motivates Israeli teens to join the IDF.” His Hebrew “Café Ivrit” classes on Thursday nights were a hit, as were other programs he led, such as Shakshuka in the Sukkah, Clark Hillel Café Ivrit and Krav Maga, a joint Yom Hazikaron program with the Rhode Island Shaliach, and Yom Ha’atzmaut Federation/Israel Bond event. 

To help combat rising rates of antisemitic acts all across the country, Aviv has worked with a representative from StandWithUs in the Hebrew high schools and has also visited public schools with predominantly non-Jewish students to teach them about Israeli culture and history. 

On June 12, he will lead a special Zoom program on the topic of “Challenges in the LGBTQ community in Israel.” 

This summer, Aviv will work at the JCC summer camp, after which he’ll return to Israel to begin his studies at university.

“We are grateful to have had an outstanding year with Aviv and will miss his energy, spirt, knowledge and company,” said Liz Baker, shaliach supervisor. “We look forward to hosting a new shaliach or shlicha this coming year and thank JFCM for supporting this meaningful program.”

Main Photo: In April, shaliach Aviv Jerbi (standing, far right) presided over a Shakshuka cookoff in Worcester, Mass.

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