“We weren’t always a people with a land, so it’s really important to connect to it and know it,” says Bat El Trabelsi, the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s new shlicha. Shlichim are emissaries from Israel who serve as resources to our communities, and as shlicha, Bat El’s entire focus will be on building connections to Israel. “I want to reach as many people as possible,” she says. “I want to make sure Israel is always on the table.”

The Jewish Federation’s shlichut program is a personalized Israel education program in which, at no cost to the communities, our shlicha provides Israel-focused programs and workshops. Our previous shaliach, Raoul Molnar, spent the last year hosting over 70 kinds of programs, and focused much of his time in Bucks and Chester counties. We wish him well on his return to Israel.

Few people could be better equipped to fill Raoul’s shoes as an Israel educator than Bat El. She has lived in the Israeli cities of Kfar Saba, Einav, Zefat, Kiryat Shmona, Tel Aviv and on Kibbutz Hannaton. As a commander in the Israel Defense Forces, she served in a border intelligence unit; afterwards she received her B.A. from Tel Hai Academic College. Bat El has worked as a Partnership2Gether Living Bridge Coordinator for the Jewish Agency and, for the past three years, at Mechina Kdam Tzvait, a pre-army leadership program.

“In those three years I became much more educated about politics and civil issues,” she says. “As of late, there has been so much that could potentially rip apart the Jewish people and I want to be part of the effort to bring people together. That’s why I’m here.” Bat El intends to bring all aspects of Israeli life and culture to Greater Philadelphia, so her workshops will cover everything from pop culture to politics. In her two years as shlicha, Bat El plans to be active with the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s NextGen group, as well as support programs and events surrounding Birthright and our Partnership2Gether program.

Find out more information about Bat El, her areas of expertise and the workshops she offers. Contact Bat El at shlicha@jewishphilly.org or 215.834.4130 to find the perfect way for her to connect Israel to your community.