El Al Ambassadors program takes flight once more after two years away

EL AL pilots and top flight personnel are taking time from their layovers to speak to audiences at universities, religious centers and many public events.

 El Al's ambassador program will once again take off after two years on the ground due to COVID-19. (photo credit: ANASTASIA SHUB)
El Al's ambassador program will once again take off after two years on the ground due to COVID-19.
(photo credit: ANASTASIA SHUB)

Israeli airline El Al, together with StandWithUs, has relaunched its successful EL AL Ambassadors program after two years of being shut down due to COVID-19.

EL AL pilots and top flight personnel are taking time out from their layovers to speak to audiences at universities, religious centers andin other public spaces, educating them about Israeli life.

The initiative is for audience members "to see Israel through the eyes of its people: the diverse faces of EL AL, who represent Israelis from all different backgrounds and walks of life," StandWithUs said in their announcement.

It first launched in 2011 as a joint initiative of EL AL, StandWithUs, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

Since its first launch, thousands of people worldwide have participated in the "people-to-people" programs with many more events planned for 2023.

El Al plane (credit: ERIC GAILLARD/REUTERS)El Al plane (credit: ERIC GAILLARD/REUTERS)

Who are the participants from EL AL?

"I am proud to take part in this program because I want to share the story of our people and share the values and complexities that underpin our country," El Al First Officer Adam Rubin said. "As someone who chose to make Aliya to Israel from Canada, it is a way to pay forward the dream that I have realized."

Rubin has been a First Officer in EL AL for seven years and will be a part of the Ambassadors program this year.

Another participant speaking at the initiative is a senior flight attendant, Dimitriy Stepanov, who was born and raised in Ukraine before moving to Israel. Stepanov was recently a part of the rescue flights sent by EL AL to Ukraine to rescue Ukrainian refugees.

StandWithUs and EL AL are excited about the relaunching

"EL AL is proud to bring back the Ambassadors program after years of successful activity," Vice President of Human Resources at EL AL Lior Bozaglo said in a statement.

"It is a unique project in the Israeli landscape with everything being done out of love for the country and with the voluntary efforts of everyone. Our volunteer ambassadors are doing no less sacred work, bringing hearts closer and changing the way Israel is viewed.

"It is my privilege to thank and express my gratitude to Efrat Ralbrook, who manages the EL AL ambassador program project since 2018, as well as Shani Yahav and Alik Harpaz, who manage the training program."

"I salute EL AL for putting their blue-and-white credentials front and center and investing in their personnel as faces of Israel," Michael Dickson, Executive Director at StandWithUs - Israel said.

"It is not a given for commercial companies to take on such a role and we applaud them for it. StandWithUs is proud to partner with EL AL Ambassadors to empower these wonderful, charismatic, talented and diverse Israeli professional flight personnel to tell the story of Israel through their eyes, to global audiences."