As we thank and wish luck to Elad Mayer, we welcome aboard Meitav Tesler Schimmel, the new Yisraelim Director.
Let’s get to know Meitav.
- Where are you from? Where did you grow up?
I was born in Moshav Nov in the Golan Heights to a farming family. We have the best nectarines and plums in Israel – guaranteed! I decided to raise my family in Alon, a place in the north of the Judean Desert that is distant and different from the Golan. Alon is a diverse community of religious and secular people who choose to live together in a communal setting.
- What were you doing before working at Mosaic United?
I have always worked in the non-profit sector, otherwise known as a career in tikkun olam. I started my career as a professional in the Israeli scouts, and managing different projects and programs in the social sector. In 2010, my family and I went to Stockholm on behalf of the Jewish Agency and World Bnei Akiva. Our four meaningful years as emissaries (shlichim) in Sweden allowed us to able to look at Israeli society from the outside, and taught us from a different point of view the complexity and opportunities that Israeli society has. I learned quite fast how crucial global Jewry is to Israel and how little Israelis know of it.
- How did you first get involved in working with Israelis abroad?
During our shlichut in Stockholm, we figured out pretty quickly that no matter what we did the Israelis never came to any of the activities we ran. Identity is very important to Israelis living in Stockholm, but they don’t feel a sense of belonging or connection to the local Jewish community. Since one of my favorite things is sports and I had connections to the Jewish community, I formed a Mamanet club, a group for mothers who play netball. After a number of games, a community was formed. We opened a Facebook group and hosted events dedicated to Israelis in the area, and the community is still active to this day.
- What do you like most about working with Israelis abroad?
I think that Israel as a country must nurture and cherish the relationship with global Jewry. This is our duty. And what do I like about it? I like the diversity. Working with people that think different than I do helps me to grow and be creative.
- What was your first impression of Mosaic United?
A great organization with people that want to make the world a better place!
- What will your job entail?
Meeting with Israelis that choose to live around the world, that have an interest in preserving their connection to Israel and nurturing their and their children’s Jewish identity. At the end of the day, identity is crucial to growth and self-fulfillment of each and every one of us.
- How will you define success?
Success will be if every Israeli around the world will be able to be part of a Jewish-Israeli community wherever he chooses to live – by making the Israeli communities accessible and simple to join for all Israelis.
- What are the values that drive you?
The value that drives me is my love and feeling of responsibility for Israeli society. Especially with so much social polarization, when so much energy is devoted to finding the differences between groups, I choose to focus on the things that unite us.
- What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
Yoga! I think it’s important to find a few moments a week to take a break and focus on yourself. Highly recommended!
- If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I would love to have coffee with any woman who has managed a significant venture successfully. I am always happy to learn more about work-life balance and how to achieve self-realization.