Dear Hashomer Community,
Whenever I think of goodbyes this song keeps playing in my head, feel free to listen to it while you read this letter.
As my time on Shlichut wraps up and my family and I get ready to head back to the Holy Land, I wanted to say goodbye and look back on the amazing journey I've had with this wonderful movement and community.
These past two years have been a rollercoaster of experiences, with lots of ups and a few challenges thrown in for good measure. But everything I achieved, I did with all of you.
Our Hashomer Hatzair team got a boost with the addition of Randy, our Development Manager, Adam, our Site Manager, and more recently, Eden, our educational Shlicha. Linda retired, and Hadar stepped up with some fantastic ideas to keep our finances on track.
Our fundraising endeavors over the past two years stand out, particularly the Yachad for Ukraine campaign, which garnered 295 gifts from 255 contributors, and the “Yom Mosh” campaign for capital improvements to Moshava, which raised over $71,349 from 204 gifts by 176 supporters.
After some ups and downs with having Bogrim for movement leadership That were also full time students, we're flipping the script with Omer and Yuval. They're diving into the role after deciding to spend a year in Brooklyn. I've chatted with them, and they're all set to take our year-round activities up a notch.
Our Yedid program to Israel has flourished, securing a $3,000 voucher per participant along with an infrastructure grant for the Rootone program. This year, we anticipate 40 new Kibbutzi participants from North America.
Significant improvements have graced our campgrounds, courtesy of a $150,000 security grant from NY state. We've updated the main gate, doors, windows, and security features. We acquired new kitchen appliances. Generous donation from Dan and Tal brought us a new freezer and refrigerator plus a ventilation system.
Five tzrifim got a makeover with fresh bunk beds, and we've been tackling maintenance across the board. While we've still got more on our to-do list, I'm confident that Adam's got what it takes to keep us moving forward (next up: the pool).
Our activities have thrived, surpassing pre-COVID numbers. Our largest winter camp to date materialized, and successful collaborations with organizations like the Society for Humanistic Judaism have taken root, including a joint Purim event.
I also wanted to share my excitement about the incredible 100th reunion we hosted not so long ago, which brought together a whopping 600 Shomrim. It was a truly remarkable event that showcased bonds that tie us together. Witnessing so many Shomrim coming together to celebrate and reconnect was a testament to the lasting impact of our movement. The energy and enthusiasm of that gathering affirmed the significance of Hashomer Hatzair in shaping the lives of countless individuals, and I feel privileged to have been a part of that historic milestone.
Our left-wing Jewish partnerships are booming. We're even featured in PPIs "Israel Horizons" newsletter, reaching 15,000 readers. NIF, Jstreet, Ameinu – they all see us as key players on the progressive scene.
A strategic plan, formulated in tandem with JCamp 180, has paved our path ahead and presents new opportunities for growth.
Huge thanks to every single person who made this ride possible – our rockstar team of Lior (last year), Roni, Adam, Randy, Hadar, Linda and Eden, our dedicated board members, and of course, my amazing Wife and family.
I hope that in our interactions, both within the organization and beyond it, you've sensed that I reflect and operate through the values of Hashomer Hatzair; equality, respect, truth, honesty, and a commitment to justice for all people. I believe that being a member of Hashomer, both as a Chanich and a Boger, means embodying and implementing the movement's values in every human encounter. I've always strived to do so with transparency and a profound dedication to the movement.
Should you find yourself in Israel, please don't hesitate to reach out and visit. You can contact me via my personal email address firstname.lastname@example.org, or reach me directly at my Israeli phone number: +972546738761.
Chazak ve'ematz (Strength and courage),