How Far We’ve Come and How Far We Are Going
“I am proud to be part of a chain of Jewish people working to improve the world” declared Channah Moriah Dahan, one of 45 graduates of OTS’s emissary training programs set to make an impact on Jewish Communities around the world.
In a moving ceremony at the Jewish Agency for Israel, friends and family gathered to celebrate the graduation of newly-trained shlichim from the Straus-Amiel and Beren-Amiel Emissary Training institutes. The highly motivated young men and women completed two years of intensive preparation to serve as rabbis and educators in Jewish communities, congregations and campuses, covering topics like public speaking, counseling and informal education strategies – all the while facing uncertainty as to whether pandemic health restrictions would even allow them to begin their new positions around the world.
“It’s not easy to talk about leaving Israel to go out on shlichut when this week’s Torah portion (Matot-Masei) focuses on the importance of Israel,” stated Yehoshua Sadiel, who spoke at the graduation on behalf of his wife, Tehila, and his peers. “However, Israel is really about the connection of the Jewish people to our land and our heritage,” he said. “The most profound message we learned at the institute was the importance of finding a way of connecting with people – to be humble, flexible and find ways to bring people closer to Jewish heritage and Israel.”
The Sadiels will be heading to Berlin, Germany, where they will both be working as Jewish educators for the local Jewish community. Other graduates will be serving in locations as diverse as Madrid, Spain; Leeds, England; Palo Alto, California; and Lima, Peru.
The Journeys of the Jewish People
In his address, Beren-Amiel and Straus-Amiel director Rabbi Eliahu Birnbaum noted that “the paths our shlichim have taken are illustrative of the journeys of the Jewish people.” As an example, he spoke about the Dahan family, who will be working at Ben Porat Yosef in Paramus, New Jersey. “Netanel Dahan’s family originally came to Israel from Morocco,” he said, “while Channah Moriah Dahan is the daughter of a refusenik father from Russia and a mother from Tunisia. Netanel and Channah Moriah grew up in Israel, and now they will serve as shlichim in the United States.”
Channa Moriah continued this message in her address on behalf of the graduates. “Each generation of our family has taken a different path, but all of these journeys grew out of a love of the Jewish people and the Land of Israel,” she said. “In our weekly studies, we discussed various dilemmas we might confront in Diaspora Jewish communities and explored ways of solving them. The staff of Beren-Amiel and Straus-Amiel did everything possible to make sure we would be prepared with the knowledge and tools we need to strengthen Jewish communities. I am proud to be part of a chain of Jewish people working to improve the world.”
OTS President and Rosh HaYeshiva Rabbi Kenneth Brander told the graduates, “You are our future. You have the ability to make a tremendous impact because of the process you have gone through.” To their parents, Rabbi Brander said, “You will get your children back stronger than when they left because of everything they will gain along the way.”
Congratulations to this year’s cadre!
- Rabbi Eliyahu & Bat-Chen Bar Geva – Alicante, Spain
- Rabbi Chaim & Rachel Benman – Lima, Peru
- Rabbi Aharon & Yael Benzadon – Madrid, Spain
- Netanel & Chana Moriah Dahan – Paramus, New Jersey USA
- Rabbi Zecharia & Nava Deutsch, Leeds University, England
- Rabbi Tzuri & Hannah Leah Hasson, Palo Alto, California USA
- Rabbi Aviel & Michal Javasky – Hong Kong
- Rabbi Netanel & Avital Kaszovitz – Nairobi, Kenya
- Rabbi Aharon & Raziella Kindi – Sao Paulo, Brazil
- Daniel & Ruth Lecount – Toronto, Canada
- Daniel & Tal Levian – Denver, Colorado, USA
- Rabbi Evan & Tova Levine – Hale, England
- Avi & Netanel Monderer – Charleston, South Carolina USA
- Alon & Corrine Nagar – Brooklyn, New York, USA
- Rabbi Amir & Tamar Ostashinsky – Warsaw, Poland
- Rabbi Yitschak & Odeya Preschel – Montevideo, Uruguay
- Yehoshua & Tehila Sadiel – Berlin, Germany
- Rabbi Shlomo & Ahava Schachter – Vancouver, Canada
- Rabbi Eliran & Ayala Shabo – Athens, Greece
- Rabbi Gabriel Sirota – Melilla, Spain
- Rabbi Yedidya & Ahuva Tauber – Caracas, Venezuela
- Rabbi Dan & Rivka Tobaly – Palo Alto, California USA
- Yehuda & Sara Witt – Livingston, New Jersey USA