The Israel Center has hired a young shlicha (emissary).
Adva David, who lives in Tel Aviv, started Sept. 25 in a year-long role designed to strengthen the connection of Valley Jews to Israel. She will assist the center’s director, Shahar Edry, in running Israel Center programs.
The Israel Center is a project of the Jewish Community Association that is run under the auspices of the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center.
“I am looking forward to meeting the new community and am thinking of how I can help strengthen the connection to our mutual Jewish identity, as well as creating a greater bond with the people in Israel,” David said in a release from the Association. “In my opinion, it’s all about the personal human connection, finding a common ground.”
David, 29, holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and plans to pursue a master’s degree in Middle East studies. For the past two years, she has worked as a copy editor for Channel 2, the leading television channel in Israel, working on a Jewish culture talk show.
The Israel Center’s goal is to build and maintain the connection between the Jewish community of Greater Phoenix and the State of Israel by highlighting its history and people.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix, the Association’s predecessor, brought the first community shaliach to the Valley in 1994, and the program, which was in partnership with the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), was put on hold in 2011 due to financial constraints.
A part-time manager was hired to oversee the Israel Center in August 2011, a position that became full-time in March 2012. In February of this year, Edry took over the helm of the center as a full-time director.
David is coming through a different program from the community shlichim program; it is JAFI’s Areivim-Young Shlichim Unit, which takes young shlichim, ages 21-30, to communities around the world.
Israel Center programs include an annual Yom Ha’atzmaut event, a Yom Hazikron commemoration, Taglit-Birthright Israel trips and the Partnership2Gether program, formerly known as TIPS, which is a partnership between two Israeli communities – the city of Kiryat Malachi and the region of Hof Ashkelon – and the Jewish communities of Tucson, Phoenix and Seattle. To learn more about one Scottsdale family’s visit to the partnership region, see Page 11. To learn more about Birthright, see Page 12.
There is also other programming throughout the year, such as Israeli movie screenings, guest lectures and Israeli music karaoke nights.
The center also provides resources for Israel travel, including educational programs for youth, adults and families.