Meet Your Staff: Yocheved, Hannah, and Yossi
Where are you from originally and where do you live now? Long Island, NY.
What do you for a living? I am JNF's Israel Advocacy and Education Director for the NY Area. That basically means that I get to bring educational programs about Israel to students of all ages.
When was the first time you went to Israel? When I was eleven, I went to my brother's wedding in Israel.
What's your favorite Israeli food to eat and favorite place to eat it at? I am obsessed with the frozen yogurt at Breakfast Bar in the Tachana Hamerkazit. It's a problem.
What's a fun fact about you? I know all the words to just about every Shlock Rock song in existence.
What's one thing about Israel that you wish you could bring back to America with you? The random, inspiring interactions with strangers. It seems that every Israeli, from your cab driver to the old lady you bump into at the shuk, has some words of inspiration and life advice to share.
What's your favorite place to visit in Israel? I love the Gush Etzion area-- Tekoa, Alon Shvut, and Kibbutz Kfar Etzion. I would love to live there one day.
What's your spirit animal? My spirit animal is a seal, because I'm outgoing, adventurous, and I can balance a ball on my nose!
What's the #1 reason that you recommend that your friends and family should go on Taglit-Birthright Israel with Shorashim? It's a meaningful and authentic way to tour Israel for free. Plus, I hear that the staff this summer is going to be really cool ;)
Where are you from originally and where do you live now? Originally from Cleveland, OH (Go Bucks!) and currently calling Philadelphia, PA home.
What do you do for a living? I make Jewish life happen! (I work for Hillel and I LOVE it.)
When did you go to Israel for the first time? I went to Israel for the first time in December 2010 on Taglit-Birthright Israel.
What's your favorite place to visit in Israel? Florentin, Tel Aviv
What's your favorite place to bring Taglit-Birthright Israel groups? My favorite place to take groups is Shuk HaCarmel because it gives participants an opportunity to experience Tel Aviv arts and culture.
What's a fun fact about yourself? Every time I eat a Reese's Cup (which is often), I bite the outside edges first and then eat the center!
If there was one aspect of Israel that you could bring back to America with you, what would it be? The food, the culture, and the people. I would also bring an Israeli's ability to bring strength, love, and laughter into difficult situations.
What's your favorite Israeli food/favorite place in Israel to eat it? Dried fruit off the carts at the shuk.
What's your spirit animal? I'm kind of scared of most animals...
What's the #1 reason that you recommend that your friends and family should go on Taglit-Birthright Israel with Shorashim? Shorashim (meaning 'roots' in Hebrew) connects you to the roots of Israel!
Anything else you want to share? I LOVE TAGLIT!!! Yalla!
How long have you been a guide? 37 years.
What's your favorite Shorashim memory? Meeting Anne Lansky.
What's a fun fact about yourself? Love Israeli folk dancing.
What's your favorite food to eat in Israel and favorite place to eat it? Kube okra in Machane Yehuda market in Jerusalem.
What's your favorite place to take groups to visit? Ein Gedi.
What's your favorite city in Israel and why? Haifa - beautiful view, green nature, near the sea, coexistence between Jews and non-Jews.
What do you love most about Israel? The history is alive and continue every day by Israelies that are very involved in the society.
What do you love most about Shorashim? Having Israelies for 10 days in Taglit and all the time in the high school trip.
Why is it important to you to have Israelis on the trip for all 10 days? The Israelis are the soul of the trip because they bring the spirit of the state of Israel, nowadays, the modern hebrew language, the songs and the music, the arguments and the agreements, the life of soldiers in IDF, and the students life in Israel, the non-politicly corect behaviour and the friendship, without any condition. With Israelis, we can easier talk about things that has to be change and hopes for better Jewish state. From the beginning in the airport, the Israelis are full participants til the last day and by this the group become a unite family for 10 days that continues after the saying "shalom" by the conection, visits and... Facebook.
Anything else that you want to share? Hope to continue many more years!
If you could say one thing to future participants, what would it be? You will be surprised how much the trip with impact you, both as an American or an Israeli participant.