Yedidya and Sivan Rahav Meir, far right, pose with World Mizrachi head Rabbi Doron Perez and other leaders from the Jewish body..
(photo credit: WORLD MIZRACHI)
In a surprise announcement, popular religious journalist Sivan Rahav Meir is heading to North America with her radio-personality husband Yedidiya on shlichut, World Mizrachi said on Wednesday.
“Connecting Diaspora Jewry to Israel is an invigorating and exciting challenge,” Rahav Meir told The Jerusalem Post. “We have already gotten many invitations from communities and institutions, and we are trying to respond to all of them.”
She said her weekly sermon started with a group of singles in Jerusalem, and she saw it as a great compliment that she would continue it at Yeshiva University.
“We are so excited about reaching out to our brothers and sisters who we don’t know yet,” she said.
Rahav Meir wrote on Facebook that over the past few months, she had been flying to the United States for a lecture series, during which she had met thousands of Jews.
“Each time I went there, I felt how important it was, how much we all share the same story, and it is not an Israeli story – it is a global one,” she explained. “But as each lecture series came to an end, I felt that I was stopping in the middle. I had to turn down invitations to speak at another school, university campus or congregation because I had to go back home.”
She said it was then that Rabbi Doron Perez, the head of World Mizrachi, “offered us to go and live in the States for an entire year as shlichim of the movement – to teach, to meet, to lecture.
“What a challenging, frightening and exciting proposal!”
Rahav Meir and her husband said that they had thought about the offer at length, had also taken advice, “and we agreed to take up the suggestion.”
“Yedidya, the children and I will be living in New York next year… The lectures will be mainly in New York, but we will also visit communities all over the States,” she said. “We are not leaving tomorrow; we plan to travel in mid-August before Elul – for one year.”
She made it clear that although they plan to work hard there, they will continue doing “what we love to do here in Israel – the Daily WhatsApp, TV and the [Army Radio] radio show.”
“We are not cutting our ties with Israel,” Rahav Meir emphasized. “We are going to connect with more people, to our brothers and sisters that we don’t yet know.”
The TV and radio host said that while she and her family plans for their year-long trip, she is “already beginning to be homesick for Israel.”
“We hope and pray that we will be successful,” Rahav Meir added.
Speaking to the Post
, Perez said that “Rahav Meir is a household name in Israel.”
“We wanted to bring her Torah wisdom to the world and connect American Jewry to Israel in a meaningful way,” he said. “Sivan and her husband, Yedidya, are a power couple, and during their time in North America as the World Mizrachi shlichim, they will undoubtedly make a tremendous impact.”
The World Mizrachi head explained that both assimilation and of delegitimization of Israel “are two... great challenges facing the Jewish world today.”
“The antidote to both is strengthening Jewish identity and highlighting the centrality of Israel in Jewish destiny,” Perez continued. “As our shlichim, Sivan and Yedidya will become ambassadors in bringing this message to the broadest possible audience.”
To make it possible, Perez said that World Mizrachi “has partnered with Bnei Akiva of the US and Canada... to bring this project to fruition. With their vast experience and shared values, they are a natural partner in this shlichut.”
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