If you mention “Israel” to Dina Silberstein, her manner of speaking — direct with a hint of Long Island — softens and shifts. During a year abroad in Tel Aviv in 2011, Silberstein worked in real estate development, and not only inhaled the ocean air and fresh produce, but also rediscovered an almost-forgotten spot within herself for Judaism. Upon returning to New York, Silberstein delved into a career in real estate as well as volunteerism, launching an alumni chapter for Masa Israel Journey; MASA coordinates semester- to year-long programs in Israel for young adults.
There was no shortage of support for Israel on campus when Dina Goldberg (then Dina Muskin) was a student at Stern College. Like her, many of her friends had spent a year in seminary in Jerusalem. “Everyone was buying Israeli products and giving tzedaka,” she said. But something was missing.
Alex Goldberg has a passion for Israel. He spent a year after high school studying there at Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh, and his appreciation for the country only grew. He wanted to give back to the land that had given him so much, so after meeting Eli Beer, the founder of United Hatzalah of Israel, he decided to help fundraise for the ambulance corps. United Hatzalah provides fast and free emergency medical first response throughout Israel. “I learned that it cost only $16 to save a life,” he says.
After a 12-year-old Jewish boy was sucker punched in the head as the “knockout game” spree swept through his Crown Heights neighborhood last fall, Rabbi Yaacov Behrman, the executive director of the Jewish Future Alliance, knew that a larger police presence was needed.