2018-08-01 / Columns

Welcome Arkady, our new shaliach, as he builds bridges with Israel

Federation President

It has been many years since we have had a shaliach in our South Jersey community. That will soon be changing, as I am extremely excited to announce the arrival of our new shaliach, Arkady Hasidovich, who will be joining us for the next few years.

So what exactly does a shaliach do? Each year, the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) sends approximately 1,500 Israeli emissaries (schlichim) to communities such as ours to help strengthen local Jewish identity and the connection to Israel. JAFI gives the schlichim the tools for building Israel-education programs for the communities they serve. Arkady will help provide a personal connection for us to Israel.

In addition to working for Federation, Arkady will be working with the entire community. He will be involved with not only Federation and its agencies, but also our day schools and hopefully with the synagogues. He will interact with our community, educating and also analyzing our needs and interests and how to best meet them. Arkady will help design a program and a vision that will be much more longterm, extending far beyond his two- to three-year commitment here.

Currently, Arkady’s position with JAFI includes involvement in a school training program and in a project he designed called “School Twinning.” This program sets up pen pals, bringing together students in Israel with students around the world. The pen pal concept was spoken about for a long time, but no one in our community was able to figure out how to do it because of the time difference in school hours. Technology was key in the implementation of this program. We are very excited that Arkady has introduced this program to our schools, as it has long been an area where people have expressed tremendous interest.

Arkady will not be joining us alone, but will be accompanied by his wife and two children. In speaking of his Jewish identity, Arkady stated: “Both my wife and I came to Israel as teenagers [from Russia], which gives us a wider perspective on the different ways Judaism can be celebrated.”

Arkady also said, “Being a frequent visitor to countless Jewish communities in recent years…I would consider it my honor and privilege to bring my experience with communal Jewish work in service of the community from within.”

Arkady will be joining us on August 22. We look forward to introducing him officially and in his helping us to strengthen the ties between our South Jersey community and Israel. If presented with the opportunity, I encourage you to approach Arkady and his family, and to make them feel welcome in their new home. jfedpres@jfedsnj.org

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