By Eynav Dahan
I don’t know a lot about Thanksgiving. Most is from TV shows and movies I grew up watching. But I do know about giving thanks. My Aunt Anat always told me that saying thank you is the most important thing you can do. To the security guard at the entrance of the mall, to the person holding the door for you and, most important, to the people who are part of your daily life, like your family, who you don’t always thank for all they do for you.
I am the second of four sisters, the daughter of my amazing parents, Osnat and Shlomi. (I'm at the left center of the photo.) My family means the world to me, and I always think of how blessed I am to have them. They support me through every decision I make, like moving to the other side of the world. Twice!
I made my decision to go on shlichut (a mission), which brought me to the Lehigh Valley, pretty quickly. I had lived in Zambia for three years and was searching for the next adventure. When I came across the shlichut program, I was interested, but I wasn’t sure. As I went through the process to participate, I came to understand what shlichut meant to me. I feel like it is all coming together with Thanksgiving: the shlichut is my time to be grateful for what I have and about Israel. It’s a journey for me, with myself and with the Lehigh Valley community, of gratitude, growth and learning.
Being far from home really makes me think of how much my home means to me. The warm and welcoming Israeli way of life is like no other in the world, and that is something I want to bring with me everywhere I go around the world. I want to meet as many people as I can and let them know about Israel. Maybe I’ll make them fall in love with Israel and see it through my eyes, with lots of love and gratitude.
One way for me to bring my Israel to the community here is through teaching about Israeli culture at the Jewish Day School. I got to meet the kids and started getting to know them, figuring out what they like doing and talking about. I’ll have the entire year to share with them my love of Israel and all the amazing things Israeli culture has to offer, sharing it in ways that will be interesting to them.
I’m also planning to offer some new programs in the community. My background is in movies and producing, so I want to do some fun things with that.
And as an Israeli with Moroccan roots, one of the best ways for me to get to know people and show my love and gratitude is through food, so I’m making a series of videos called “Israeli Flavors of the Holidays.” Before every holiday, I’ll make an Israeli recipe and talk about it, and give you the recipe on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
I have many more ideas that I look forward to acting on during my time here. Stay tuned and reach out to me on my Facebook page, Eynav in Lehigh Valley, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you had a great time during the High Holidays, and I wish you a happy Thanksgiving!