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Yarden Shiri, Shlicha

Yarden Shiri, Agudas Achim's new shlicha, grew up in Ashkelon, a city on the southern part of Israel’s coast. She studied art in high school and majored in theater, physics, and computer science. During her high school years, Yarden participated in the Diller Teens Fellows Program – a Jewish leadership initiative that invites a select group of students from Israel and the US to lead their communities. That was her first meeting with Jewish communities outside of Israel. After high school, Yarden was drafted to the Israeli Defense Forces, where she served as a computer programmer in the Israeli Intelligence Corps. During that time, she started a degree in computer science. In her free time, Yarden likes to dive, dance, draw, play sports, and watch a good show. Theater is also a big part of her life. She was an actress at the Ashkelon Municipal Theater where they staged original productions on social issues based on personal experiences. After a year of shlichut (a group of Israeli cultural emissaries) at the Jewish Federation of Pensacola Florida, Yarden is excited to start her second year as a shlicha (Israeli emissary) at Agudas Achim.

During her shlichut, Yarden hopes to share, among other things, the story of the Jews of Iraq and, in particular, the story of her family. Yarden feels that her story, and the stories of so many Jews from Arab and Eastern lands, has been somewhat forgotten and that not many people know about the magnificent cultures, the Zionist underground, the struggles, and the stories of them making Aliya to Israel. Yarden grew up watching Iraqi films with her grandma, eating Iraqi food, and hearing her grandparents speak Arabic. She heard a lot of amazing stories about a grand past in Iraq – stories that as a child she couldn’t appreciate enough. Yarden now feels proud that this is her family’s story and that she now has a chance to share it with the Greater Washington community.

Biography provided by the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington

Tue, March 21 2023 28 Adar 5783