By Robin B. Zeiger, Ph.D.
On my recent visit to Richmond, I was welcomed by so many readers and friends. They went out of their way to tell me how much they appreciate the personal touch to my Emek- Hefer - Richmond Partnership 2000 articles. I am truly blessed with two sets of friends and two homes.
Nadav: Shaliach with a Purpose
My recent interview with Nadav Schachter, the new Richmond Shaliach left me very impressed. At first blush, Nadav 22 presents as a typical Israeli young adult. Born and raised in Neve Itamar, a small yeshuv, near Netanya, Nadav has two older brothers and a 16-year old sister. Nadav's parents are both hard-working physicians. For the past four years, Nadav served in the Intelligence Core of the Israel Defense Force. Nadav's hobbies are hiking and cooking.
Here that Nadav's story takes a different path. After the army, many Israelis take the time to travel and have fun. Nadav consciously chose a different route; to serve his country while traveling. Thus, his Shaliach job. He proudly told me he is walking in the footsteps of his late grandfather, who also served as a Shaliach in South Africa in 1962 and in Australia in 1980..
Nadav explained, "I don't need to take the paved road." Rather he loves challenges. Nadav explains he was influenced by his participation with a Birthright group here in Israel. Nadav experiences some sadness as he realized how little American Jewish youth truly know about life in Israel.
With amusement, he told me Birthright participants rode a camel, most for the first time in their lives. The students were shocked to learn this was Nadav's first camel ride too. Together, Nadav and I mused that the students must think we travel around by camel on a routine basis.
What would Nadav like to accomplish in Richmond, in his words, "Two things. To connect fellow Jews to one another and to teach American Jews more about Israel."
Many in partnered communities of Emek- Hefer and Richmond are looking forward to the renewal of the Partnership 2000 (P2K) Shaliach project, after a year's interlude.
I agree with everyone who was involved in his selection are convinced Nadav will accomplish his goals and make his mark in Richmond. Nadav is personable and easy to talk to. He is both humble and self-assured. He appreciates his strengths, but he is also not afraid to ask and to learn.
Nadav's mother added, "When our family does something, we really DO it." My short visit had convinced me t she is right. I am delighted Nadav is coming to join Richmond, in yet another Partnership 2000 project, which connects Emek Hefer, Israel and Richmond.
I know people in both communities are The Partnership 2000 committees and staff, as well as everyone in Emek Hefer, wish him success and are looking forward to hearing his stories from "across the sea". I am very excited I will be working with him this year!