city with high rise buildings during daytime

Connecting our Community with our Homeland

Israel is a fascinating contrast between the ancient and the modern and is the spiritual and physical center of the Jewish people. As we celebrate its rich history, traditions, and deep dimension, we are thrilled to work with our Community Shaliach, who helps us explore and discover what makes Israel so special!

Our Shaliach helps to reach deeper within our community to educate and increase awareness, knowledge, and pride about Israel’s history, culture, and current events, and to promote a better understanding of Israel and its ideals. The program also serves as a catalyst for igniting Jewish journeys, encouraging people to learn more about Judaism and Israel, and finding their own way to connect to the Jewish homeland.

For questions about how to become more engaged in the Pozez JCC-JAFI Shlichut program, contact Dean Bagdadi.

Meet Our Shaliach, Dean Bagdadi!

Shalom. My name is Dean Bagdadi and I'm very excited to be the community Shaliach. My wife, Rotem and I were married in 2022 just before we arrived in Northern Virginia. We brought two cats, a love of cooking and music, and a very complex heritage of both Ashkenazi, Sephardic, secular, and conservative backgrounds - we have a lot to share about our personal stories.

Dean Bagdadi, Shaliach

A little bit about myself.

I previously worked for a non-profit NGO called the Movement for Quality Government in Israel, as a Community Engagement Field Coordinator. Prior to that, I worked at the National Union of Students in Israel as an intern in the Foreign Affairs and Government Office. I received my B.A. in Political Science and Business Management from Ben Gurion University and served as a Captain in the IDF for four years as a Logistics Officer (safety, operations, and transportation).

Dean Bagdadi, Shaliach

My Passions

I have always been passionate about the Jewish world in the diaspora and find it amazing to learn how people who I have so much in common with cope with daily challenges, Jewish and non-Jewish related! I look forward to sharing my knowledge and love of Israel through personal interactions and presentations, discussing complex issues and the cultural richness that Israel has to offer, and allowing the space for people to choose what their narrative will be when it comes to Israel.

Dean Bagdadi, Shaliach


For fun, Rotem and I love hiking and traveling, geeky board & video games and a lot of good music and books. For myself, I enjoy collecting tobacco pipes, scotch (collecting and tasting) and learning about the political system of different countries. I am here to help unpack all you want to know and discuss about Israel. After October 7th, 2023, there are more questions than answers about the way forward. The discussions are important, and I welcome spending time in the community to spark these conversations.
Photo of triangle shape digital wallpaper

Help bring a piece of Israel to Northern Virginia

With your generous support, we can make an impact in our community by connecting people to Israel, providing educational opportunities, and bringing Israeli culture to the J and throughout Northern Virginia.

Our Shlichim (Emissaries)

Until 2007, bringing an Israeli representative to our community to deepen the connections between Northern Virginians and Israel was just a dream. Executive Director, Eric Koehler harnessed the enthusiasm and desire of the community to make the dream a reality. Thanks to the vision and financial support of several dedicated community leaders and the efforts and commitment of the J, the Pozez JCC-Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) Community Shlichim Program was launched.

Over the years, we have been fortunate to host creative and passionate shlichim who have enriched our commUNITY:

– Shiri Rahamim z”l (2007 – 2009)*
– Michaela Cohen (2009 – 2011)
– Yael Ingel (2011 – 2013)
– Ido Rakovsky (2013 – 2014)
– Dana Kalishov (2014 – 2015)
– Na’ama Gold (2015 – 2017)
– Liat Lisha (2017 – 2018)
– Shy Ashkenazi (2019 – 2022)
– Dean Bagdadi (2022 – present)

Each representative brought a unique perspective to the position and became a valued member of our community. Whether teaching a weekly Café Ivrit at a synagogue, helping to coordinate a community-wide Yom HaShoah program, facilitating discussions at the Jewish Film Festival, developing Israel programming on the campus of George Mason University, or having meaningful one-on-one conversations pre- and post October 7th about Israeli society with community members, our shlichim have a proven track record of connecting Israel to our community.

*This program is named in memory of the J’s beloved first Shlicha, Shiri Rahamim, who passed away from cancer in 2015.


The Pozez JCC-JAFI’s Shiri Rahamim Shlichut Program is supported, in part, by a generous grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. For information about how you can support the program, contact Michelle Pearlstein.