Sara is amazed by UJIA as she starts new charity role

UJIA’S new head of regional programming wants even more people to know about the charity’s numerous projects.

Sara Radberg, who took up her position full-time this week, will have a remit which covers Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Glasgow.

She said: “It is amazing what UJIA does. I went to the annual North-West dinner a few weeks ago and I learned so much.

“I was fascinated by just how many projects and programmes UJIA is involved with.

“It also helps and supports lots of different organisations.

“My oldest son, Itai, for example, went on an FZY leadership programme in the summer and when he came home, he was wearing a backpack which had UJIA’s logo on it.

“I hadn’t even realised that UJIA supported it.”

The 51-year-old Israeli arrived in Manchester last year from Boca Raton, in Florida, a year after her husband, Amir, who is also Israeli, arrived in the city.

Raised in Kiryat Ata, near Haifa, she and her husband moved to America, initially to Washington, after Amir was injured fighting in the Israel Defence Forces.

Sara worked as a teacher and her husband worked for the Israeli embassy in Washington.

They have three children — Itai, Or and Daniel, who are all pupils at King David High School.

The family later moved to Boca Raton.

“Amir is averse to the heat because of what happened to him in the army, but because there is air conditioning everywhere in Florida, we thought it would be a perfect place to live,” Sara said.

She worked as a special-needs’ assistant at KD High and had been with UJIA, on a part-time basis since July.

And she has been delighted with the reception she and her family have received in Manchester.

Sara explained: “Florida was a wonderful place to live, with beautiful weather, but the people in Manchester are the light here. What I like about the city is that, it doesn’t matter if you are Orthodox, secular or whatever, Jews live together and you really feel it.

“People are willing to invite in you into their homes, which is something you don’t see as much in America.

“Everyone has been extremely nice and welcoming, which has warmed my heart.”

She is currently still getting to know the community, as well as renewing contacts with local schools and with local rabbis.

“We at UJIA have the incredible responsibility to ensure the next generation’s connection to Israel is not extinguished,” said Sara.

“My job is to lead a team of young educators from the UK and Israel with one task, which is bringing Israel alive.

“We will do so in informal ways in schools both Jewish and mainstream as well as a whole host of after-school activities.”

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