Andi and Nir Koren
Rabbi Nir and Andi have been serving as the Rabbi and Rebbetzin of the Quito, Ecuador Jewish community for the past three years. Prior to that, they were on shlichut as the rabbinical couple in Monterrey, Mexico (two years); Cancun, Mexico (two years); and Cali, Colombia (two years).
Tell us about the community you’re in:
The community defines itself as Orthodox, although most of its members define themselves as traditional. There are about 500 active community members. The community operates on a large campus where there is a synagogue, offices, sports courts, a mikveh, a Talmud Torah and a youth movement. As Rabbi and Rebbetzin we are responsible for all Jewish religious and educational services for all ages, including the Talmud Torah, lessons for adults, preparation for bar/bat mitzvah, mikveh management, special events for holidays, Rosh Chodesh activities for women, guidance and operation in all events related to the Jewish life cycle (weddings, brit milah, funerals, etc.), and more. The community is warm and the people are nice and the continuity of the community and the Jewish people is important to them and therefore they invest a lot of time, thought and resources into community activities.
What did you receive from the Straus-Amiel Educational Emissary Training Progam and the Claudia Cohen Women Educator Institute?
Preparing for shlichut, making the match for us with each community with an eye toward identifying what suits them and what suits us; providing us with ongoing guidance and support; and most importantly, the feeling of being on a mission and knowing that we are not alone, and that we have someone to call when needed. Knowing that we are part of an organization of shlichim working around the world empowers us as we work in a small community, because it gives the feeling that we are part of something bigger.
What message would you like to impart regarding shlichut?
The best way to receive is to give…