Dear Community,

While you are reading these words, we are already in Israel, although part of us is still in New Zealand with you.

We have had an incredible three years with you and an unforgettable experience. We were very lucky to have such a warm and welcoming community and we have been privileged to get to know you and work alongside you.

As Israelis, until we came here, for us to be Jewish was to wake up in the morning and just be ourselves, without any need to do something special or ‘work’ for this identity. Here, we learnt that this is not the case everywhere and to be Jewish you need to put in effort and need to be active. We found lots of people within the community with a lot of passion and enthusiasm, who put their free time (and work hours too) in various community activities and events, working in the wee hours of the night and making sure their children will have a Jewish future here in New Zealand.

Working with a receptive community, who wants to learn and be educated was fantastic and made our work easier and enjoyable.

It was important for us to make every event relevant to you, the members of the community, to be meaningful and inspiring. We tried to bring ‘Israel’ as much as possible and we hope your heart has grown with your love for Israel.

As a community Shlichim we worked under the Zionist Federation of New Zealand. We couldn’t have achieved even 10% of what we have during our shlichut without the ZF which is the driving force behind all those amazing events, such as the YOMS, JLC/Limmud, Educational Seminars and so many more.  Vision, guidance, support, belief and partnership, like we had from the ZF, are qualities any Shaliach around the world would love to have.

A BIG thanks to Rachel, Avi and the kids who have been like a family to us beyond what we could have ever expected.

Our involvement in the Youth Movements was also a huge part of our shlichut. We believe the youth movements, Habonim Dror and Bnei Akiva have a huge role in the community and it was very important for us to bring them to the centre of the community, and we hope they will continue with the significant work they do.

Kadimah College and the Sunday school made sure we wouldn’t have a day off J We strongly believe the schools play an irreplaceable central role within New Zealand’s growing community. We are waiting with excitement for the day when we are visited in Israel by the children who were part of our life.

There are so many people and organizations that did and continue to do wonderful work here, unfortunately we are limited for space and we can’t mention all of you, so we apologise in advance.

We believe in continuity and the new Shlichim, Osnat & Udi. They both have a lot of experience working in Jewish communities around the world and we are sure they will do amazing work here. I am sure you will all welcome them with the same hospitality you have shown us. We wish them good luck and a successful Shlichut.

We encourage you to continue to believe in the community here, as we do, and continue with the amazing work you do. The Jewish Community in New Zealand is vibrant and on the Jewish world map. And remember; whenever you are on our side of the world, there will always be an open door, a cup of coffee and some hummus.

Love and already missing you,

Maya & Dudi

Shlichim, 2007-2010

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