Meet Your Staff: Yoni, Gabe, and Osnat
Where are you from originally and where do you live now? From Maryland and living in DC.
What do you for a living? I am a researcher at the American Institutes for Research.
When did you go to Israel for the first time? When I was two years old.
What's a fun fact about you? I can perform magic.
What's your favorite Israeli food/favorite place in Israel to eat it? Hummus - anywhere and anytime.
If you could bring one thing back to America from Israel, what would it be? The Shuk markets.
What's your favorite place to visit in Israel? The Western Wall on Shabbat as it truly can be a magical experience
What's the #1 reason that you recommend that your friends and family should go on Taglit-Birthright Israel with Shorashim? It's a free trip to Israel with Israel citizens involved! Do I need to say more?!
Anything else to share? I can't wait for the trip this summer!
Where are you from originally and where do you live now? Philly, but living in Efrat, Israel.
What do you for a living? I run a nonprofit program that works to expand the English accessibility of health related rights and support in Israel. I also make chocolate. I also teach. A little bit.
When did you go to Israel for the first time? I think my parents brought me for the first time when I was three years old. My father likes to tell a story of early sacrilege, when I peed somewhere in the Old City.
What's your favorite place to bring Taglit groups? Any beautiful, green, wet hike in the north or shuk Machane Yehuda.
What aspect of Israel would you like to bring back to America with you? Target. Oh wait, wrong direction. The expectation that if you buy a bottle of soda, a yogurt, or anything like that in any store you can ask for a few cups or a spoon at the counter.
What's your favorite place to visit in Israel? Machtesh Rimon at night. The stars are like a fireworks display.
What's a random fun fact about yourself? I am a citizen of the USA, Israel and Brazil, though I'm not even sure if it's legal for me to hold on to all three. I almost always speak English. My Hebrew is decent, but embarrassingly poor when you consider how long I have lived in Israel. I don't know any Portuguese (except some of my favorite foods).
What's your favorite Israeli food/favorite place in Israel to eat it? Shawarma in a laffa, with plenty of Amba (pickled mango sauce), and Shifka (pickled hot peppers) with every bite.
What's the #1 reason that you recommend that your friends and family should go on Taglit-Birthright Israel with Shorashim? Shorashim is awesome for a lot of reasons, but everybody knows that the best part is doing a trip with Israeli peers completely integrated as participants in the trip. The Israeli and American participants develop the strongest friendships (or more-than-friendships) that forever connect them even across oceans.
What's your favorite Shorashim memory? Participants helping old ladies to carry bags in the market.
What's a fun fact about yourself? I went to the Backstreet Boys concert and enjoyed every second of it!!
If you could say one thing to future participants, what would it be? Your attitude, not your talent, will determine how high you will reach.
Why is it important to you to have Israelis on the trip for all 10 days? I think the Israelis bring something unique to the encounter. To see Israel in their eyes makes the experience much more authentic, interesting and diverse.