Ambassador spotlight: Jordana Ichilov

School: Indiana University

Major: Double major in international studies and Jewish studies

What’s your favorite part about being a Digital Ambassador?

My favorite part about the Digital Ambassador Program is working with students from all around the country. I love learning why each person loves and is passionate about Israel and how I am similar or different to them.

I’ve always said that everyone, Jewish or not, can find a connection to Israel and the Ambassador Program helps me learn about how to build a relationship with people who may have different connections to Israel than mine.

What was your most memorable experience in Israel?

My most memorable experience in Israel was my internship in the Knesset. For eight weeks I worked with a Knesset member’s legislative aide and learned about the most stressing issues in Israel. I also had the opportunity to learn more about what the diaspora Jewish community means to the Israelis, which was fascinating. Interning in Israel strengthened my love for spending time in the country and living the daily Israeli lifestyle.

Jordana Ichilov playing with a child at Save a Child’s Heart. Photo: courtesy

What’s your favorite ISRAEL21c article?

My favorite ISRAEL21c article is “Israeli medical NGO treats its 5,000th child from abroad.”

Every time I have visited Israel, my group always visits Save a Child’s Heart. Seeing everyone put their differences aside is heartwarming and the children always get so excited when they have visitors.

Last year, I helped plan a benefit concert with other IU students for Save a Child’s Heart and we raised over $12,000. It was beyond incredible. Save a Child’s Heart received a UN award a few years ago, which is amazing.

What do you think makes Israelis unique?

Jordana Ichilov standing under a street sign: “My father’s side of the family has lived in Israel since the 1800s and it’s always cool to go through Petah Tikva and Tel Aviv to see how my family helped create the State of Israel.” Photo: courtesy

What makes Israelis unique is their transparency and forwardness. The Israeli chutzpah is a trait that you can’t really find anywhere else.

The Israeli culture is less formal than many others and I know that whenever I’m in Israel, Israelis will take me in and care for me like I’m their own. I’ll never have to question what Israelis are thinking or feeling since they wear their emotions on their sleeves. It’s hard to find that elsewhere.

If you could bring one thing to America from Israel, what would it be and why?

If I could bring one thing to America from Israel it would be shoko ba’sakit (chocolate milk in a bag). While most people tend to buy iced coffee when they arrive in Israel, I’m the opposite. Shoko ba’sakit goes with every meal (except meat ones) and is just something that America does not have.

Chocolate milk in a bag, who could resist? Photo by Nicky Blackburn