Local teen musician heads to Israel to join IDF
Joely Metz not only sings, but she plays five instruments, including the piano, guitar, ukulele, drums, and bass. On August 13, Metz will only pack her beloved guitar when she makes aliyah to Israel on the Nefesh B’Nefesh charter flight leaving from JFK Airport, where she will become a citizen and then immediately join the Israel Defense Forces through the Garin Tzabar program.
Metz, 18, was born in Oceanside but currently lives in West Hempstead where she graduated from high school. She will be moving to Kibbutz Lavi with her Garin group, where they will study Hebrew and acclimate to Israeli life before beginning their military service. Joely will be greeted by over 40 family members upon her arrival in Israel.
Kayla Evans looks to ‘serve my country.’
During her year at the Michlelet Mevaseret Yerushalayim (MMY) seminary, Kayla Evans says she “realized how connected I felt to Israel.”
Rather than returning to the United States for college, the 18-year-old engineering student from Cedarhurst will perform sherut leumi (Israeli national service) for two years with Carmel 6000, a program whose participants focus on making a social impact through technology.
“I wanted to serve my country, which is why I am doing sherut leumi,” says Evans, 18, who is making aliyah with Nefesh B’Nefesh this summer.
Evans, who will be living in Jerusalem at the Bat Ami apartments for sherut leumi participants, has roots in Israel that run deep. Her grandfather fought in the Palmach (the elite fighting force of the Haganah) during the 1948–49 War of Independence, her grandmother immigrated by boat to Israel after surviving the Holocaust in the Birkenau concentration camp, and her father grew up in the central Israeli city of Ramat Gan.
Dave Kufeld: from hoop dreams to aliyah dreams
Decades ago, former Yeshiva University hoops star David Kufeld graced the basketball courts of the Holy Land. Now, the man selected by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 10th round of the 1980 NBA Draft will officially call Israel his home.
Kufeld, 60, an advertising and client relations director at a law firm in New York, is making aliyah with Nefesh B’Nefesh on an August 21 flight from JFK Airport. He will be living with his family in Jerusalem.
“It’s where we currently have a home, where our children and grandchildren live, and where our souls reside,” he says.
After spending the first eight years of his life in New York City, Kufeld moved to Great Neck. A 6-foot-8 power forward, he played in Israel’s national basketball league during the early 1980s.
“I’ve experienced a lifetime of Zionism, influenced by my upbringing,” he says. “I had the realization of ‘Im lo achshav, eimatai?’ (If not now, when?) when it comes to making aliyah — the definitive commitment to Eretz Yisrael and Medinat Yisrael.”