The Israeli Army’s Sherut Leumi (national service) program is for religious post-high school women who commit to two years of volunteer work in settings such as schools or hospitals before starting college. Only the best and the brightest of the senior Sherut Leumi women are sent outside Israel. They come here to volunteer to develop personal relationships with the children of St. Louis and serve as role models actively linking children with Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people. Now in its eleventh year in St. Louis, the Sherut Leumi program is generously supported by the St. Louis Jewish Federation as well as the wider Jewish community.
Sherut Leumi 2017-2018
Doraya Neumann, Shani Lorber, Shani Dick, Dafna Benharosh
Doraya Neumann was born in Jerusalem but grew up in Karnei Shomron. She first volunteered with the “Oz” youth movement for 3rd grade girls and then became a B’nei Akiva counselor for 7th and 8th grade girls. During her National Service, Doraya was a B’nei Akiva youth director in Ma’alot. She also was a Teacher Assistant, where she led activities such as parties, ceremonies, performances and preparations for the school newspaper. Doraya studied voice development with the famous Israeli singer Moti Kaspi and sang for a school choir conducted by Naomi Teplo. She plays piano and has performed in a high school musical play Fiddler on the Roof, playing the main character – Tevia.
Shani Lorber was born in Beer Sheva and grew up in Metar. She majored in Chemistry in a Ulpena in Gedera. Then, Shani volunteered at an older adult nursing home where she sang songs with the Shabbat Kiddush. She organized a “gemach” that packed food boxes to distribute to needy people. Shani did her National Service in a school where girls majored in many artistic professions, where she organized activities for the whole school. Shani love drama, acting, dancing and choreography. During her free time, she reads hangs out with friends.
Shani Dick is from Petah Tikva, where she grew up in the “Ezra” youth movement but, in high school, she led a snif of the “Ariel” youth movement. The group had 9-10 years old kids, and was an opportunity to give back to her society and people. Shani’s National Service was at a high school in Ashkelon whose students were mostly youth at risk. As a “friend-teacher” to the students, she would start conversations with them about their families and hobbies, always give them her special attention. Shani loves to sing and write. She enjoys listen to music, reading thrillers, hang out with friends, travelling, knitting yarmulkes and watching comedies.
Dafna Ben-Harush is from Nof Ayalon, near the Kibbutz and Yeshiva of Sha’alvim. In high school, she was a counselor of the “Ezra” youth movement. Most of the group consisted of “Anglo-Saxons” girls from North America who live in Modi’in. Dafna‘s National Service was at the Center for Jewish Identity in Dimona, where she taught dance to young underprivileged city children. She ran a program to unite city residents and help them to identify with Jewish traditions and holidays. Dafna enjoys playing piano, studying modern dance and then combined the those two interests through choreography. In her free time, she reads and writes poetry and spends time with friends.
Sherut Leumi 2016-2017
Yael Brener, Ester Mekere, Moriya Hirsch, Meital Frohlich
Yael is from Yakir in the Shomron. In high school, she majored in physics. As a first year bat sherut, Yael worked at the Modi’in absorption center as a teacher assistant at an Ulpan for high school youth. Yael enjoys Zumba classes and loves to dance to Hip-Hop music. Get to know Yael
Meital is an Israeli, but also a citizen of Canada. Consequently, she is a native English Speaker. In high school , she was a counselor in Bnei Akiva and also volunteered for “chaverim l’refua” – helping handicapped and sick children. As a first year bat sherut, Meital cared for children (grades 3-8) living away from home in Talpiot Bet Hayeled, Chadera. Meital enjoys sports and dance. Get to know Meital
Moriya was born in Jerusalem and volunteered as a counselor for the Ariel youth movement. As a first year bat sherut, Moriya did tutoring at Makif Bet High School in Rishon Letzion, as well as organizing its social activities. Moriya enjoys playing piano, dancing, acting, swimming and drawing. Get to know Moriya
Ester was born in Israel and studied in Netanya. In addition to Hebrew, Esther speaks fluent Amharic and has volunteered for Bnei Akiva. As a first year bat sherut, she cared for children and teens in “Neve Yehuda” Youth Village. Ester is a very good singer / hip-hop dancer and she also plays flute, mandolin & darbuka. Ester loves to watch movies and enjoy outings with friends. Get to know Ester
Sherut Leumi 2015-2016
Menucha Samuels, Sarah Green, Noga Kopelman, Or Planzer
Menucha‘s family lives in Zufim in the Shomron region of Israel. Last year, During her first year of National Service, performed her National Service working with older adults, providing companionship for the lonely and helping in their recreation. In her free time, Menucha enjoys cooking / baking, gymnastics & sports, playing piano and learning new things.
