Meet the Shlichim: Merav and Yaakov Wacks

Merav and Yaakov Wacks
Englewood, New Jersey

Merav and Yaakov Wacks have been working as educators in the Ben Porat Yosef school and as Youth Directors in the East Hill Synagogue of Englewood, New Jersey, for over two years

Merav and Yaakov Wacks and family

Children:
Eitan Tzvi – 7.5
Ayala – 6
Kana Rachel – 4.5
Naveh – 4 months

Tell us about the community you’re in:
The couple is serving as teachers of Hebrew and religious subjects at Ben Porat Yosef School in New Jersey. Yaakov educates and teaches in the middle school while Merav is a third grade educator. All subjects are taught in Hebrew. In addition, the role includes organizing school activities around the cycle of the year or other Torah topics.

What did you receive from the Beren-Amiel Educational Emissary Training Progam and the Claudia Cohen Women Educator Institute? 
First of all, the institutes made us understand that we should view shichut as a challenge; it is something very serious to undertake and we were prepared accordingly. During  the course of our shlichut we encounter many issues that we were specifically trained for. We received an analysis of community structure, development and community formation, ideas for projects, attitude and knowledge about Diaspora Jewry, how to speak in front of an audience, perspective and approach to managing halakhic dilemmas, and more. In addition, the ongoing accompaniment and connection between the all of the shlichim in the field is important, significant and gives a lot of power.

What message would you like to impart regarding shlichut?
Am Yisrael is calling us! Anyone who feels he or she has the desire and dream of  shlichut should go for it! Do not wait and do not hesitate. The challenge of religious Zionism, in this generation, is to connect with our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora who are facing great challenges. In many places, Jewish identity is in danger. We must reach out and inspire meaning, depth and Jewish-Israeli pride within the various communities, out of a sense of connection and belonging to the State of Israel, the Torah of Israel and the People of Israel.

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