Israeli counselor hopes to connect with JCC campers, staff, and community

by | Jun 20, 2013 | Other News

Not even in Virginia 24 hours, Camp JCC’s Shlicha says she admires how green Tidewater is and looks forward to exploring and meeting many new people. Noga Wigelman, from Even-Yehuda, Israel, can’t wait to share her country’s culture with campers, staff and everyone else she meets this summer.

An emissary from Israel placed by the Jewish Agency for Israel, a United Jewish Federation of Tidewater partner agency, a Shlicha is charged with building connections between Israel and communities worldwide, promoting travel to Israel, providing educational programming and serving as an expert resource on Israeli history and culture.

Like all young Israelis, Wigelman served in the army. From 2009 through 2011, she operated a medical war room just outside of the Gaza strip. “Although my army experience was very rewarding, I am at heart someone who likes to be busy, so sitting at a computer all day is less my thing than say, teaching kids about my country through dance and activities,” she says.

Through the Jewish Agency, Wigelman became one of two Shlichim who traveled to Albuquerque in the summer of 2011 where she was the dance instructor. “It was a wonderful experience in a small community where everyone knows each other,” she says. Returning to Israel, she worked several jobs near home, including at a designer shop. Recently she traveled to Germany and England, staying and traveling with friends.

Contemplating a return to studies in October, she wanted to return to the U.S. The Jewish Agency told her that Camp JCC wanted a Shlicha this summer, so she would have to travel alone. “I was fine with that because I’ve done so much traveling and because Virginia Beach is so different geographically and physically from Albuquerque.”

Wigelman will live with a number of host families for several weeks at a time during her 10-week stay.* At Camp JCC, she will teach campers about Israeli culture, from dance to geography to games, cooking, language and more. “People generalize about cultures and countries based on what the media tells them,” she says. “I want people I meet to get to know me, and find out for themselves what I’m like and what my country is all about.”

*If interested in housing Noga Wigelman this summer, contact Scott Katz at 321-2317 or

by Leslie Shroyer