Sarah grew up in Raanana with a Canadian parent, so she speaks ‘canadian’ very well. After many years in Jerusalem for high school, she continued learning at the Jerusalem College of Technology, where she earned a college degree in Computer Sciences. During her first year of National Service, Sarah led discussion groups of both religious and secular teenagers, speaking about their identities as Jews and Israelis. Sarah likes using her Technological and Artistic Creativity to editing video clips. She also enjoys singing, playing guitar and baking.
Noga is from Yad Binyamin but spent some time in the USA when her father worked there as an Engineer. Last year during her year of National Service, Noga helped new immigrants to Israel from France, USA , Russia and Italy, at an absorption center. Noga loves to work with art and crafts, to sew and paint and to play piano. She also has spent many summers volunteering at Camp Ilan where she plays with children with disabilities.
Or is from Jerusalem. For many years, Or has volunteered both day and night for Israel’s ambulance service called Magen David Adom. She rides with her father, who is a volunteer ambulance driver. During her year of National Service, Or worked with a family that cared for foster children who were removed from a violent home situation. Or is unique in that she is also a citizen of Switzerland and works professionally as a hair stylist to prepare brides for their wedding ceremony.
Sherut Leumi 2014-2015
Libi Shlasky, Elisheva Jacobson, Chana Kurz, Racheli Trabelsi
Elisheva Jacobson (19) is from Chashmonaim. She has one older sister and two older brothers. She attended Chorev High School in Jerusalem and spent her first year of Sherut Leumi working with the community of Katzrin in the Golan. Elisheva is interested in art, music and dance and just about anything that doesn’t involve chemistry! She is looking forward to working with our great community, participating in Bnei Akiva and being a St. Louis Bat Sherut!
Chana Kurz (18) is from Beit Shemesh. She is the youngest of two sisters and two brothers. She went to Ulpanat Baharan and spent her first year of Sherut Leumi preparing and implementing programs relating to Jewish Identity for local public schools for the “Mercaz L’zehut Yehudit” in Herzliya. Chana is interested in drama, dance, crafts, cooking and baking. She is looking forward to having a successful, meaningful and happy year during her time in St. Louis.
Libi Shlasky (19) is from Shoham. She is the middle child of three, with one brother and one sister. She went to Ulpanat Tzfira for high school and spent her first year of Sherut Leumi working in a dormitory for the blind with multiple disabilities. Libi is interested in music and travel. She is looking forward to being part of the community and getting to know new people during her time in St. Louis. She is hoping to show the sides of Israel that she loves most while teaching about Israel and Zionism.
Racheli Trabelsi (19) is from Akko and has two older brothers. She attended Amit Akko high school and spent her first year of Sherut Leumi presenting Jewish studies in secular schools in Yokneam. Racheli loves to be around people and is hoping to contribute as much as possible and to connect the community with Israel during her time in St. Louis.
Sherut Leumi 2013-2014
Moriya is from Kiryat Shmuel, a suburb of Haifa. She studied Physics in High school and spent her summers teaching in a camp at the Technion (The Israel Institute of Technology, on par with CalTech or M.I.T.). Moriya likes to play the piano, make hand-made art and acting in plays.
Mali is from Peduel, just west of Tel Aviv, but her National Service last year was spent in the suburbs of Haifa (maybe she knows Moriya). She is a whiz at computers but loves sports, drama, dance and to play wind instruments. Mali relaxes by watching movies.
Tamar comes to us from Ra’anana, a suburb of Tel Aviv. Born in the United States, Tamar returned here as a teen to be art counselor in Camp Lavi in Pennsylvania. She enjoy sports, arts & crafts, drawing and Dancing.
Roni lives far from the other three bnot sherut. She comes from the city of Eilat, Israel’s only port city leading to the Red Sea and then to the Indian Ocean. It is very warm in Eilat and almost never rains. It does rain in Tel Aviv, where Roni spent her first year of National Service working at the Ministry of Defense. Roni finds time to play the piano and can choreograph and teach us dances.
