Noam Grinfeld was our Israeli Shlichah (Emissary) at the JCC Denver from 2016-2017.
She was sent by the Jewish Agency for Israel with the help of JEWISHcolorado in order to strengthen the connection between Israel and our Jewish community. We were lucky enough to reconnect with Noam recently to see what she’s up to in her home country of Israel, as well as her plans for Israel’s 70th!
Where are you currently living in Israel?
I live in Jerusalem, while going to the Hebrew U for Bio-Medical Science.
Where are you working now?
I am working part-time for JAFI as part of the screening team for future Shlichim. We do team dynamics and interviews to look for the next generation to go in the field.
What’s your favorite activity to do on the weekend?
On the weekends I love hanging out with my family and friends and going hiking.
What do you miss about Colorado?
Wow, there are so many things that I miss in Colorado–being part of the community of course, but also the outdoors, the weather, and the calm tempo compared to Israel.
How are you celebrating Israel’s 70th Birthday?
For the 70th birthday of Israel, I will go to a big party that is held traditionally in the David Tower in the old city of Jerusalem and then, during the day, after we will have a big Barbecue (“Al Ha’esh”–”On the fire” in free translation) with many guests at my parents’ house in the Moshav.
What is your favorite thing about being Israeli?
I think my favorite thing about being Israeli is the feeling of belonging. To a people, to a land, and to a culture. Especially after experiencing a long period of time abroad, I can definitely say that this country is where I feel that I know the people around me, the traditions, the food, the music, and the views. There is something about being among other Israelis that makes me feel safe, calm, and a part of something strong and united.
As a part of reconnecting with Noam, we asked Debbie Goodman, our Director of Jewish Life & Learning, how Noam impacted our J:
“Noam’s shlichut at the J and in the community was very successful. At the J, Noam built relationships with many staff members, was a regular at talkbacks of Israeli films at the Denver Jewish Film Fest, was a staff member for Maccabi, spent the summer at Ranch Camp, and more! Noam reached out into the community to engage personally with individuals and families, and was invited as a speaker and to implement programs at a number of institutions both in the Jewish community and the larger Denver community. Some of those included DU Hillel, Boulder JCC, Beth Evergreen, Kavod on the Road, Hadassah, Moishe House, and the Faith Bible Chapel–just to name a few. The main goal of shlichut is to bring Israel to a community in a meaningful, positive, and enduring way. Noam is an expert in doing this! She is such a great person and is so easy to engage. The biggest impact Noam had in all the work that she did was to share her passion for Israel and the Jewish people in a genuine and meaningful way. She gave us this gift that will remain with us for the rest of our lives.”