Ofri and Tohar Kait begin their shlichut in the Akron and Canton Jewish communities in September. Like Shirel and Eran Bin Nun and other shlichim before them, the Kaits will serve as an educational and cultural link to Israel, facilitating various programs and events. Here, they share a little about themselves.
I grew up in Kibbutz Ga’ash, north of Tel Aviv near the shores of Israel. You will have a hard time convincing me that Ga’ash beach isn’t the most beautiful beach in Israel, and because of that I spent most of my childhood by its sands & waves.
Ga’ash was established in the early ‘50s by South Americans who have made a form of Aliyah. My parents, Danny and Deborah, are Argentinian, which they are very (very!) proud of. I am the youngest of three siblings, love my older brother Ro’ee and my older sister Ayelet, and am the proud uncle of four.
A lot of my childhood was spent playing outside, working in the dairy barn and, well, school. But, without question, my main hobby was basketball, which I’ve played since I was a little child. At one point, I even made the Israeli national team – so tell David Blatt, LeBron James and Kevin Love that their new main fan from Israel has arrived.
As I mentioned, I am of Argentinian descent (You can find notable traits & evidence of that), so I’m an avid beef & meat eater, especially the traditional Argentinian food empanadas, which I get to enjoy every Friday, when my entire family comes for a Shabbat dinner, and my mom serves her heavenly dish.
While I was in my junior high years, I went on a Shlihut to Rio, Brazil with my parents, which was one of the most significant experiences of my life. I was introduced to a new culture, new people and a new language. It made me fall in love with Brazilian culture & life and with Rio itself. Plus, I to learned some samba, Portuguese, surfing and also the ability to be happy, as only Brazilians know how.
After returning to Israel and finishing high school, I joined the IDF, where I had meaningful service as a combatant and field trainer in the Moran Special Forces unit. While in the IDF, I’ve had the fortune of finding my love, the best thing that ever happened–my wife Tohar Gofer (Now Kait!) .
I grew up in Moshav Nir-Banim. We have a big yard and greenhouses of roses in the back of our house. Every Shabbat we go and pick many roses and fill the house with them. Growing up I loved going on trips, camps and participating in all the activities in “Bney Hamoshavim movement.”
My parents, Tzvi and Ester, made tshuva and are now leading religious lives. I am the oldest of six siblings--Tzlil, Amarel, Artal, Meshii and Adin. They all call me “Toshi.” I love spending time with my family and we are very close.
About two years ago, I started “Collarette” with my 90-year old grandmother - a boutique that sells one-of-a-kind, unique crocheted items that are elegant and vintage-like, which we both make together by ourselves.
I’ve been a vegetarian since I was six years old, and my favorite food is Israeli salad. This might be considered ironic, because my husband’s favorite food is meat.
When I was ten years old I moved with my family to Bangalore, India on a business mission. We lived there for almost three years, traveled a lot, and I still have friends from my class there who I keep in touch with.
I’ve been a sports enthusiast since I was a child. I was a member of the long distance running team in my high school. Having completed the Wingate Institute’s Fitness Trainer Course, I’ve been doing personal training, which is one of the things I love to do the most and hope to keep doing along whatever path I take in life.
When we get the chance, Ofri and I love to spend time together in Israel’s many beautiful sights & sites. Especially its lovely restaurants and cinemas.