Nir Inbar has done a lot more living than the average 24-year-old. The sabra, Hebrew for native-born Israeli, brings rich and varied life experiences to his new position as Federation’s shaliach — Israel’s emissary to the Greater Philadelphia Jewish community.
Inbar has traveled extensively, spending a large portion of his childhood in England. He also has visited Amsterdam and Austria and spent a summer at an American Jewish overnight camp as a member of the Israeli Scouts Summer Delegation.
The camp experience reassured Inbar that “the Jewish state is not alone in this world and has strong supporters among Diaspora Jews.” Through his interactions with campers, he gained a greater understanding of the “power of Israel to build a strong Jewish identity.”
Like every Israeli young adult, he served in the Israeli Defense Forces. He signed on as a paratrooper, serving with the same elite division that liberated Jerusalem during the Six-Day War. He rose through the ranks to become commander of a platoon of Yeshiva soldiers — young men who are Orthodox Jews.
Inbar, a self-assessed “people person,” described his work with this battalion as “difficult, yet satisfying.” He enjoys the challenge of breaking down cultural barriers, as evidenced by his post-army stint as a surveyor in the Negev. “I lived and worked side by side for three months with Israeli Arabs,” he said. “We learned to respect one another and get the job done.”
Inbar is confident in his ability to work with synagogues, day schools, religious schools, JCCs, Hillels and other Jewish communal organizations to bring the face of Israel to the Greater Philadelphia Jewish community and connect the next generation of Jews to the land and people of the Jewish homeland.
He currently teaches at Congregation Beth Am Israel in Penn Valley and looks forward to offering workshops and other educational and creative Israel programs to other area synagogues.
Inbar works closely with Jeri Zimmerman, director of Federation’s Center for Israel and Overseas, to generate a greater awareness of Philadelphia’s Partnership 2Gether communities of Netivot and Sedot-Negev in Southern Israel; and to enhance the pre- and post-Israel programming for participants in Israel 360 and the Dec. 19 Mega Mission experiences.
He divides his time between Federation and the Israeli Scouts, which is the co-educational, national youth movement of Israel. Inbar has already engaged children whose parents are from Israel in Israeli scout programming. A wide range of projects and activities are offered to young people in grades 3 through 12.
Inbar is available to provide programming on Israeli culture, history and current events or can serve as a speaker on an Israeli theme for area synagogues, schools or other Jewish communal organizations.
For more information, call 215-832-0847 or email Inbar at Shaliach@jfgp.org .