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Rachel: What brought you to DC?
Noa: I came to DC a year ago as part of a pilot project of the IDF and the Jewish Agency (chosen along with two other IDF officers), and served as the shlicha (emissary) to GW Hillel.
Rachel: So you served as GW Hillel’s Israel Fellow. What was your favorite experience?
Noa: I learned so much during my year of shlichut. Working with the incredible Jewish students at GW was truly inspiring. Their dedication and motivation to search their Jewish identity, all the while juggling studying, internships, fraternities/sororities, and a social life, is remarkable, not to say heartwarming. I had so many positive experiences – from witnessing the students’ spiritual growth on Birthright, to seeing the Israel group leaders and members struggle to advocate for Israel and improve its image on campus. But if I’m forced to choose one experience, that stood above all, it would have to be the outstanding initiative and action that the students took during the IDF operation “Pillar of Defense” last November. Three GW pro-Israel students initiated and planned a support rally for Israel in front of the White House on the second day of the operation, while Israel was enduring heavy rocket fire. GW Hillel turned into a mini operation center prior to the rally. Seeing our students in action, passionately standing by Israel, filled my heart with pride as I watched the support and love that poured out of them.
Rachel: What was serving in the IDF like?
Noa: My career in the IDF over the course of the last eight years has been nothing short of fascinating. I served in a field known as “military diplomacy” – at first as a spokesperson for the North American media and later on as a liaison officer to foreign military attachés. One of the most interesting positions I held was Head of the North American Desk. I oversaw the exceptional military cooperation between Israel and the US, including coordinating visits of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the IDF. Serving as a commanding officer and mentoring young Israeli soldiers was probably the most challenging part of my job, and the most rewarding.
Rachel: What’s next for you?
Noa: I have currently taken some time off the IDF, am living in the DC area, and am looking to find new exciting professional opportunities to continue serving both the Jewish community and Israel.
Rachel: What is your favorite Jewish food?
Noa: The Polish girl within me is rooting for Gefilte fish, but the Israeli within me is yelling louder and stronger: Shakshuka!
Rachel: Who is the coolest Jew?
Noa: Without a doubt, Savta Ruti! (My 86 year old grandmother. She totally rocks!!)
Rachel: Finish the sentence: When the Jews gather…
Noa: Opinions multiply and quadruple!