Amnon Maggid — Connecting Israel & Cincinnati
Jewish Federation Welcomes New Young Israeli Emissaries
I am pleased to introduce you to our two new Friends from Israel, or Chaverim M’Israel, 18-year-old Liat Falah and 18-year-old Stav Barkai, who will be serving the Cincinnati community as this year’s Chaverim m’Israel (Friends from Israel). Liat and Stav are from Netanya, Cincinnati’s partnership city in Israel, and were selected as the top two candidates from that city to represent Israel in Cincinnati. Both have chosen to defer their army service in Israel for a year in order to help the Cincinnati community form an increased awareness of and a connection with the land, culture, and people of Israel through education and interpersonal relationships.
Liat graduated from ORT Yad Leibovitz High School, where she majored in theatre and biology. She was active in the Israeli Scouts program and held leadership roles within her tribe. She was a young reporter at the 2009 Maccabiah Games, an international Jewish and Israeli multi-sport event, and she volunteered at S.O.S Animals, an animal rescue agency in Netanya.
“I can’t wait to bring my own Israel experience to Cincinnati, so people understand what it’s like to grow up in Israel,” Liat said. “I hope that in the end, I will have broken down some stereotypes and stigmas about Israel.”
Liat will be staying with host families in Wyoming and Symmes Township.
Stav studied chemistry and biology at Ish Shalom High School. Last year he was a coordinator and instructor in his Israeli scout tribe. He is a member of the Israeli National Orienteering Team; he competes in the elite division and has competed in two European championships.
“‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.’ My first step is to hear. Hear what the community has to say,” Stav said. “I’ll learn about this culture, and then I want to teach the values I grew up on in Israel. To complete the journey, I will go back to Israel and bring what I have learned.”
Stav will be staying with host families in Wyoming and Hyde Park.
Liat and Stav will go many schools and organizations throughout Cincinnati to help teach about Israel and to help Cincinnatians develop connections with the country. They have regular visits to Rockwern Academy and area congregations’ Sunday schools. In addition, they visit Jewish, public, and parochial schools in Greater Cincinnati.
Follow Liat and Stav on Facebook. The Chaverim/Friends of Israel Program is part of the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Partnership2Gether Program, which is one of over fifty programs and agencies funded in part by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati.
The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati: We look at the whole picture, taking into account the diverse needs of the entire community. Together we can do almost anything.
Thanks to you and the help of our partner agency, Liat and Stav will be here all year, sharing what they knows about Israel and building bridges between our two communities.