Another program run by the North American Department team is the “Gvanim” Program – the program is a series of 12 meetings, held at the Palo Alto JCC, intended for Israelis aged 35 and over, living outside of Israel for more than three years. The program is facilitated by the Department’s shlicha, Tova Birnbaum, who holds meetings once every three or four weeks. The Program invites the fellows to join in on a deep, whirlwind journey to their identity, in which they will undergo the process of investigating their Jewish and Israeli identity, they will explore the Jewish library, get to know American Jewry with its different streams and history, and they will be introduced to the local Bay Area Jewish community with its myriad of gvanim (shades of colors).
During February the Department Shlicha held a convention in San Francisco, where the “Gvanim” group met with different Jewish communities and leaders in the city: “Sherith Israel” Reform Community, San Franciscan Jewry historian, John Rothmann, they visited the Contemporary Jewish Art Museum, they met with the musician Lior Ben Hur, and a meeting was held with “Moishe House” youth program participants in San Francisco. That was in addition to the regular meeting that was held that month where members of the group met with Rabbi Steve Greenberg, an orthodox rabbi with a unique and revolutionary worldview.
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