Profile on the new shlicha


photo courtesy of Tal Greenberg

Tal Greenberg (pictured front-left) shakes hands with high ranking officers after she completed her officer course and received her new, commissioned rank. It was a moment she said she will “probably never forget.”

Matthew Rabinowitz, Assistant Opinion Editor

New shlicha Tal Greenberg, who works at both CESJDS and Congregation Beth El, has lived in the U.S. for over a quarter of her life, which enables her to share her Israeli culture with Jewish-American students and communities.

Although she was born in Israel, Greenberg lived in Newton, Mass. from age six through age 10, in addition to when she was 13 years old, which has helped her understand American culture and the English language.   

After turning 18, Greenberg served in the Education and Youth Corps of the Israeli Army where she was in a sense a “social worker,” as she helped prepare high school students for life in the army and worked with “troubled soldiers,” or soldiers suffering from the mental effects of war and military life.

To Hebrew Department Chair Hannah Rothschild, there was no question about whether or not to select Greenberg as JDS’ and Beth El’s Shlicha because of her background in education and experience of living in the U.S.

“She just seemed so calm and so willing to work with all different types. We also asked, ‘What would you do for this group?’ and, ‘What would you do for that group?’ and she had an answer for everything,” Rothschild said.

As a Shlicha, Greenberg utilizes the skills she gained in the Israeli Army to teach JDS students during their Hebrew classes about life in Israel overall, especially pertaining to Jews. She also attends shabbatons in order to get to know each grade on a more personal level.

“My favorite part about JDS and about my job here is that I can actually bring anything personal and anything that is very important to me and to my family and to my friends and to Israel in general,” Greenberg said.

In her free time, Greenberg enjoys photography, baking, traveling around the world and hanging out with her friends.

“My friends just surprised me and got me a new KitchenAid,” Greenberg said. “I’ll be able to bake here for the families, for my students and for my friends.”

Since coming to the greater Washington area in August, Greenberg has enjoyed touring different areas such as the National Mall and Georgetown as well as going to many Shabbat dinners hosted by different Beth El and JDS families.

Sophomore Tori Diamond is excited to build new connections with Israel through Greenberg and is glad to have her as a role model.

“I think that she does an amazing job of reaching out to students and trying to be a mentor and a role model to them, which I think is great for JDS students because there’s a lot of teachers in school but it’s hard [for them to be mentors],” Diamond said.

After returning to Israel in either one or two years, Greenberg hopes to attend university and either pursue a degree in education or photography.

Greenberg works with the JDS high school students on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, Lower School students on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons and middle school on Fridays.

“I’ve been very impressed from [by] this school, and I think that Israel has a lot to learn also about how school can work,”  Greenberg said, “It might be something that I’ll try bringing to Israel when I go back.