Lily Lozovsky

“Stop telling G-d how big the storm is, instead tell the storm how big your G-d is.” 

Name: Lily Lozovsky 
Organization: Shorefront YM-YWHA of Brighton-Manhattan Beach 
Website of Organization: 

Favorite Place in Israel: 
Hevron, Ma’arat Hamachpela (Cave of the Patriarchs) – there is a pounding spiritual energy in Hevron like nowhere else in Israel for me and no where else in the world. I feel my prayers soaring on the wings of Abraham, Sarah, Rebecca, Leah when I am there. It is the closest I have ever felt my own spiritual core and the legacy of my ancestors. 

How has Israel played a part in your personal Jewish identity? 
Some of my most formative experiences as a Jew have been in Israel. As a teen in Israel for 5 weeks of summer I began to understand the compelling story of my people. I remember deciding that if I was Jewish I had no choice but to commit my lifestyle and personal mission to the cause. I was determined to return. And I did. I spent a year and a half of college nestled away in Jerusalem, studying the most powerful, paradigm shifting Torah one could imagine. The rabbis and families that I studied, and studied with, gave me a new sense of human potential for refinement and growth. That year the holiday cycle came to life in a way that has shaped my intellectual and emotional understanding of Judaism as it was intended to be expressed in its land.

Today I work with Russian and Israeli youth, bring teens to Israel and create experiences around Jewish heritage, identity and Israel for teens on 2-3 trips a year. Each time I return on a high, feeling more connected, inspired and alive than ever, there is no place like home. On a hike in seminary my rabbi quoted Rav Kook to us saying, “The landscape of Israel is like nothing else in the world for a Jew. When he looks out over her hills and valleys, the Jew sees his own inner landscape reflected in Israel. And here he begins his growth.” 

Who was the educator who most influenced your path to Jewish education?  Describe the effect that they had on you. 
When I was 14 years old a young 24 year old advisor can rolling into Jacksonville, in a 12 passenger van full of kids to run a shabbaton with 5 teens at the local synagogue. I had 3 Jewish friends at the time, was uninterested and uninvolved in Jewish life and learning. Chaim was a professional, a regular guy going for his MBA who had a crazy passion for Jewish youth. As I became more involved he included me in all parts of the planning process for our 5 state Southern Region of NCSY. He kept me on the phone as we did housing and planned schedules for events. I saw him spend a tremendous amount of his own resources and personal time traveling from city to city with groups of public school youth, working to connect us as one community. As I got older I took leadership roles making calls and arranging home hospitality. Chaim always asked for my opinion, made me feel like part of the staff and helped me navigate my teenage years.

The strange thing is that I don’t remember him ever telling me what to do Jewishly or how to do it. I remember one talk we had before I needed to make a major decision. The advice I got from Chaim has resonated through many decisions since then. He reminded me of Ester when she needed to take the plunge and save the Jewish people. “Ok Lil, so Mordechai says to her – listen, G-d is going to save the Jewish people whether you do this or not. It’s your choice. To be part of history or to stand and watch it pass you by.” That desire, to put myself out there on behalf of the Jewish people, to be larger than life for a higher cause and to do it all by just being myself is something that I learned through Chaim’s example and that I hope to embody in my work with Jewish youth. 

If you had the ability to build the landscape of Jewish education, what would it look like? - in 140 characters or less. 

Most Personal Relevance 
Feeling of Inspiration to Do and Be More 
A Deep Sense of Belonging 
Responsibility to Connect Others 
No Drop Off Rates! Programs Create Family. 

What are you looking forward to most in the InCiTE Fellowship? 
I am looking forward to finally being a participant! There are so many discussions that I lead and programs that I run where I’m just dying to participate and share thoughts with peers. I can not wait to see what incredible things other educators are doing. I am also excited about enriching my understanding of Jewish education and program planning.