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Ehud "Udi" Asaraf

Ehud “Udi” Asaraf, 27, was born and grew up in Netivot, a small town in southern Israel, which is located between Gaza and Beersheva. He is the second child of four siblings. Udi comes from a traditional Mizrachi (the term that describes Jews who have historically lived in Arab countries) family. His father, a handyman who also builds gardens, was born in Morocco. His mother, a teacher, was born in Israel to Moroccan immigrants. After high school, Udi served in the IDF as an officer and chemical engineer. He still serves in the IDF reserves.

 

Udi attended Ben Gurion University in Beersheva and received an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering. During this same time, he taught physics, mathematics, English, and chemistry at several schools. Udi then received a master’s degree in energy engineering and worked as a research assistant at Ben Gurion University. Following graduation, he worked as a chemical engineer at the Negev Research Center. However, he soon discovered that engineering was not his passion. Instead he found himself drawn to politics, and to educating people about the State of Israel. Most recently, he has been a legislative aide to a member of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament.

 

A longtime volunteer tutor at the nonprofit organization Tzeva, Udi has worked with children who face challenging social backgrounds. During his army service, he participated with Taglit, a program that introduces young American and Canadian Jewish adults to IDF soldiers. The program connects young Israelis with their Diaspora peers so that both can learn about each other's worldview and deepen their Jewish identity. Since arriving in the Pacific Northwest in April 2017, Udi has spoken to dozens of high school and college classes, as well as church and synagogue groups. He has received rave reviews as a knowledgeable, charismatic, mature, and thoughtful speaker. As a shaliach with StandWithUs, Udi will be speaking to as many audiences as possible until he returns to Israel in May 2018.