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A Message from Our New Senior Shalich


Greetings and hello! My name is Dagan Cohen, and I am thrilled to introduce myself as the new Senior Shalich at Sid Jacobson JCC. Along with my family, my wife Gal and our adorable three-year-old daughter, Yarden, we are all eagerly looking forward to becoming part of your wonderful community and representing the Jewish Agency.

Let me share a bit about my background and journey. I was born and raised in the breathtaking Upper Galilee, specifically in Kibbutz Yiftach and the city of Kiryat Shmona. These places have shaped a significant part of who I am today. As a combat officer in the special unit called Magellan, I proudly served in the IDF. Now, in the reserve service, I continue to stand ready to serve our beloved country whenever it calls. In recent years, my passion has been devoted to informal educational work, where I’ve had the privilege of guiding and supporting teenagers and parents, as well as fostering meaningful connections with Diaspora Jewry through community projects.

As my family and I prepare to embark on this exciting journey, we are mindful of the challenges and complexities that Israeli society faces today. The ongoing legal revolution, led by the coalition, seeks to bring about significant changes to the existing system of checks and balances in Israeli leadership. With no constitution in place, the Supreme Court plays a crucial role in balancing the government’s activities, and any potential weakening of this balance has sparked the largest and most impactful civil protests our nation has seen.

However, it is vital to understand that the legal revolution is just one aspect driving hundreds of thousands, including my family and me, to take to the streets in protest. Our current government, led by an extreme leadership that came to power under unique circumstances, has been challenging some of the core values and foundations of our society. From the violation of LGBTQ+ rights to undermining the economy, from disrespecting the gatekeepers to fostering corruption – we are witnessing significant strains that deeply affect us all.

Yet, amidst these challenges, I strongly believe in the power of unity and reconciliation. The Israeli public is not defined by the divisive rhetoric that we sometimes see in politics. As an optimist, I firmly believe that the majority of us want to live together in a united and strong country, regardless of our differences. I recognize that those supporting the legal legislation have their reasons, influenced by historical processes that have shaped their views. To bridge these gaps, we must continue our protests while engaging in constructive and compassionate dialogue with our fellow citizens. We must strive to understand their perspectives, their concerns, and their hopes, as we work together to heal and strengthen our society.

Having the opportunity to interact with diverse sections of Israeli society through my service in the reserves has shown me the profound dedication we all share for our country. It is within these encounters that I realize the true essence of Israel’s charm lies in our rich tapestry of backgrounds and beliefs. Embracing this diversity is essential as we learn to live together harmoniously, cherishing the shared responsibility we have for our homeland.

In closing, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you for your caring and concern about what is happening in Israel. Your support serves as a beacon of hope for our future and that of our children. I am genuinely eager to hear your thoughts and opinions, and once I am on Long Island, I am enthusiastic about meeting with you and engaging in meaningful conversations about Israeli society. Together, we can foster an authentic, inclusive, and positive discourse, creating a sense of belonging for everyone.

Thank you for welcoming us into your community. We look forward to embarking on this journey together!

Warm regards,
Dagan Cohen