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Helen and Sol Krawitz Holocaust Memorial Education Center

Shimon and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center

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Descendant Profile









    What is a Shlicha? What are Shlichim? Connect, Support and Engage. . .

     The Jewish Agency’s mission is never more fully realized than in the works of their esteemed Shlichim. Every year, over 10,000 Israelis apply for the honor but only a select group of outstanding emissaries are chosen. They are widely considered to be the best of Israel and the Jewish Agency helps them share their light with the world.


    After extensive training at The Shlichut Institute, these role models are placed in schools, synagogues, JCCs, camps, universities, youth movements, and Federations all over the globe. There, they engage with Jewish and non-Jewish people about Israel, teach Jewish heritage, and speak about issues of national and religious identity. After having this transformative professional and personal experience, Shlichim return to Israel motivated in new ways to effect positive change in their lives and for all of Israel.


    Alexandra Itzhak is of the “select group of outstanding emissaries chosen by the Jewish Agency to connect, support and engage with Jews and non-Jews about Israel.  She was born in Benibrak, Israel on June 27, 2000. Her father, Shachar Itzhak came to Israel in 1950 from Iraq.  Her mother, Nona (nee Ardeleanu) Itzak was born in Israel. She has one younger sibling, a brother, Ben (20 years old as of 2023). After her service in the Army (IDF), Alexandra registered as a Shlicha with the Jewish Agency of Summer Camps. She worked for three summers at camp WISE in Cleveland, Ohio. She was then old enough to apply for longer term work. Alexandra applied for a position as a Shlicha at the SSBJCC in Bridgewater, NJ. She presently is working with children at the JCC but especially teenagers in bridging knowledge of Israel to the JCC and local synagogues and the wider community.

    Refer to Interview Below in Descendant Submission



    Date: March 5, 2024

    Interviewer: Nancy Gorrell

    Location: SSBJCC Telephone Interview


    Q: How and why did you decide to come to America? 

    A: Before I went into the Army (IDF), I met people and friends overseas, and I saw there was a big gap between what really was happening in Israel, and what people know about Israel. I decided I wanted to make a change. I wanted to bring the truth and perspective that I had of Israel to other people. I began to look for programs, but I found out I was too young to apply. I was only 19 at the time. After my military service, I registered as a Shlicha with the Jewish Agency for Summer Camps. I worked for three summers at Camp Wise in Cleveland, Ohio. Afterwards, I was old enough to apply to as a Shlicha in the long term. and I interviewed with the SSBJCC in Bridgewater. The interview with Laura and Paige went well. Everyone was so wonderful. And here I am! 


    Q: Do you have any relations in America? 

    A: No. I do know counselors and campers from the Wise camps, and I met one of my best friends at that camp.


    Q: Can you describe your work at the JCC? 

    A: Yes. I’m creating a bridge between the community here and the community in Israel. I’m trying to bring Israel into my programs at JCC and make an impact for everyone but especially for teenagers. I worked with Temple Sholom’s Hebrew high school teenagers in program about Yitzak Rabin for his memory. Teenagers needed to debate on the questions. I’m also working for Rootone. My job is to create a trip to Israel for teenagers in the summer of 2025.


    Q: Describe your background. 

    A: I was born in Benibrak, Israel on June 27, 2000.  My father, Shachar Itzhak came to Israel from Iraq in 1950. My mother, Nona (nee Ardeleanu) Itzhak was born in Israel. I have one sibling, my brother Ben Itzhak, 20 years old (as of 2024). 


    Q: How did October 7th war in Israel affect you and your family?

    A: Before October 7th, I was only here for a month and half, and I was still adjusting. And then October 7th happened, and I was heartbroken. I didn’t visit my family, and I haven’t visited them yet (as of March 4, 2024). I am talking with my family often. My brother Ben is serving in Gaza. I am planning to visit my family in Israel in August 2024. 


    Q: Do you have Holocaust relations? What do you know about your grandparent’s holocaust experience?

    A:  Not much. The survivor was Malka, my grandmother on my mother’s side. She came from Romania (town unknown) and she survived the war in Siberia.

  • Sources and Credits:

    SSBJCC Telephone Interview with Alexandra Itzhak (March 5, 2024) Interviewer, Nancy Gorrell