Meet our New Shlichim

Shay Goldenberg introduces Mayana Branigan:

Mayana grew up in a unique moshav (a type of small Israeli settlement) where everyone in the community are American Jews that made aliya to Israel following Rabbi Shlomo Carlibach, who was the spiritual leader of the moshav. The name of the moshav is Mevo Modiim.

Mayana’s mother grew up on the island of St. Croix (Virgin Islands) and when she was a young woman living in New York, she decided to follow her heart and convert to Judaism. She was a believer, a strong woman with a big heart and good will. Mayana and her sister Cochava, who is an early childhood teacher in The Abraham Joshua Heshel School in Manhattan, both share the same qualities.

Mayana grew up in a religious family and attended a religious high school, so when she turned 18 she decided to volunteer for National Service. Mayana provided support for adults with mental disabilities at Shekel (a non-profit social organization). She helped them increase their knowledge and practice of functional daily living skills, thereby helping them to gain more independence and become self-reliant. Yes, she is a phenomenal woman!

Mayana is currently finishing her B.A and will be graduating from Ben Gurion University. Majoring in Israel Studies, Gender Studies, and African Studies, Mayana enjoyed exploring the world of history, philosophy, sociology, and ethics.

Mayana is the most creative person I know, and she is unstoppable in everything that she does.

I first saw Mayana in a coffee shop at Ben Gurion University in Be’er Sheva. After three and half years of partnership, we got engaged at a magical spring in the Negev in the sunset. It was one of the best days of my life.

Mayana and I are both looking forward to becoming a part of the community in Akron, and we are both very excited to meet you all very soon!

Mayana Branigan introduces Shay Goldenberg:

Shay was born in Givataim, which is a city in the center of Israel. He and his family moved around quite a lot, but he is definitely a city boy. Shay spent his high school years in Blich Ramat Gan High School. He majored in music and loves to play piano and guitar to this day. Music is definitely one of Shay’s biggest passions. Upon finishing school, Shay joined the IDF and served in the Shimshon regiment as a combat soldier and commander. He exceled and finished his service with a captain’s rank.

Another great passion in his life is education. Shay fulfills that calling by working in the Aharai youth group, an organization that prepares young adults for their army service by instilling in them important values and principles. Furthermore, they undergo intensive physical training. Shay is a manager and oversees the activity of ten groups in ten different cities located in the south of Israel. I have met many individuals who Shay has guided and they always say the same thing: “Shay is the most amazing guy; he changed my life because he believed in me.”

Shay is graduating with an M.A in public policy from Ben Gurion University. Shay is one of the friendliest people you will ever meet and an eternal optimist. He has a great big smile that lights up the world and makes you feel at home. He loves to fill people’s lives with music and make them happy. Shay and I cannot wait to be a part of the community and spend many happy moments with you all.



Add Comment