2023 Hanukkah Spotlight: Sapir Atias, English Desk Coordinator of Hashomer Hatzair World Movement

My name is Sapir Atias, and I am the English speaking countries desk coordinator at Hashomer Hatzair World Movement. I was also a shlicha at the ken in Australia for two and a half years.

My first introduction to Hashomer Hatzair was in 2004 that I came to mosh as a madricha for Through Other Eyes. At the end of the summer I took an oath in the Mifkad Esh, and kept coming back for years. By training I am a social worker and an English teacher. I found a home in Hashomer Hatzair again in 2019 when I went on shlichut. My time at mosh, made me always look for a meaningful work that will reach as many people as possible. The discovery of new concepts and ideas, the strength of the individual and the kvutza, the power of knowledge, the importance of our words and language, about socialism and society, gender, equality, feminism, and how intelligent and responsible young people can be.

For a girl from a small and conservative town in Israel, to see how engaged people are on the other side of the world, choosing to spend their summers educating the new generation, was quite amazing.

Today, I accompany three kenim from around the world with those important subjects and run projects like Masa Le'Polin for the World Movement.

I think we provide a different voice in a horrible situation. A voice that manages to look beyond, mediate the different layers and complexity, think of healing and the day after. This allows me now, even as an Israeli who lives in Ashkelon, the city that received the most bombs during this war, in a time when all of us are sensitive and having difficulty looking beyond our own pain, to remember that the only way is together and peace.

My message to the Shomeric community is to continue to be critical of the situation, while supporting all those who were effected, focusing on the human and social factor, and the healing process. To remember that our Zionism includes our right to be, but that we are not here alone, and all people deserve to live without the threat of harm.

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