A Family Legacy
Yehoshua and Tehila Sadiel bring their pioneering family legacies on behalf of Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael along with them as they embark upon shlichut in Germany
Yehoshua Sadiel is named for his grandfather Yehoshua who, together with his wife, Leah, helped found Kibbutz Kfar Etzion in 1942. Although Leah was evacuated along with the couple’s children during the Israeli War of Independence, Yehoshua – who had remained to defend the kibbutz from the Arab Legion – was killed in battle on May 14, 1948, just one day before the Israeli Declaration of Independence.
Tehila Sadiel also comes from a family that is committed to Israel and to building Jewish community. Her parents made Aliyah from France, where her uncle, Rabbi Isaac (Michel) Guggenheim is the Chief Rabbi of Paris.
“We both come from families that made sacrifices to come and build Eretz Yisrael. Until a couple of years ago I didn’t even have a passport, because we never left Israel,” Yehoshua relates. “Then, Tehila and I began thinking about what we could do for the Jewish people, how we could strengthen their connection to Judaism and to Israel, perhaps even encourage others to make Aliyah.”
Channeling their Experiences to Strengthen the Jewish People
After completing the Beren-Amiel Educational Emissary Training Program in July, the couple departed for Germany with their three children in tow, to teach at the Lauder Beth Zion school in Berlin. Today, over 100,000 Jews live in Germany including a huge influx of emigres from the Former Soviet Union, making it among the largest Jewish communities in Europe.
At first, the couple didn’t even consider going to Germany – until they received encouragement from a surprising source.
“We both have family that survived the Holocaust, as well as relatives who perished, and it felt too emotionally charged and close to home,” Yehoshua shares. “But then, we spoke to my grandmother, with whom I’m very close. She told us that there is actually no one better than us to strengthen Jewish commitment and love of Israel and that we should definitely go. With such a large Jewish community there today, she pointed out that we have the potential to make a huge impact.”
The couple feels well-prepared for the task at hand: “Beren-Amiel helped us understand the diversity that exists in the Diaspora and prepared us to welcome Jews of all backgrounds into the Jewish community,” attests Tehila. “We’ve only just arrived, but we’re excited to get to know the people here and see how we can connect with each of them, and bring them closer to Judaism.”