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Coffee Break

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Tell me about your position.

My job is to manage all the emissaries in the Washington area and also to connect people within the Federation to Israel. The emissaries are the interface between Israel and the Diaspora, working to reinforce the bond between the two.

What are the biggest challenges of your job?

The biggest challenge in the Jewish world is the growing gap between Israel and the Diaspora. In the last decade, the breach has widened considerably, for political and geopolitical reasons, but also because of a general distancing. The biggest challenge is to create a paradigm shift among Diaspora Jews.

We have to talk about partnership — not just what Diaspora Jewry can give to Israel, but how we can create a common language. American society has a lot to teach Israelis, and US Jewry can likewise be inspired by Israel’s innovation.

Did you ever encounter hatred for Israel?

Not on the personal level, but we know it exists. I think that generally the level of hatred is, unfortunately, on the upswing.

(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 744)

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