My name is Ahuva Mahalel, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some of you this year as Rosh Ken, and years past as a Chanicha. I’ve been involved in Hashomer Hatzair my whole life. My mom made Aliyah to Kibbutz Ein HaShofet, and my dad’s father was very active in the Israeli movement. Needless to say, my parents were very committed to sending me to as many Kenim as possible.
My connection to Hashomer Hatzair as a movement flourished last summer, when my Kvutzah and I went on Yedid. During the European Veida in Rome, I met with Shomrim from across Europe and North America. It was surreal to connect with people who wore the same chultzot, knew the same Rikkudim, and did similar Peulot--and yet, their connection to the movement was so different from our American-Canadian group.
I remember doing a peula where each Ken exchanged t-shirts, and slips of paper with one of our unique traditions. I spoke with the Rosh Ken in Belgium about their weekly Shabbat Dinners, and heard about the value of Hashomer Hatzair as an active community year-round. These conversations are what eventually motivated my decision to become Rosh Ken.
Not too long after the Veida, we took our Hadracha oath on Masada, in Israel. Two months later, I experienced first-hand what being a member of Hadracha meant during Peulat Stav. Throughout the year and over the summer, I learned how to contribute to Mosh as a Madricha, and a member of the community on Tarbut.
As Rosh Ken, I hoped to get more kids to come to the Kenim, and have a meaningful year. After October 7th, being a leader in Hashomer Hatzair took on a more urgent meaning: to ensure the wellbeing of Chanichim, and build dialogue around critical thinking, empathy, peace, security, and justice.
I can say I’ve learned to become a leader in a unique environment; one which requires commitment, adaptability, and patience. Skills I will continue to build as the year goes on.
To me, Shomeric Hagshma means exploring my identity as an Israeli-Jewish teen, and learning what it will mean to me during my Gap year and in college. It means deciding my path in life based on the values I have learned ever since my first peula with Hashomer Hatzair.We are working tirelessly to make sure Hashomer Hatzair is a home to our whole community. Through our collective efforts to build Jewish and Israeli spaces today, we are bringing light into our communities, and supporting them in this time where every one of us needs a little help.