Nir Cafri will be the new Israeli shaliach (emissary) to the Rhode Island Jewish Community, thanks to the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island in partnership with the Jewish Agency for Israel. Nir, 23, arrives in late August. He was born and raised in Ness Ziona, Israel, right outside of Tel Aviv.
Prior to embarking for the states, he was a field coordinator for Passages, an organization which brings Christians on educational journeys to Israel. He also volunteered at Elim, a home for children with disabilities in South Africa while traveling for several months in Nepal, India and Africa on his post-army trip.
We also learned that in addition to working with American Christians on Passages, Nir helped with some Birthright groups, the free trips to Israel for American Jews from 18 to 32. He also served as a resident resource person for American college students on Young Judaea’s Amirim program. Nir would be happy to discuss these programs, as well as many others, with anyone who is considering visiting Israel.
Working with children in South Africa was an opportunity that Nir just stumbled into, but he had some background for this. Nir served as a private tutor to elementary school children, and he loved serving as a professional guide for all ages at the Garden of Science museum at the prestigious Weizmann Institute of Science.
In his army service, Nir was a commander for the Hermon Brigade combat engineering unit, which deals with disarming mines, and for a heavy machinery unit, responsible for defensive construction missions, where he was in charge of eight underprivileged soldiers. He took part in the Protective Edge Operation in Gaza in 2014.
In his youth Nir took part in the Nitzana youth movement, which is located next to the border with Egypt. The youth movement’s main activities are hiking and volunteering at the local orphanage, home to refugee teenagers from Eritrea.
When he has free time, Nir enjoys rock climbing, hiking, jogging and playing guitar.
Editor’s Note: We asked Nir Cafri, the new shaliach, to tell us a little about himself for the first Voice after our break. The information in this story came from him and community sources. Look for another story on Nir when he is settled in the community.