Famed Israeli journalist and television newscaster Sivan Rahav Meir and her husband, Yedidya Meir, an Israeli radio journalist, have come to the United States as shlichim for World Mizrachi for the coming year, 5780.
“World Mizrachi came up with the idea of shlichut,” Rahav Meir told The Jewish Link, “and my husband and I both felt it was very important, especially now, to come. We haven’t only come to North America to teach but also to learn. We want to see how the Torah can be the mutual pulse for the Israelis and the Jews in America.” During their time here they will strive to fulfill World Mizrachi’s aim of spreading Torat Eretz Yisrael around the world.
“I don’t know a lot about U.S. Jewry,” said Sivan. “I’ve come to listen and to share. For the last few years I’ve been invited to come and speak almost once a month but time was always so short. We decided we wanted to do something more serious and when World Mizrachi approached us, we knew this was what we wanted to do.”
According to Rabbi Doron Perez, chief executive of World Mizrachi, “Sivan and Yedidya will give a full year of their lives to North American Jewry. They understand the importance of the task at hand and we believe that they will bring many people to a much deeper connection to Judaism and Israel.”
Sivan will speak at the Young Israel of Teaneck (YIOT), delivering the Dr. Asher Ze’ev and Mrs. Pnina Leah Rabinowitz Memorial Shiur on Sunday, September 22, at 7:30 p.m., on the topic, “Teshuva in the Digital Age: The Story of an Israeli Journalist.” This event is part of the YIOT’s Dr. Bertram J., z”l, & Ann Newman Adult Education Program and is sponsored by Sivan and Neil Greenspan in commemoration of the yahrzeits of Sivan’s parents, Dr. Asher Ze’ev and Mrs. Pnina Leah Rabinowitz, z”l. The lecture takes place each year around the Yamim Noraim as a way to inspire the community and help us prepare ourselves for this important time of year.
“It’s a privilege to be part of this event honoring the parents of another Sivan. It is my hope that the evening will bring about an elevation of the neshamot of her parents. I am also excited to come to Teaneck. We only arrived last month so this will be one of the first kehillot I get to meet.” During the course of the year the Meirs will speak in a number of communities including Canada, Florida, California, Dallas, Boston, Memphis, New Rochelle and Lawrence. Right now their topics will be centered on the High Holidays but their topics will change as the year goes on.
According to Rabbi Beni Krohn, rabbi of the Young Israel of Teaneck, “We are grateful to the Greenspans for once again making it possible for us to bring an acclaimed speaker to YIOT in preparation for the Yomim Noraim. Sivan Rahav Meir is known for her ability to address current topics from a Torah perspective. We are honored to be her first stop in New Jersey as she begins her year of shlichut in North America.”
In addition to her fame as a television newscaster, Sivan is known for weekly shiur on the Torah portion of the week, which is broadcast live from Heichal Shlomo in Jerusalem and which is watched on Facebook, WhatsApp and YouTube. While in the United States, she will continue to deliver her weekly shiur in English and her husband will continue to broadcast his daily radio program in Hebrew. “We have a studio in our home in the Five Towns,” she shared. “Yedidya will broadcast his show from the studio and I will give my shiur at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women, where it will be recorded. Yedidya will also write a few columns as well.”
Now that they’ve made the move with their five children, Sivan said she has a new respect for new olim. “We’ve had some challenges and now I really admire olim chadashim because I understand. I just came for a year and they’re moving from one place to another and that’s quite a challenge.”
Sivan began working in the Israeli media at the age of 6. Over the years she has interviewed many Israeli celebrities including Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Sara Netanyahu, Rav Ovadia Yosef and many others. She has written four books and is working on a fifth right now. She is a news anchor on Israel’s Channel 2 News, writes for Yedioth Acharonot and has a show with her husband on IDF radio (Galei Tzahal). She has been included by Forbes magazine in their list of the 50 most influential women in Israel and named as one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world by The Jerusalem Post.