Shoshan’s Mission: From Students to Soldiers

Shoshan’s Mission: From Students to Soldiers

Former University of Georgia Hillel director transitions from guiding Jewish students in the trenches of college life to directing Southeast’s Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.

After 37 years with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and now with the AJT, , Jaffe’s focus is lifestyle, art, dining, fashion, and community events with emphasis on Jewish movers and shakers.

Roey Shoshan expects a short learning curve in his new position.
Roey Shoshan expects a short learning curve in his new position.

A genuine product of the Jewish Georgia organizational fabric over the past 10 years, Roey Shoshan has been selected to replace Seth Baron as director of the Southeast States Region of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces. Baron will step up to head the newly merged FIDF Eastern region. Shoshan just completed three years as Hillel director at the University of Georgia in Athens.

Shoshan, who will turn 40 in August, first came to Georgia for summer camp and ended up staying, he said. “I served in the IDF from 1999 to 2002, 22 years ago; this skinny kid finished his basic training and joined the Israel Defense Forces.

“Living here, I never got called up to serve in 2006 and 2014, missing those operations there. I want to contribute. Life then took me to Atlanta, where I have stayed for the last 10 years. I have made a home here. However, one thing I have always missed while living abroad is the ability to be in the reserves. This is {now} my opportunity to serve, fundraise and expose people to the FIDF mission.” As Southeast region director, Shoshan will oversee five states: Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina and Mississippi, in addition to Georgia.

Leaving behind his successful mission with the Hillel student body in Athens, he’s proud of making great strides in rebuilding and making the organization more relevant. Among those accomplishments are increasing the student board of Hillel from seven to 40, having Shabbat dinners for 100, sending students to Israel, and a successful outreach into the Greek system.

Shoshan recalls the mentorship he received along the way. “While first working at the MJCC [Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta], I was over time able to get my green card. My progression of mentors has included Jared Powers, Janel Margaretta, Rabbi Russ Shulkes, and Elliot Karp, just to name a few. And how lucky am I to have Seth to continue to learn from while we are transitioning.” Shoshan also worked for the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta.

Steve Weil, CEO of the FIDF, said Shoshan has a significant IDF background.

Steve Weil, CEO of the FIDF, said of the new Southeast director, “Roey is an outstanding professional who cares deeply about [our mission] and everyone who he engages and interacts with. Roey has a significant background in the IDF and can convey the needs of these incredible young men and women in a way that others can’t. Roey is a passionate Jew and a passionate Zionist, who embodies the values and principles that we all aspire to achieve and internalize. “

Facing the new job with optimism, Shoshan said he was involved in lay leadership (Young Leadership) in the FIDF. He believes he understands the Israeli system and the community here to have a short-learning curve.

“I love the mission, and it’s straight-forward. I like networking and will connect social groups to our mission. Atlanta is a significant part of our region, and I also intend to focus on growing the other states.”

He concluded, “As the new Southeast states director, I will work hard to make sure the brave men and women of the IDF have everything they need in order to do the hardest job in the world – protect the state of Israel.

“I know that the work I do will make a lasting impact on the soldiers and on Israeli society. For me, this job is like being in the reserves. I’m excited to get started!”

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