Sherut Leumi 2012-2013
Chavi Rothner & Rachel Patinkin
Though they chose to come here independently, Chavi and Rachel happen to have a lot in common. Both grew up in Beit Shemesh, not far from Jerusalem. Chavi’s grandparents met in Israel, having come from Chicago and Melbourne, so Chavi learned to speak English from them and her parents. Rachel’s grandparents also made aliyah to Israel, moving from New York and Chicago. Both Chavi and Rachel have 6 brothers and sisters and both joined the same youth group in 7th grade, so they soon became good friends. Both like to hike and perform in dramatic school productions.
Chavi loves gymnastics, piano and dance. She also likes to bake cakes and then to decorate them. Rachel plays the guitar and recorder, and loves to tell stories and lead singing. She cooks a variety of delicious soups and looks forward to biking and visiting Six-Flags, where she hopes to try all its roller coasters.
Chavi and Rachel regularly visit six Jewish schools throughout the community, in addition to the programs they present in synagogue and youth group programs. St. Louis is so lucky to have these dynamic young Israeli women to connect with our students and teach them first hand about Israel! The bnot sherut share with us loads of talent and experience.
Sherut Leumi 2011-2012
Efrat Raz & Yaara Zand (Photos below from Yachad – April 2012)
Efrat and Yaara are long time friends. Efrat likes baking, listening to music, and hanging out with her friends and family. Yaara likes hiking, swimming in the Jordan River, and ballet, modern and jazz dancing.
From 3rd-9th grade, Yaara’s family lived in the old city of Jerusalem, the oldest of six kids. And her neighbor down the street was Efrat! Efrat’s home has a beautiful courtyard, just steps from the shuk (market) and a couple of minutes walk from the Kotel (Western Wall). Efrat is the fourth of five kids in her family.
Sherut Leumi 2010-2011
Nava Brief and Yaara Weiss
Sherut Leumi 2009-2010
Sara Kampler and Tova Maymon taught in the Jewish day schools, helping to connect St. Louis with Israel.
Sara Kampler of Karnei Shomron shares an interest in Drama production, Crafts and Art. Her National service prepared her for a variety of work experiences. In Hashmonaim she ran the gamut from a Special Education kindergarten to Director of Bnei Akiva. She was responsible for 400 youth in grades 4-9; 300 youth in grades 10-12; while supervising 36 counselors.
Tova Maymon of Hertzliaya enjoys playing guitar, drama, juggling, swimming, and traveling. She has led Bnai Akiva activities as well as making meals for poor and needy families. Her National service at a boarding school of “Aliyat Hanoar” had her responsible for 15 girls.
Sherut Leumi 2008-2009
Avigayil Schulman & Chen Rettig
When she was only eleven years old, the family of Avigayil Schulman left their native Cape Town to move to Netanya, Israel. After high school, Avigayil began her Israeli national service (“sherut leumi”) working for “Yladim Netivot”, an organization that brings youth groups to Israel on religious educational programs. Additionally, she volunteered as a counselor in Bnei Akiva youth groups, with Magen David Adom and with One Family, assisting victims of terror. Avigayil enjoys art, hiking and has been in charge of scenery for school plays. These skills came in handy in St. Louis!
Chen Rettig, a native Israeli who hails from Raanana was a high school classmate of Avigayil and they became great friends. Chen’s first year of Sherut Leumi involved working as the coordinator of Bnei Akiva youth groups in the town of Dolev. She also worked in a community preschool. Chen plays piano and guitar and loves to sing and dance. She has volunteered as a counselor in Bnei Akiva and at summer day camps.
These two young women brought their complementary strengths and interests to our Jewish community during their year of Sherut Leumi service. They were found at many St. Louis Jewish schools including Temple Israel, United Hebrew, Shaare Shalom, Epstein Hebrew Academy, Solomon Schechter Day School, and the Saul Mirowitz Reform Jewish Academy.
Sherut Leumi 2007-2008
Eliana Smith & Shani Batit
Sherut Leumi 2006-2007
Aviya Amir & Shira Gross
Sherut Leumi 2005-2006
Ayelet Levin & Malka Kupetz
Sherut Leumi 2004-2005
Shiri Arielli & Shlomit Jessel