Meet Your Staff: Davey, Abby, and Itamar | Shorashim - Israel with Israelis
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Meet Your Staff: Davey, Abby, and Itamar

Davey Friedman

Where are you from originally and where do you live now? Seattle, Seattle.

What do you for a living? I work as a Community Manager at a real estate startup called WeWork, that builds incubator-type coworking spaces for entrepreneurs in the US and Israel. 

When did you go to Israel for the first time? On a family vacation when I was eight.

What's your favorite Israeli food to eat and favorite place to eat it at? Fish at the Kineret. 

What's a fun fact about you? The first business I started - "Davey's Snack Shack" - was a pop up shop in a public park that Seattle police shut down after two days. I was 10 and made 500 bucks though...

What's one thing about Israel that you wish you could bring back to America with you? Tel Aviv architecture! 

What's your favorite place to visit in Israel? Tel Aviv! Best city in the world next to Seattle :) 

Where are you most looking forward to taking your participants to on Taglit? I love the drive straight from the North to the desert, where you get to see the drastic changes in Israel's landscape/topography in such a short distance. Really brings the tininess of the country to life! 

Who is your spirit animal? People say I look like a badger. 

What's the #1 reason that you recommend that your friends and family should go on Taglit-Birthright Israel with Shorashim?  Best staff! ;) 

Anything else that you want to share? I love to sing and skydive and I hate Sea World.

Abby Bernstein

Where are you from originally and where do you live now? Born and raised in Edina, Minnesota, currently living in Atlanta, GA

What do you do for a living? I work for Jewish National Fund as the Campaign Executive for the Southeast Region... in a nutshell, I raise funds to help secure, develop, and invest in the land and people of Israel!

When did you go to Israel for the first time? My first visit to Israel was in summer 2001, as part of USY's Poland-Israel Pilgrimage. 

What's your favorite place to visit in Israel? I feel like I have a new favorite every time I visit Israel! Each time something different touches me or moves me depending on who I'm with. I'm a foodie so I love visiting the shuks (markets)... I love hiking during summer visits... and how can you not love Jerusalem - being in the Old City, surrounded by so much history!

What's a fun fact about yourself? I can name all of the Dairy Queen "Blizzard of the Month" flavors backwards for at least the last year... maybe two years... I love the Mighty Ducks trilogy, and I've seen Phish perform in concert over 30 times. That was three facts - am I fun yet?

What's your favorite Israeli food/favorite place in Israel to eat it? Everything tastes better in Israel! Nothing compares to wondering through a shuk (market) sampling fresh pomegranates, persimmons, halva, and pastries! It would be too basic if I said "Rugelach from Marzipan Bakery with an Iced Aroma Light" (but come on, sooo good, right?!), so I'll switch it up with a Power Juice from Aroma (beets, carrots, celery, ginger), and the memulawach (pan fried buttery dough that is layered with hummus, tahini, grilled eggplant, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, pickles, and who knows what else... all wrapped up and eaten hot like a burrito) from Jahnun in the Mahane Yehuda market.

Where is your favorite place to take groups on Taglit? There is something super special about watching participant's eyes light up the first time they see the Kotel (Western Wall). It doesn't matter how much you think you know about it... seeing it for the first time is one of those "whoa" moments.

If there was one aspect of Israel that you could bring back to America with you, what would it be? I'd absolutely trade our humid Georgia summers for Israel's dry desert heat! Other than that, I'd like to keep everything right where it is so i always have a special place to visit! Oh wait... the Zionists... the pride Israeli's have for their country... I wish more people in the US felt that way about Israel, but that's a discussion for another time....

What's the #1 reason that you recommend that your friends and family should go on Taglit-Birthright Israel with Shorashim? THE ISRAELIS!! With Shorashim, participants get the true Israel experience through the bonds they create with the Israeli participants.

What's your spirit animal? Patricia from Southern Charm haha! And I sense my future spirit animal, say 25 years from now, is definitely @crazyjewishmom (from Instagram) because, duh ;)

Itamar Buk

How long have you been a guide? Five years.

What's your favorite Shorashim memory? Shorashim dance with every group!

What's a fun fact about yourself? I was close to becoming a professional football player.

What's your favorite part about Israel? The balagan.

What's your favorite Israeli food? Where's your favorite place in Israel to eat it? Falafel on King George Street in Tel Aviv.

What do you love most about Shorashim? The Israelis for 10 days!!

What's your favorite site to go to take participants to on Taglit? One of my favorite places in the shuk.

What's your favorite city in Israel and why? TEL AVIV, becuase TLV never goes to sleep.

If you could say one thing to future participants, what would it be? I would advise them to extend their visit.

Why is it important to you to have Israelis on the trip for all 10 days? Because Israelis are awesome and having Israelis on your Taglit experience is beneficial to get acquainted with Israel!

Anything else you want to share? YOLO!

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