If you'd ask me 10 months ago where would I be when I'm writing the farewell letter, Israel is the last place I thought I'd be. But here I am, at home for 2 weeks and trying to sum up my experiences from this past year, from a place that was a second home to me.
10 months ago when I started the shlichut program, I didn't know exactly what it is or what to expect- just like you didn't really know what is the actual meaning of the Hebrew word "shlichut". I was sent by JAFI (Jewish Agency for Israel) to the States, to live and work with a Jewish community and to be "a bridge" between them and Israel. Heavy burden on one's shoulders.
The people I met made Howard County a home for me even before I arrived. I especially recall the email from Tanenholtz's and Shapiro's, asking me what food and snacks I like, so they can fill my fridge for me!
This past year I found a community of amazing people, who want to learn, care about Israel and love it with all their hearts. By "people" I mean absolutely everyone I met- from tots and kids in pre-school, to all kids in religious schools, teen's groups, students, young families, adults and seniors.
Lastly, I couldn't have done this without you- lay leaders and volunteers from our community- Toda raba! I'd like to thank especially to Meghann and everyone in the federation: Michelle O, Michelle G, Jessica, Sophie, Jonah and Lauren- you guys were more than just colleagues, from the bottom of my heart: Toda raba!
I'll return home, to Israel, grateful for having this wonderful and meaningful experience and memories. In a way, Howard County has deepened my Israeli-Jewish roots by giving me a unique and enriching perspective. I'll always remember Howard County community and the next time you are in Israel, know that you have a friend.