Sunday, December 4, 2016

Participant Spotlight: Daniel Egea

Daniel was born in Brazil and grew up in a small town called Sao Caetano do Sul near São Paulo, where he lives with his sister and mother. Daniel has always been Jewish, but this identity did not become important to him until the age of 15 after he studied his family’s genealogy. As he learned more and more, he realized Judaism was a central value of his ancestors. Compelled to feel more connected to his roots and his family’s religion Daniel began to go to the small shul (synnagogue) in his community and has been an active member ever since.

A few months ago, he decided to leave Brazil for the first time to spend a year of his life in Israel, volunteering and learning about Judaism with Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv-Jaffa.

Until he arrived to Ben Gurion Airport, Daniel had had hardly any connection to global Judaism. However, since the moment his feet touched ground in Israel, with the chagim (holidays), the ruach (energy), and his desire to understand this country, its history and its society, he found what he had lacked all these years: a sense of belonging to the Am Israel.

Daniel left his job as an accountant to volunteer in Israel in two different Elderly homes, where he helps with lunches and shares his passion for Brazilian music and dance by teaching classes to residents.

For Daniel, being in the Holy Land is a dream. His eyes are alive with the joy of learning and his heart is overflowing with love for Torah and the Jewish people. His fellow participant have said “Daniel is the heart of our group, he brings love and smiles to us all.”

This Thursday, Daniel becomes a Bar Mitzvah!! He did not get the chance to when he was 13, and this year as he is turns 31 (the opposite of 13), Tikkun Olam participants and staff will gather at Daniels Center to celebrate as he commits his adult life to Jewish values.

Mazal Tov, Daniel! We are so happy to have you on Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv-Jaffa!