Friday, August 10, 2012

Community Shlicha Shoshi Bogoch Bids San Diego Farewell

This week the Jewish Federation of San Diego County says a heartfelt farewell to our dear Community Shlicha, Shoshi Bogoch, who returns to Israel this week.  We'd like to share with you, our Jewish community, her parting words.  She will be missed.

Shoshi wrote:

 אם אשכחך ירושלים תשכח ימיני 

This prayer is one of the most famous in Judaism, we say it under the Chupa right before the groom breaks the cup. For years this sentence that was turned into a song symbolized the longing for Israel. I didn’t know and didn’t feel how meaningful it is till I came here. I discovered a different side of my Jewish identity and I can definitely say that even though Judaism is a way of life for me, I was born and raised in Israel, speaking Hebrew, lived in Jerusalem; my Judaism changed and was shaped here.

In San Diego I discovered how Israel can bring unity and closeness from so far and how a school, a synagogue or a JCC Yoga class can be both a family-like community and a source of warmth and support. I learned how Judaism survived without land but with constant effort by active community leaders to make it relevant and accessible. I feel lucky to be a part of it. Every day I felt fortunate to work with you for the Jewish people and for Israel from the platform of the Jewish Federation of San Diego and I would like to thank you for that.

My Shlichut tenure began in August 2009, continuing the work of the first three Shlichim at the Jewish Federation since 1997.

The main areas in which I have focused my energies are in Israel Travel, Partnership Development with Sha’ar HaNegev, Yom Ha’atzmaut/San Diego Celebrates Israel, and Israel Advocacy. Briefly, I will describe a few accomplishments that I think made an important difference in unifying the Jewish community in San Diego with Israel:
In Israel Travel – I led teens in a life changing community teen trip , I provided more than 100 MASA participants with personal guidance to find the right travel program for them in Israel, and helped award $170,750 to 156 applicants ages 13-26 in my three years here.

In Partnership Development with Sha’ar HaNegev–I was honored to work closely with Jon Schneider, then-Chair of the Israel & Overseas Partnership Committee, and Lisa Haney, then-Acting Director of the I & O Center (as well as Community Planning Director) to join the Jewish Agency’s Partnership 2Gether to deepen our connections and build enduring ties between our communities and through several collaborative projects . 

With San Diego Celebrates Israel – In 2010 for the first time, we moved Yom Ha’atzmaut to a highly visible location in Mission Bay Park and collaborated with 40 community partners plus merchants to celebrate Israel as a community, in the largest 1-day gathering of the SD Jewish community.

In the area of Israel Education and Advocacy – We at the I&O Center, together with Linda Feldman, the Jewish Community Relations Center Director, initiated the Israel Advocacy Leadership Forum(IALF), which has grown to 18 organizations, convening monthly to plan San Diego Community advocacy and action on behalf of Israel.

And now I would like to say few personal notes:

First I would like to thank my dear husband, Yoel, for his endless support for teaching me what a real friendship and dedication is, To my kids that for three years had to tell their friends how great Israel is and for being little but very effective Shlichim.

To Lisa Haney, that came to our house three and a half years ago and chose us to be the bridge from San Diego to Israel and for her guidance in the past three years.
I would like to thank Dana for being so helpful through all the way, to Nurit that step up whenever it was needed and both of you for putting this great celebration together. Thank you Debbie for taking the lead on the Israel and Overseas Center I wish you luck and may the Israel Center will grow and prosper.

I would like to thank Federation leaders and my colleagues in the past and present for their dedication for Israel and for this Jewish Community and for Jewish communities around the world.

Going back to Israel knowing that there are so many people who care so much for us is a pleasure. Strong Jewish communities around the world will make Israel stronger. Please keep your connection to the Community and to Israel.

King David wrote:

How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together

הנה מה טוב ומה נעים שבת אחים גם יחד 

As I said to many friends that came to say good bye to us in the past weeks our home in Israel is your home, please take a magnet and keep in touch we would love to see you in Jerusalem.

On behalf of my family, I would like to thank you and Lehitraot.


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