Reprinted from #naalefeatures, January 23, 2020
How did an Israeli, born to Holocaust survivors in Tel Aviv, raised in Jerusalem, living in Gush Etzion, a married father of six, grandfather to 29, whose childhood dream was never to leave Israel, ever get involved in a global program?
In 1989, Yeshayahu was invited to work on a pilot program that brought a group of students from Riga, Latvia to study in Israel for three months. Many of those students ended up staying in Israel for three years!
One year later, Yeshayahu heard about a program that was arranging to bring thousands of students to study in Israel and he offered to run the program based on his experience with the group from Riga. Yeshayahu got the job, in 1991 Naale got its name, and in 1992 the first group of brave students arrived. Now Yeshayahu has been running the show for over 25 years!
We met up with Yeshahu and asked him to share with us what it takes to run such a successful program. In his words: “The most challenging goal that we’ve achieved for the most part is bringing Naale to every corner of the earth.
”What I find most rewarding about my job, is seeing the new students who come every year, meeting their parents whose lives have changed because of Naale, and seeing the success of Naale graduates.”
At the end of our talk, Yeshayahu adds, “Thank you to the tens of thousands of families around the world who showed an interest in Naale. To the families, students, and graduates who placed and continue to place their trust in Naale. To the students and graduates who have gone through the Naale experience and to all of the educators and host families who take care of Naale students and graduates here in Israel.”