By Uri and Gili Hershkovitz
Hello everyone! It’s a bright and way too hot Saturday afternoon here in Israel, and we are sitting down thinking about our upcoming shlichut with your community. We wanted to take this time to introduce ourselves so that you know a little bit about us when we first arrive.
Interestingly, Uri is coming full-circle back to the US, as he lived here as a child in Cleveland. Gili, on the other hand, has never lived abroad, so receiving the phone call from JAFI [about our schlichut assignment] was very exciting for both of us. Knowing that we’ll have a chance to be part of your community is heart-warming and something we really look forward to.
Gili Shares about Uri
Uri has made some very interesting choices throughout his life. After finishing four years of service in an Israeli intelligence military unit, Uri chose to start his bachelor’s of science in physics at the Technion, Haifa. After a year, and a lot of soul-searching, he came to the conclusion that his passion is education— which wasn’t surprising at all, in my opinion. As a teenager, Uri was a youth counsellor and counsellor trainer in the “Hanoar Haoved” youth movement and enjoyed every second of it. It was only a matter of time until he pulled himself back onto this track, which suits him well. Right now, Uri is finishing his B.A. in education and political science with honors! In his spare time, he volunteers with at-risk children and children with special needs.
Uri also loves to spend spare time playing video and board games, hiking throughout (and beyond) the country; and he has an unfulfilled passion for music. Uri has two main qualities that I love about him. The first one is his passion for others. He’ll always go the extra mile to not only help people who need it, but to actively search for people in need as well. He’s also a great cook (I especially recommend his shakshuka). Tip: Ask him for a list of quality movies.
Uri’s Take on Gili
Gili was always the stubborn one. She practically told me we were a couple (yes, I’m a little of a blockhead), and I absolutely adore that part of her. Especially when she insists on solving riddles alone. By the way, if you’re a fan of escape rooms, she’s the person to go with. She’s also the organized one between us. If you don’t believe me, ask her about her color-coded excel sheets. Her only weakness is washing dishes. She’s also very committed: When she was about to finish her military service (usually two years for women), she decided that she had more to give and do, so she signed up for an extra year of service. I find that pretty amazing.
Gili has already finished her B.A. in psychology and education, which I think suited her well. She’d always come home and talk about something interesting she learned in class or things she experienced during her time volunteering with families from a low social-economic background and how it fit theories she studied. She also majored in theatre in high school, so she’s got a dramatic flair for activities she creates for others. She enjoys going to the theatre, reading, meeting up with friends, and generally making my life impossible (to live without). We met for the first time almost ten years ago in the “Hanoar Haoved” youth movement and just got married last December. We’ve had some amazing adventures together and I look forward to more.
Going on shlichut was a huge decision for us, and one we made happily. We truly believe that there’s a lot for us to learn from the Jewish community abroad and specifically from your community— about ourselves as not only Jews, but as people. We’re bringing our Israel to you — with its good and bad, its complexity, and our love for it. We believe that open, honest conversation with an open heart and mind can bridge even the deepest of disagreements. And that at the end of the day, everybody loves ice cream! We plan on working hard to be a meaningful part of the community and are really excited to start. If there’s anything you’d like to know, or if you just want to chat, you can find us at Uri.Hershkovitz@gmail.com or Gili.Hershkovitz@gmail.com. Please don’t hesitate!
Can’t wait to meet you all!