Meet the Jewish Federation’s 2022-2023 Community Shlichim

Each year, The Jewish Federation’s Community Shlichim Program brings shlichim (emissaries) to Greater Washington. The program connects Israelis with our community and transforms how thousands of community members deepen their connection and relationship to Israel.

Through a program of  The Jewish Agency for Israel and generous funding from Federation, our community will benefit from the nation’s largest-ever mishlachat (delegation) of community shlichim to serve in our community’s congregations and schools. The community shlichim are dedicated to the Jewish people, Jewish heritage, and to Israel. They are hand-picked from different parts of Israeli society and diverse professional backgrounds.

In conjunction with their congregations and schools, the shlichim will develop projects surrounding a social impact issue, creating unique programming designed to increase Jewish awareness, knowledge and pride, bridge the gap between Jews of different backgrounds and the State of Israel, and promote an understanding of Israel and its ideals both at their “home” institutions as well as for the larger community. The shlichim, in turn, will discover the diverse and vibrant American Jewish community through their varied experiences in Greater Washington.

Learn more about their lives in Israel, what motivates their mission to educate around the world, and how they inspire others from their stories.

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Uriel Lin

B’nai Israel Congregation

Uriel was born as the youngest of five and raised in a small agricultural moshav (a cooperative agricultural settlement) called Beit Ela’zari. She was born into a family of Zionist pioneers who dedicated their youth to building the country of Israel in its early years. As a child, she took part in the villages youth movement (Bna’i Hamoshavim), and during the summer, worked at the family’s bee farm. Uriel was always curious to see life beyond the moshav and studied in Lod’s science high school, where she was exposed to the coexistence between Jews and Arabs in the city. Afterwards, she pursued her education in the Eastern Mediterranean International School, gaining knowledge and experience from living with friends from over 60 countries in a boarding school. After graduation, Uriel traveled through Europe and the US, meeting some friends along the way. She was drafted to the intelligence unit of the Israeli Defense Forces, where she took a leading role in her team on various meaningful projects. During her service, she also completed the intelligence officers course. After her release, she worked in the defense ministry for one year through a challenging period of security escalation. Uriel is specifically interested in cultural and language exchange. She speaks Hebrew, English, Spanish, and some Arabic, and enjoys traveling solo and hiking through nature. She could see herself working in the field of journalism or social entrepreneurship, helping people bring their story to light and make a change.  

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Abraham Belilty

Shaare Torah

Abraham is from Haifa, bringing with him his cats, Leah and Pluto, to be a part of the Shaare Torah community. Abraham was born in Venezuela and made Aliyah (immigration to Israel) with his family at six years old to Ra’anana. After finishing high school, Abraham began his way in the shlichut (a group of Israeli cultural emissaries) world during his shinshin (year of service) for the Federation of Greater Metro West in New Jersey. He was a combat medic for most of his Israeli Defense Forces service except for a year when he as part of the education corps to encourage and assist teens before army service to have a meaningful and suitable position. While studying for his BA in education and Jewish history, Abraham worked in NOAM, the Israeli conservative youth movement, leading various groups and writing educational programs. Abraham wishes to be a history and Jewish thought teacher in Israel, hoping to share with his students his understanding of Jewish peoplehood. Abraham is a DJ and believes he’s a good dancer, likes cooking and learning (particularly Jewish thought), and he is very excited to be part of this mishlachat (delegation of young Israeli adults)!

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Katya Davidzon

Moed Educational Program – Bethesda &
Ohr Kodesh Congregation – Chevy Chase

Katya was born in Ukraine. In 1998, when she was seven years old, Katya’s family made Aliya and settled in Afula, a city in northern Israel. Katya started fencing when she was nine years old, and since then has won multiple titles including the Israeli championship for fencing, and is a member of the Israeli national fencing team. In 2010, Katya started her army service and was recruited to the Ordnance Corps. Because of her fencing achievements she served in a special unit for athletes. During her army service she got her fencing coach diploma from the Wingate institute. After completing her military service she moved to Kfar Saba and started working as a coach at Hapoel Kfar Saba Fencing Club. Katya also has a B.Ed. in early childhood education from Beit Berl College and has been working as a preschool teacher for the past five years. Katya’s interests include bouldering, hiking, music, reading, and spending time with her family and friends. This is Katya’s third year as a shlicha, but her first at Ohr Kodesh. She is very excited to connect people to Israel through her personal experience.

