Shlichim Meet Gonni Kern – Young Judaea Shlicha for DC/MD/VA
By Sharon Schoenfeld
Hi everyone, my name is Gonni Kern and I will be joining Young Judaea as the DC/MD/VA Shlicha at the end of August.
I am 22 years old. I was born and raised in Tel Aviv and I have two sisters. I am a sandwich girl. My mother was born on kibbutz and my father was born in the city. The combination of these two worlds opened the opportunity of traveling in Israel and around the world, and also opened the world of youth movements to me. From 4th grade to 12th grade I was in the Tzofim (Scouts) movement in the Shevet (tribe or group) close to my home. I started as a regular scout member and then I was appointed to be a counselor for 10 year olds. I was the head of a 5th grade battalion and graduated as an educational coordinator in the Shevet. I remember most of my life in the Shevet and it truly made me who I am today and where I learned many of the values through which I live my life. The Scouts taught me to live and be part of a group, to know how to give and not just to take, and earn the privilege to educate and lead people after me from an early age.
In 2014 I was drafted to the IDF to the education unit where my duty was to guide combat soldiers about Jerusalem and military values. Toward the end of the service, I was chosen to be the commander of an educational crew to train the next generation in the unit.
In the past year, I flew to a summer camp in Canada through the Jewish Agency where I was a general counselor, then traveled in Central America. I currently work for the Scouts in Israel and with children in a school in Tel Aviv.
When I think at what youth movements can give and the importance of participation, I remember myself at the age 9 when I joined the a youth movement. Youth movements are the way of young people to talk, to be and to reach self-fulfillment, especially to contribute and influence society.
My desire to embark on a mission elsewhere, far from family and friends, is reinforced by believing that the connection with Israel and the diaspora is important and must be intensified. By coming to you I would like to share with you my Israeli experience.
I will also be working at the Rockville Maryland Scouts Shevet and hope to bring together my Scouts and Judaeans often.
I wholeheartedly believe it will be a good year for us all!