Mor Roffe landed in Ohio in late August, just as the Akron Jewish community is gearing up to celebrate the High Holidays. As the new Israeli shaliach for Akron and Canton, he might experience a whirlwind of not just meeting people in the communities but also of holiday observances and celebrations. (Roffe shares his thoughts about the holidays in the September AJN.)
In the midst of it all, Roffe will be planning and starting his shaliach programming. Our shlichim have an ambitious agenda: In Akron they provide programs for the Shaw JCC (including the Mandel Early Childhood Center), The Lippman School, the Jewish Community Board of Akron, and all three Akron synagogues. Sometimes, they venture into the greater Akron community, to share an Israeli perspective with non-Jewish audiences.
"I love the shlichim program,” says Robyn Tobias. “They bring a new Jewish perspective to Akron…They come from Israel, where there are different levels of observance and different life experiences that fall within the ‘Jewish’ experience.”
Shlichim become the “go-to” resource in the community for Israel education. They host evening events for adults, like viewings of Israeli films, discussions about Israel’s military or relations with Palestine. They engage with teens through service projects and social gatherings. Shlichim work with students at The Lippman School and students at the synagogue’s Hebrew Schools. They share and kibbitz with senior adults at programs like the Be’Tay Avon Café. They educate community members— and they also energize them, strengthening Jewish identity and connections to Israel.
“The shlichim are a gift to every age and stage in Jewish Akron,” Tobias continues. “They are open and friendly...They allow us to be our better selves [if] we open our hearts our homes to them.”
“Connecting community members to Israel and its people is an important part of JCBA’s mission,” says David Koch, CEO of JCBA. “The shlichim do an excellent job at fulfilling this objective through teaching and programming. They also bring us together and build stronger connections among Jewish Akron community members.”
You make the shlichim program possible. When you support the JCBA's 2019s Annual Campaign, you help support the shlichim program.