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Yarden Shiri

Agudas Achim of Northern Virginia

Yarden grew up in Ashkelon, a city on the southern part of Israel’s coast. She studied art in high school and majored in theater, physics, and computer science. During her high school years, Yarden participated in the Diller Teens Fellows Program – a Jewish leadership initiative that invites a select group of students from Israel and the US to lead their communities. That was her first meeting with Jewish communities outside of Israel. After high school, Yarden was drafted to the Israeli Defense Forces, where she served as a computer programmer in the Israeli Intelligence Corps. During that time, she started a degree in computer science. In her free time, Yarden likes to dive, dance, draw, play sports, and watch a good show. Theater is also a big part of her life. She was an actress at the Ashkelon Municipal Theater where they staged original productions on social issues based on personal experiences. After a year of shlichut (a group of Israeli cultural emissaries) at the Jewish Federation of Pensacola Florida, Yarden is excited to start her second year as a shlicha (Israeli emissary) at Agudas Achim.

During her shlichut, Yarden hopes to share, among other things, the story of the Jews of Iraq and, in particular, the story of her family. Yarden feels that her story, and the stories of so many Jews from Arab and Eastern lands, has been somewhat forgotten and that not many people know about the magnificent cultures, the Zionist underground, the struggles, and the stories of them making Aliya to Israel. Yarden grew up watching Iraqi films with her grandma, eating Iraqi food, and hearing her grandparents speak Arabic. She heard a lot of amazing stories about a grand past in Iraq – stories that as a child she couldn’t appreciate enough. Yarden now feels proud that this is her family’s story and that she now has a chance to share it with the Greater Washington community.

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Ido Naaman

B’nai Tzedek

Ido was born in Ramat Magshimim, a small moshav (cooperative settlement) in the Golan Heights. Before his army service, Ido took a gap year and volunteered as a counsellor in a youth village in the Galilee. Ido then served in the Israeli Defense Forces as a tank gunner and an intelligence Sargent. During the last year, Ido worked on kibbutz Nir David, located at the Biet Shean Valley, as the main counsellor at the informal education system for the youth group (7th grade to 12th grade) and for the “Kids House” (3rd and 4th grades) where he led numerous educational programs. Ido enjoys playing guitar, piano, and drums as well as cooking and hiking. He is very excited to be the shaliach at Bnai Tzedek and connect people to Israel.

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Hodiel Lancry

Beth Sholom Congregation and Talmud Torah in Potomac

Hodiel grew up in Nahariya, a city on the northern coast of Israel. As a teenager, she was an active member at the Modern Orthodox youth movement, Bnei Akiva, where her passion for education and leadership was nurtured. (During her high school years, she studied at Ulpanat Tzvia Maalot and was a mentor to younger students.) After graduation, and before being drafted to the army, Hodiel wanted to deepen her Jewish studies and joined Midreshet Lindenbaum in Jerusalem, a place for Orthodox women to reinforce their knowledge and personal connection to Judaism. Hodiel served in the Israeli Defense Forces as a commander of soldiers who were new immigrants, taught them Hebrew, and provided enrichment lessons and social values in preparation for their army service. In her free time, Hodiel likes to spend time with family and friends, enjoys learning history and traveling around Israel on foot or with a bicycle. When she has the chance, she goes the theatre and the movies. Hodiel is very excited to be a part of the shlichut (a group of Israeli cultural emissaries) at Beth Sholom.

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Yehoon Bayih

Olam Tikvah & MoEd

Yehoon was born in Ethiopia to a single mother, the youngest of five siblings, and made Aliyah (immigrated to Israel) in 2001. Throughout his school years, Yehoon was an active member of a local youth movement and a summer camp counselor. His passion for youth and education led him to work at Ramah summer camp and sparked his desire to continue working with Jewish communities around the world, eventually applying to the Jewish Agency Shlichim (Israeli emissary) Program. Yehoon is an enthusiastic hiker and feels that hiking in Israel is a way for him to express his Jewishness. He appreciates good food and a good cup of coffee, and sees those hobbies as an opportunity to connect to people. He is thrilled for the opportunity to be a part of Olam Tikvah and MoEd and hopes to be a vessel to connect people to Israel and to the Ethiopian culture and heritage.

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Dean Bagdadi

Pozez JCC of Northern Virginia

Dean is married with two cats and has lived in Be’er Sheva in the south of Israel his whole life. He comes from a mixed background of both secular and traditional Jewish families with roots across the globe. Before embarking to be a part of the shlichut (a group of Israeli cultural emissaries), he was part of “The movement for quality government in Israel,” which is a non–profit NGO that combats corruption and works for a better, more efficient and more qualified administration in Israel. He has experience in the civil society field, community engagement, and public affairs. Dean loves cooking and baking, camping, and is a big video and board game geek. Dean has a bachelor’s in political science and business management from Ben Gurion University (BGU). During his undergraduate years, he was the chairperson of the board for the student’s union of BGU, part of an ADL leadership delegation, an intern for the national student’s union foreign relations and government office, part of four political campaigns, a formal and informal education instructor, and a social media manager for Jusidman academic youth center. During his army service, he was a logistics officer who ranked up to captain and still takes part as a reservist commander for supply convoys.

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Snir Holtzman

Temple Emanuel

Snir was born in Tel-Aviv and raised in Holon. Before becoming a shaliach (Israeli emissary), Snir volunteered in his neighborhood’s community center as a youth counselor, where he led and mentored youth groups of different ages. He served in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) as a drill sergeant, later becoming a staff sergeant in BHD 11, the IDF’s training base and school of Human Resources. He worked with new recruits joining the IDF, teaching them the basics of serving in the army and much more. After his service, Snir worked at Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute, a summer camp in Oconomowoc, WI for two summers. He was a counselor in the chalutzim (Pioneers in the building of the State of Israel) program, a Hebrew immersive program for rising sophomores and juniors, and as Sgan (second in command) in Avodah, the camp’s Counselor in Training program. He also worked at Alexander Muss High School in Israel, a boarding school in Hod Hasharon and was a counselor of a group of seniors (class of 2022) from Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Maryland during their semester in Israel, teaching them about Israel, Judaism, and their Jewish identities. Snir enjoys working out, hiking, cooking, and reading. He’s also very into film, television, and filmmaking. He wanted to become a shaliach to create meaningful and deep relationships with Jewish youth and young adults in the Greater Washington Jewish community and help them navigate growing up and shaping their Jewish identity and relationship to Israel.

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Rut Shtikan

Makom

Rut is from Givatayim. She was born to a family that made Aliyah from Russia back in the 1990s. She began her social activity as a guide and youth coordinator at Bnei Akiva Youth movement. Later, she did her National Service at a youth village for at risk children and, afterwards, went straight to study Behavioral Science at Ariel University. During the last year, Rut worked as HR at Beit Ekstein, the leading organization in Israel for people with special needs. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, going out with friends, having family time, and meeting new people from different cultures.

Senior Shaliach

Photo of Hagai Dagan Schlachter

Hagai Dagan Schlachter

Senior Shaliach, The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington is thrilled to welcome Hagai Dagan Schlachter to our community as our senior shaliach (Israeli emissary)! Learn about his background, career path, and what he hopes to bring to Greater Washington.

*Through the Imagine Israel initiative, Federation fulfills its long-standing commitment to connecting Washingtonians with Israel and Israelis through the lens of social chance. A wide variety of social impact programs foster meaningful relationships with the country and its people – programs that make real, sustained impact locally and in Israel.